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Hear from current WMG students

My university experience so far

Safwat Kerish, MSc Sustainable Automotive Engineering
Progress

Lots are going on, supervisor meetings, tasks to do, PMAs, and keeping up with all the other activities. By this time, I have got into the pace of the degree and I've started filling in my free time through effective time management. On another part, Warwick volunteering had an advertisement for student mentoring program at the beginning of the year, which I joined to assist maths teachers in classes and help students through understanding mathematical topics and solving problems.

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Warwick Skills Portfolio Award

Warwick Skills Portfolio Award (WSPA), is an award given to students who get involved in three out of more than twenty specific activities in recognition of their development and skills attained. Once an activity is done, a reflection is needed to be written by the student and reviewed by the mentor (all done online). A second reflection and final one should be submitted to proceed with the award. Once all three reflections are written for the three activities, the award is given during a celebration event. I have finished all three activities and I am writing up reflections for the last two. The award will be a great addition to my CV along with all the skills attained.

Workshops

The WMG has an online system for various skills workshops, social, sports and other events. I was interested in attaining personal development skills that will aid my CV and applications for graduate jobs. I first went for a “Personal Branding” workshop that focuses on individual skills, knowing who you are and building up a personal image, both online and on-ground which will aid when applying for graduate jobs and also for a future career. In line with that, I attended “LinkedIn” workshop, where we learnt how to use the website effectively and in our favour, took some tips and hints to assist us in standing out from others when applying for jobs through the website.

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Weekends

I try to get out of Canley after a whole week of the module to recharge. One weekend I decided to go to Coventry, another weekend I went to Birmingham. I went to try out restaurants and look at the city views. I visited Coventry university which is 8 minutes away from the main bus station (Pool Meadow), I ended up going library there and working for a bit, which is cool because as a student you are allowed to go to any library across the UK. Overall, I try my best whether I am writing up my PMA, researching my project and training. It is hard to keep a steady mood and workload, this is why the days after finishing modules and weekends are great opportunity to relax for a bit (not long), plan, recharge and get ready for work.


Applied management courses at WMG

Edna Simbine Matsinhe, MSc Supply Chain and Logistics Management

All the modules I have had so far have always a practical component, which means that we have the opportunity to apply everything we have learned using information systems or models and frameworks that are used by professionals in the area to overcome current challenges.

Specifically speaking the 'Transport Techniques and Management' module we use from software, manual calculations as well as games to overcome challenges that transport companies face. I will now give as an example the planning system that we use during module to manage the transport fleet and also a game called business on the move transport game.

Transport planning and routing software

It is less complex to plan the resources and transportation route to be used when it comes to transporting a single product type to a single point of destination, but nowadays companies face much more complex issues. In an unpredictable world in which things are in constant change, it is more complex for transport companies to plan their resources as well as decide on the route, as they have to respond to the transport of different types of products with different destination, either within the same country or to another country. The plan has to be done in a way that responds to customers' requirements. So, we had the opportunity to use a software that firstly it optimized the planning time and secondly, we could change the data in order to find the most cost-efficient way to do the transport. By using the software, we practice how to plan the transport route, from considering resources such as number of drivers required, to even decide on the most convenient area to locate a warehouse. It was wonderful to see a job that would take hours or even days to be done, being done in minutes.

Business on the move transport game

The business on the move transport game is a board game that create awareness on players on how a business transport company is managed. By playing this game we had to make decisions on how to transport the goods from one country to another from the time an order is received. It was fun to play the game but also very challenging as we actually had to make decision as normal transport business. Among the decisions were the mode of transport to be used, the decision to collaborate or not with other transport company, pay or not insurance and other contemporary decisions among transport division. It was a really fun way to learn.

I hope you enjoy this module as much as I did :) Check out my photos below.

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Resources to Help Conquer your PMAs

Amanda Foo Min Lin, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Embarking on PMAs can be a daunting experience, especially if it is your first PMA. However, WMG has several resources that are available FOR FREE to help you understand the demands of your PMAs and how to ace them.

PMA Surgeries

PMA surgeries are generally designed to give you a second opinion on how your PMA looks so far. These 30-minute sessions are usually conducted by students currently pursuing their PhDs, which can be booked via the event booking system.

Question 1: What can I expect from a PMA surgery?

Your mentor will scan through your PMA to give you feedback and offer recommendations for improvement.

Question 2: Should I approach a mentor who is pursuing a PhD that is related to my course?

Answer: That’s not necessary! Personally, I booked a PMA surgery under Zakkiya Adam, who was pursuing a PhD in Urban Science and Progress CDT – quite different from Innovation and Entrepreneurship I must say! Despite the differences in subject expertise, she provided very helpful insights on how to improve my report format and answered all my questions regarding my PMA. Hence, don’t worry if all the mentors available are not familiar with your course content – just choose a mentor who matches your availability!

