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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

The start of my WMG journey

Chengyun Li, MSc Programme and Project Management

Five months ago, when I was transferred from Africa back to my home in Beijing, none of my friends or family would have believed that I would go abroad again to further my study in project management. Interested in project management and passionate to be professional, I have embarked on the journey towards my goals and dreams.

The last month passed in WMG has proved to be delightful. During the welcome week, a series of lectures organized by WMG gave us a panoramic view of study and life in University of Warwick. Critical concerns like PMA writing or project selection and preparation or student careers and skills were all very well addressed. My first course Project Planning Management and Control was well organized, quite intensive and challenging but closely practical related and informative. Project simulation exercise put us in a real project management situation and ambushed us with various challenging problems and issues. Lectures given by monitors or guest speakers were always engaging and thought-provoking. Besides the formal course, there are a number of workshops, lectures, activities you can choose to attend. Within last month, I attended 13 lectures or workshops, 2 career fairs and 1 industrial visit. There are always lectures or workshops or seminars interest you and fit you.

Now we have already started the project selection and preparation. I am lucky to be one student supervised by Richard Watson. I was impressed by his saying “the real prize is that you should have learnt how to 'critically learn'. This is a rare gift to achieve ….it never wears out or dates. Critical thinking makes us different. It doesn’t matter whether you are right or wrong. It always worth trying to convey your ideas and make your voice heard. There is big emphasis on critical thinking at WMG, which is great!

Life here is also enjoyable. To be honest, I am not so keen on English style food, neither are my flatmates. However, kitchen time becomes happy hours for us buddies living in flat 43 - where we get the chance to bond. We also visited Warwick Castle and Leamington spa together, experiencing the local culture. Autumn has arrived in the UK and it is beautiful! We like to watch the falling leaves which are yellow or red in colour.

I am proud of becoming an ambassador of WMG. When I was a postgraduate during my study in Renmin University of China, I was impressed by the teaching pattern and style of our applied linguistic course teacher professor Xiaoli Jiang who completed Master and PhD study in University of Warwick. Though not assuming the role of “ambassador”, she inspired us with her own example. Hopefully, my experience can have a positive influence on you.

Here are a couple of photos from my first few week at Warwick. Showcasing friendship and adventure!

kitchen time warwick castle view
Kitchen time with my flatmates The view from Warwick Castle

Accommodation

By: Carlos Valdivia Reichmann, MSc Programme and Project Management

Choosing accommodation to live during the year-period in Warwick is a really important decision, and one of those reasons is because of the places you have close by! I will share with you my experience living in Coventry City Centre, and the thoughts of friends who live on campus!

Living off Campus (Coventry City Centre):

The best thing to live off-campus is that you can access different places, such as restaurants, shopping, bars, gyms and parks 5 minutes walking from your accommodation! Also, if you live in a Student Accommodation block (which is my case), you will live and meet very students from Warwick University, making the experience similar to living on campus.

If you live off campus, you have to take a bus (11, 11u or 12x) to go to your lectures on Central Campus or Westwood, which takes around 30-45 minutes in the morning. If you live on campus this is quite easier as depending on which accommodation you live, this can take you 10-20 minutes to go for lectures.

off-campus photo 1 cov photo 1

Living On Campus:

Living on campus is quite convenient if you want to participate in the University activities (which there are many of them during the year), and to enjoy the University life within the University. Good things about on campus is that there are many green areas to enjoy with friends, have a picnic and chill. It also is near to supermarkets and have some pubs to enjoy the night with classmates and friends!

The other main advantage of living on campus is the animals! During the day you can see ducks, geese, squirrels, between different animals in a really beautiful environment.

on-campus photo 1
Mon 11 Jun 2018, 09:45 | Tags: Programme and Project Management

Inspirational alumni talk

By: Manuela Rodríguez Melgar, Jiangling Zheng, Alejandro Fraga Eraso and Kingsley Chong

Alumni talk video

As Master’s students, it concerns us what is coming next after graduating. Last week, we had the opportunity to attend a special and inspirational lecture and networking session to learn first hand what can we expect as WMG students in the future.

We created the above video at the networking sessions so that you can hear from WMG alumni yourself, but also below are some key notes from the talk.

  • Raja Adeel Khalid, Senior Operations Manager at Amazon from the 2001-02 e-Business Management cohort, share that success is not a door that needs to be unlocked, but it is the result of thinking big, pushing ourselves out of the comfort zone and being able to take decisions when required. Contrary to what we constantly hear, he suggested us to know what we do not want because according to his journey from Toyota to Amazon in his 15 years of working experience, this is what keeps us far from making the wrong decisions.
  • In line with Raja, Christina Liaskou, Global Product Line Manager at Delphi from the Engineering Business Management 2013-14 cohort, suggested that WMG equip her with many tools that are crucial to face the challenges of the working environment, such as understanding the importance of collaboration and time management, as well as being part of a multicultural team. She added that the skills developed at WMG allowed her to be more competitive and Warwick’s prestige boosted her profile.
  • Regarding job applications, Guvanch Meredov, Tech Product and Digital Marketing Consultant at Google, encouraged us to apply to companies that we might think are “out of our league”, regardless of our nationality. He confessed that as a non European, he felt intimidated but his experiences proves that it is possible for international students to hold a position in leading companies in the UK. But that does not mean it is easy, he added that he got many rejections before Google’s offer and therefore, it is important to avoid giving up, work hard, but also, have fun while doing so.

We really enjoyed this event and felt very inspired from the life lessons we heard!


MSc course structure

By: Carlos Reichmann Valdivia, MSc Programme and Project Management

When I started my experience as an international student in MSc in Programme and Project Management, I thought that the whole learning experience would be similar to my undergraduate degree. However, I discovered that Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) is very different to the other departments in Warwick and in most Universities.

In WMG, the people are focused in giving us the best experience in intensive modules, that is why every module is running intensively in one week. During that intensive week you have to participate in the sessions with the teachers and involve yourself in the learning. This involvement in the module will be easier than in other places, because there will be near 30 students in every module. Even so, every module that I have had uses simulations, where we create a group with colleagues from different nationalities and have to simulate some real-life situation to deepen our knowledge in the course. By this stage, I have experienced simulations in all my modules, and example of this was during Project Planning Management & Control, where I have learned a lot about communications between team members, team work and get used on how real businesses work in a Project environment. After the module week has finished, we have to do an assignment, where usually have to investigate something to deepen our knowledge in some subject.

What I love about this course structure is that this way we can participate during the module and is not only a listening lecture, you have to participate and if you don’t agree something the teacher says it can be discussed during the lecture. The other advantage of this is that you only have to attend the module for one week (from Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 18:30). This means that you will not have modules every week and you have free time either to work on your post module assignment, attend to different WMG activities (such as Industrial visits), to work in your dissertation project, travel or any other activity that you would like to do.

I think that this intensive learning model during the courses week and the flexibility that you have after your module to do what you think is best for you is what makes WMG great for postgraduate students and international students, who as me expect to do many things during this year in the UK and take the maximum advantage of the learning experience in WMG.

 

Wed 31 Jan 2018, 11:25 | Tags: Programme and Project Management