In The Economist of 19th November 1955 Cyril Northcote Parkinson published for the first time the famous law which bears his name. From the everyday observation that work expands to fill the time allocated, he was able to prove that x = (2k^m+p)/n. Where k is the number of staff seeking promotion through the appointment of subordinates; p represents the difference between the ages of appointment and retirement; m is the number of man-hours devoted to answering minutes within the department; and n is the number of effective units being administered. Then x will be the number of new staff required each year.
In the case of application to the Smurfit MBA program, we can take x to be 38 (the number of new students every year); k to also be 38 (the number who would like to have a subordinate) and p to be one (the amount of years we spend in the program). A little simple arithmetic, and the use of a handy online logarithmic calculator, and we arrive at m = 0.8. That means that between the 38 of us, we have just 48 minutes to spend on answering minutes all year. To put it another way, we don’t have a whole lot of time to waste.
In the maelstrom of the past five and a half weeks I’ve tried to waste as little time as possible. I’d love to start up a conversation where we can exchange useful tips for efficiency and keeping our work/life balances optimal. There’s probably no magic trick that’s going to make completing the MBA easy (although if there is I’d like to hear it) but I’m sure some creative thinking and teamwork will make it bearable. I’m going to write up my bright ideas for next week. All suggestions gratefully received in the comments – maybe we could develop an MBA survival guide? I’d particularly like to hear from EMBA students. I’m sure you guys have had to be even more inventive than us full timers.
Full-time class 2015