A non-typical day in the life of an MBA

D-day has finally arrived! This morning we have our Financial Reporting exam, the first of many that will test what we have learned from this comprehensive and intense curriculum.

Living in North County Dublin, my commute normally has echoes of the film ‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’. I walk to the bus stop, get a bus into the city centre, walk to the train station, get a train to Blackrock and then cycle to the college. It’s a long and arduous trek but a small price to pay for attending a world-leading business school. Yes, the guys down the back of the bus give me funny looks when I use my laptop on the bus but I take every opportunity I can to tackle the workload. Today, however, I need to get in very early for some last minute study before the exam so I drive in by car instead.

I meet some friendly but panicked faces outside the exam hall, eagerly scanning pages of balance sheets and cash flow statements. Like the gathering of some strange accounting cult, some are pacing back and forth repeatedly muttering definitions for materiality, exceptional items and realisation. Two hours later we emerge, relieved that our first exam is finally over. We never would have thought that we could learn so much about Financial Reporting in just six weeks but it helps that it was taught in a way that made it quite interesting. But there’s no rest for the wicked, so following an exam post-mortem in the canteen, we’re straight back to working on group projects.

I eventually leave college after our Financial Markets Dynamics lecture and start my drive home. After a weekend of intense study, I’m exhausted. I get on to the M50 motorway and come to an immediate halt. It has been transformed into a car park. Turning on the radio I learn that Dublin has been badly flooded. An intense day in my MBA bubble has kept this news from me. In a single day Dublin has had more rain than the average for the entire month, a record and an event seemingly occurring only once every 30 years. Like many Dublin commuter routes, the motorway up ahead has been closed. The Irish Coast Guard drives past in the emergency lane towing a small boat on a trailer – this does not bode well. I wait two bladder full hours to get off at the next exit. At this stage it’s been a long day. With all routes home cut off the only option is to seek refuge in the nearest hotel and call it a night.

Dave Byrne, FT MBA 2011/2012