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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

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!


Warwick campus

Starting my MSc degree

Alissa Lola Bouab, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Hey there! My name is Alissa, I am a French student and I recently started my MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship journey at WMG. I am super excited to tell you all about it throughout the year, but here is a quick recap of the month of October!

Induction week

We started the course with an induction week; we had the usual lectures such as a course introduction, advice about how to write our PMAs (Post-Module Assignments, more about these later) and an overview of our masters project. Additionally, we had a really fun treasure hunt throughout campus organised by an escape game company; it was great to meet people and do some exercise (we were literally running everywhere to win the game). We also did a course introduction day where we had to develop innovative solutions throughout the day within our teams. It was a fun way to meet people from my course and put on our entrepreneurship caps on!

Weekend in London

London is only an hour’s train away from Coventry! So I spent a weekend there, basking in the sun (we had an unusually warm October), and eating my way through the city (the restaurant scene is great there).

First module week

And then came my first module week, in which I had classes from 9am to 6:45pm for 5 days straight. The great thing is that not only was the tutor great (Ali we are all looking at you!), the guest speakers were interesting and added relevant information to the course; but also we had so many opportunities to apply our knowledge within our teams. We never sat down for the whole day; the teaching was punctuated with group work, brainstorming, and presentations. We even got to develop our own Lego Mastermind robot and present it to the class!


Finding a supervisor for my thesis

Another task we had to do rapidly was finding a suitable thesis supervisor for our project. The great thing is that it is a two-way process, we choose the supervisor and they choose us: both parties need to be happy to work together. I met with a couple of supervisors and found the one who clicked with my idea!

Writing my first PMA

After the module week, we were given our first famous PMA. We have 4 weeks to write it, but do not assume that it is plenty of time! Indeed, we have to juggle module weeks (when we usually are too tired to be writing anything), our project and these PMAs (also we sometimes do have a social life…!). So I set up to write this PMA, which took me much longer than expected (isn’t it always like this?), and after many hours of work (and procrastination), it is finally almost ready to be submitted!

Study skills workshops

Along with our module weeks, we get to attend workshops which help us in studying and researching. For instance, I attended one which helped me understand how PMAs were marked. I also got to

meet a PhD student for feedback about my PMA and she gave me valuable writing tips!

Weekend in Kent

Another weekend, another opportunity to discover the UK. This time we set off to Kent, in the South-East of England, where we saw the beautiful white cliffs of Dover. I highly recommend it!

Social activities at WMG

And finally, we got up to some pretty fun things too at WMG. I went to play badminton at a drop-in session organised by the faculty. I played against a state champion from India: let’s just say that she taught me more than I taught her. I also got to meet people from my course during a great networking event at the university.

And here it is for my month of October! I am super excited for the next stages of my degree. You can follow my journey on Instagram @alyssalola20 and I’ll answer any questions you may have :)

Pic 1 alissa pic 3 alissa

IAE - is it the right course for you?

Amanda Foo Min Lin, MSc Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Hello reader! If you’re reading this, and interested in studying Innovation and Entrepreneurship (IAE), you might have some questions on what you can expect to learn as an IAE student, and what it’s like being a student at WMG. In this post, I will be providing a glimpse into what the course entails and what it’s like being a part of the IAE family.

About the course

As an IAE student, each module lasts for a week and runs from Monday to Friday, 9am to 6.30pm. While the hours seem long, each day is filled with activities such as group discussions, case studies and presentations to keep you engaged throughout the day. Personally, I really like how realistic these activities are – in the span of three modules, I have experienced what it’s like to make a sales pitch (including negotiations), deliver bad news to my ‘employees’ and pitch a business idea to a large group of investors. These activities really embody the spirit of entrepreneurship – making mistakes and learning from experience, as opposed to being spoon-fed information.

To find out more about the modules you will be taking as an IAE student, please visit this link. As a prospective IAE student, do look through the list of modules and consider the following questions – Do these modules interest me? Do I want to learn more about these topics? Are these modules relevant to the knowledge I want to acquire? If you’re answer is ‘YES’ to all three questions – you are definitely on the right track to succeed in this course!

About the cohort

This year, the IAE family has over 100 students from many countries and backgrounds. With such a big family, you will get to work with many like-minded aspiring entrepreneurs who are passionate about making a difference. Furthermore, you will be supported by a large team of academic and non-academic staff to ensure that you will get a wholesome experience studying at WMG.

Whether you’re looking to transform your family business, set up your own business or expand your learning horizons, there’s no doubt that the IAE course will help you learn some of the basic ropes of being a businessman/woman and better orientate you for a career as an entrepreneur.

(Amanda is currently an IAE student at WMG. She loves her country Singapore and misses her favourite food, Hainanese chicken rice.)

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

Starting life at Warwick

Damilola Oyedele, MSc Healthcare Operational Management

I remember stepping out of an Uber (because I couldn’t find the bus stop!) on University of Warwick grounds for the first time on the 24th of September 2018. I was a little confused about where to head towards. I knew I was going to the Rootes building for my compulsory immigration check, but I couldn’t quite find it (I’m generally not great at finding new places). The map wasn’t being very helpful either and I could feel my eyes starting to redden and tear up from the cold wind.

I decided to ask someone and she gladly pointed the building out to me (it was right across where I had been standing for 5 minutes!). Immigration check was quick, so I decided to get a Campus Tour, which was part of the Welcome Week program because I clearly needed it. I found this quite helpful as it gave me a general idea where most buildings are located. It however takes going around by yourself to know everywhere. I also couldn’t help but wonder how my guide was wearing only a T-shirt in the “freezing weather’’, apparently 15C isn’t terribly cold for UK residents!

I found Welcome Week very useful as it gave me a chance to get a feel of the University grounds. The WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) Departmental programs were particularly great because it helped me get a clear vision of what the year ahead would involve and how to get ahead with ease. One of the most amazing things I noticed is how truly multicultural and diverse WMG and the University are. I don’t think I have ever seen so many people from very many different places in one place. It helped me feel better to know that I wasn’t the only one getting accustomed to a new environment.

In the coming weeks, I came to enjoy how truly amazing the University of Warwick and the WMG, are. I found that everyone was willing to help with any problems we might have. During the welcome Week it was made clear to us that we could contact them if we had any problems. We were also assigned personal tutors who emphasized that they are available to help if any problems arose.

I can hardly believe it’s been only a little over a month here at Warwick and I am happy to report that I now know where the closest bus stops to my accommodation are and that I don’t get lost as often. Also, my eyes no longer redden and this is 40 weather I’m speaking of. These are definite signs that I’m beginning to feel at home. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has in store for me.