Question 3: How do I prepare for the PMA surgery?

Answer: Here are some tips to make your PMA surgery fruitful:

1. Prepare questions you may have regarding your PMA: highlight specific parts of your PMA which require attention and insert your questions into comments within the word document. This allows you to keep track of all the questions you have in mind. You can also type and save your mentor’s answers to your questions so that you can review and resolve them at a later time.

2. Complete as much of your PMA as possible before attending the PMA surgery: This ensures that the feedback you receive applies to the PMA as a whole and you make the most out of the 30-minute consultation session.

Personal Tutor

Sadly, PMA surgeries are not always available for booking all year round. However, you can always make an appointment with your personal tutor, who has been assigned to you at the beginning of the academic year. Like the PMA surgery mentors, your personal tutor will help you review your PMA and offer suggestions for improvement! Don’t miss this opportunity.

Your Lecturer

If you’re unsure if your approach to answering the PMA is on the right track, do drop your lecturer(s) an email! They will be more than happy to clarify any questions you may have and guide you in the right direction to conquer your PMA.

I hope this has been helpful in providing some tips on how to ace your PMAs! Do check your email and the events booking system periodically to keep abreast of all the different workshops and events WMG has organized to help you succeed in your PMAs.

 

 


Interlinked modules and Christmas

Chengyun Li, MSc Programme and Project Management

This afternoon, I just finished the module International Joint Venture (IJV). Upon reflection, like other attended modules OPP (Organization, People and Performance) and SCM (Supply Chain Management), the course IJV is informative and inspirational. Surprisingly, I found those modules are interlinked. In a context of IJV, resources are managed in a worldwide range which will demand efficient supply chain to realize an agile or lean performance. Internally, organizational structure, diversity, and performance should be optimized, to realise the company’s business strategies. During the IJV simulation exercise, knowledge and skills I learned from SCM and OPP spontaneously came to my mind. It indicates WMG’s devotion to make a comprehensive and systematic coverage of main subjects.

Simulation exercises and syndicated activities are engaging, practical and thought-provoking, which put you in real business circumstances and you are motivated to figure out reasonable solutions. You may be challenged many times, but from those difficulties you will learn what the practical case in reality is. At the end of each course, a course review is conducted to conclude what you have learned during the week and requirements of PMA (Post Module Assignment) is briefed. PMA acts not only as a measurement of what you have learned during the course, but also a catalyst of critically thinking of knowledge you acquired.

Christmas is around the corner. When you are struggling with your PMA, why not relax by experiencing local fantastic Christmas countdown activities. I went to Leamington spa for its countdown celebration with my friends a few days ago. There is a fantastic market along the street. Vendors from neighbouring towns are selling their self-made products like cakes, wines and decorations. On a chilly afternoon, nothing is more comforting than having a cup of warm, locally-made, seasonal mulled gin. After dinner, we stayed in a local cosy bar and had some drinks for a couple of hours.

Have you got any plan for Christmas holiday? Or maybe you are busy applying to a WMG course? I have got the Schengen visa and planned to visit Paris and Nice with some friends. During your study in UK, please also enjoy your time. It’s quite convenient to travel around UK and Europe. As the Chinese saying goes: “It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books”.

Leamington Spa Market Rainbow across IMC
Leamington Spa's Christmas market Rainbow across WMG's IMC building

Moving to UK was one of my best decisions

Edna Simbine Matsinhe, MSc Supply Chain and Logistics Management

I cannot believe that it's been over 2 months since I joined this adventure of moving to another country in another continent to continue my studies.

My name is Edna from Mozambique and I'm doing a Msc in Supply Chain and Logistics Management (SCLM). I am here to share with you my experience of living in UK and studying at The University of Warwick. It was a difficult decision to move, leaving behind my husband and little boy back home to continue my higher education, but it was one of my best decisions, as my expectations were met.

Arrival

I arrived on time to participate on the welcome week activities and I felt very welcomed. From the time I landed to the time I figured out my accommodation, people were always willing to help. As I settled in, I was eager to go to central campus and see what Warwick has to offer. And let me tell you the campus is HUGE. But don’t worry, as during the welcome week we find many well identified people to assist us.

There are many activities during the welcome week like: campus tours, getting to know the different societies, indulging and trying out new lip smacking food from semesters first ‘food festival’, I really advise you to actively participate during the welcome week as this is the time when you make new friends.

The First Module

As the welcome week comes to an end, we have to roll up our sleeves to involve in the first module. The module was driven in one intensive week, from 09:00-6.30, and yes it looks like office schedule.

