Okay so I am three months late in posting this. I had intended to write about the Induction Week and get it published within a fortnight but work, life, and gearing ratios got in the way. But as the old adage goes, better late than never, and better now than next year.
It was a cold January morning in South Kensington and I had just got off the tube feeling excited, motivated, and nervous all at once. The inaugural cohort of the Global Online MBA programme was scheduled to meet for the first time that morning and looking at their profiles, I’d be lying to say that I wasn’t a bit worried. We have vice presidents, chartered accountants, PhD holders, professional engineers, and even medical doctors in the class so a regular communication guy like myself couldn’t help from feeling like an extra on the set of Game of Thrones.
During the ice-breaking session, however, Hamza our Programme Manager was kind enough reassure us that the Impostor Syndrome is common in an MBA setting and we shouldn’t be too bothered by it. It also helped that everyone was all warm and fuzzy that morning despite our jetlag.
We have every continent represented in the cohort except for Antarctica. I have never been in a more diverse setup and it wouldn’t be too much to say that the room felt like a mini UN assembly. Our syndicated groups were divided into time zones and in my Group 9 are James and Kasey from Singapore, Jane from Macau, and Gerald from France. (France is not in our time zone, but Gerald is — he’s a globetrotting superstar.)
The Induction Week had an action-packed agenda. Hamza and team had designed the programme to be an intensive introduction to Imperial, postgraduate study, and collaborating from around the world, among others. At the heart of the programme, is the Hub, a state-of-the-art platform for students, professors, and coordinators to effectively interact and communicate. It has been almost half-a-year now since I’ve started utilising the Hub and I am happy to report that its performance has been flawless. You wouldn’t expect anything less from a technology coming out of Imperial.
The highlight of Induction Week was arguably the film production group work. We were assigned a cameraman and tasked to produce an advertisement for a product to improve relationships. Not our areas of expertise, advertising or relationship consultancy, but we had the time of our lives. We were all taken out of our comfort zone and had a good laugh producing the 3-minute video. While another group won the little Oscars for the competition, it was an experience that I shall cherish forever although I would do anything it takes to not let the video leak out to my friends.
100 days have passed now since Induction Week and we have grown closer as classmates and friends, despite our time difference and geographic locations. The Hub has been immensely effective for us to exchange ideas and post questions to the Teaching Assistants and Professors. It’s a wonder how technology has evolved and shrunk the world into the engaging space that we have within our community. The guys in London meet-up every two weeks and we do the same here in Asia, and I believe, in other parts of the world too.
We are doing Financial and Management Accounting, and Global Marketing Management this term. Marco, Tom, Andreas, Omar, and Ruxandra have been incredibly helpful on the academic side and so have David, Hamza, Anna, and Eilidh from the Programme Team. Adjusting to life as a part-time student does require some getting used to but it becomes bearable with a strong support system at home, at work, and the all way from the UK.
As we enter the final sessions of the courses and gearing up to the exams in April, it becomes more crucial for us to get ourselves in shape both physically and mentally. For me, at least, it has been almost 10 years since my last exam paper so this will be quite a nervy endeavour.
So Marco, Andreas, if you’re reading… do go easy on us.