My first module was Warehouse and Storage Techniques, and it made me realize that I really made a good choice in coming to study SCLM at the University of Warwick. We had the opportunity to receive different professionals from the area that explained to us the daily challenges they face and where the future is leading us. The industrial visit was very important to balance everything that we learned during the module with the practice. We visited the National Distribution Centre of British Gas, and it is as big as 3 football pitches. So, imagine just looking closely at the technology involved and the professionals who on a daily basis must ensure that their customers' orders are met. The tip I give is that you make use of the professional that will be speaking during the module asking as many questions as you want.

Grocery Shopping & Social life

For those who have the opportunity to live on campus (like me) will have the option to do grocery shopping from Cannon Park (15 minutes’ walk from central campus) or Rootes located in central campus. But you can always take a bus to Coventry City Centre or Leamington Spa for leisure shopping. When living with people from different countries, you experience their culture as well as their mouth-watering cuisines.

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WMG Industrial visit Industry in action

Motivation and deadlines

Alissa Lola Bouab, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Meeting deadlines

As you can expect, a masters degree is packed full of deadlines. We deal with Post-Module Assignments (PMAs) to submit shortly after a module week, and other mini deadlines in our day-to-day lives such as presentations during our modules. However, we also have deadlines in the longer term, particularly the one for our dissertation, for which we are given roughly 11 months from start to finish.

Short-term deadlines

Our deadlines for our PMAs are relatively short: we have 4 weeks after the end of our module to submit an academic piece of work. My best advice for these is to start early to get it done as soon as possible. Prioritising your work will allow you to produce your best work in time. And honestly, I would much rather finish one week before the deadline than trying to write several thousand words the night before submission.

Long-term deadline

This one mainly involves the dissertation submission. It just is not possible to leave it to the last minute (or day), as the work is both lengthy and requires depth and analysis. I find the best way to do this is to work regurlarly, therefore achieving a high-quality piece of work at the end by using small efforts over a long period. A tip would be to break down the project into different smaller parts which can be achieved independently. When done, you just have to compile everything together and the task seems much less daunting.

It is all about motivation

I can’t say it enough: a little work is better than no work. It is not about being highly motivated every single day, but about progress. And because we write so much, we might have a ‘writer’s block’. To overcome this, I forget about my inner perfectionist and write something; anything that will fill the blank page.

Also, writing a plan (and sticking to it) is great as you can organise your time better and actually plan some free-time to go out or just do nothing at home (yay!).

Finally, as we really work from home a lot of the times, going out for a walk to avoid cabin fever or even studying out of the house, such as at the university can be great ways to switch things up and feel refreshed. The university has a lot of study spaces, on campus and off-campus such as in Leamington Spa.

That’s all for me today, good luck with any deadlines you may have!

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Warwick campus


A November of PMAs and Pre-Christmas Sales

Damilola Oyedele, MSc Healthcare Operational Management

Hi everyone. I hope you are having a good time getting ready for the end of the year. It’s already over 2 months since I started my year at Warwick. I am amazed at how quickly time has gone by. It really does tend to catch one by surprise, doesn’t it? I officially started classes on the 15th of October and I have had 2 full modules since then. I’m going to start off by explaining how the learning around here is done. My MSc course is Healthcare Operational Management so that is what this information is based on. However, the other MSc courses in WMG are run in a very similar manner (although they may have a different number of modules) so it should still be helpful if you are interested in the other courses.

There are 8 modules in this course (you can find the details on the HOM full-time Master's web page). What happens is we have one week of class/group learning for each module. This week is usually intense. We have classes every day of the week from 9am to 6:30pm. Although there are a few breaks in between, it usually still makes for a really long day. That week is followed by 2 – 3 weeks of personal learning during which we are to do a post module assignment (PMA) on the module we’ve completed. We are also expected to do some work on our dissertation during this time. This means that I currently have 2 PMAs pending (and my dissertation). I’ll just say it requires hard work and time management. I have been spending some time in the library; mostly because I sometimes need books for referencing. I must say that I’ve found the library staff helpful. Every time I’ve had a question or needed help, I have gotten it.

This month, we had a class trip to University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire as part of our module. While it was not the first time seeing how a hospital works for me (because my undergraduate degree was in Medicine), it was illuminating to see a hospital works in the UK. It was also interesting to see some of the concepts we had discussed in class being put to work and ask staff questions about them. We visited the Paediatrics wards, the Accident and Emergency as well as the Sterile Services Department. I found it very enlightening.

Away from school work, it is almost December and we all know what December really means. Christmas! Things are slowly starting to look festive. I was delighted to see the city center lit up with Christmas lights when I visited over the weekend. It is also getting colder, but I knew that would happen. This is also sales season. The Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend has just passed and while enjoy retail therapy as much as any other girl, my email is a tad tired of the messages urging me to spend some more money. I will however confess that I’ve not been very successful at ignoring the emails. Overall, November was a good one filled with new knowledge and I’m looking forward to December festivities in this new city.

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A module visit to University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire