I write this blog staring down the barrel of 6 exams in 10 days and a welcome week break at the end of it. It occurs to me that this is probably the most relaxed I have ever been (hence the possibility of writing this blog) with a test series starting in a day or so. This is unfortunately not in any way related to my academic preparation for these exams. I attribute this feeling to the nature of the MBA program.
The Smurfit MBA program is not an academic exercise. Exams are approached as a formality and opportunity to express knowledge and learning as opposed to any test that needs to be passed. The courses themselves are structured with exams usually contributing a fraction of overall assessment, and most weight being given to practical projects and reflections, assisting and illustrating course learning.
I think this practicality of the course is what contributes to my confidence. I feel under no compulsion to recite any doctrines or theories but am encouraged to express my opinions on the material we have covered through the modules. Rote learning is seen to be of little benefit and the practical nature of the program has emphasized the development of insights and views which are given a chance to be scribed in an exam setting.
The material presented in class is rarely portrayed as being the final answer on any matter, and the case studies and class discussions have forced us all to form opinions on the module content. Module coordinators have further instilled a confidence that there are few right or wrong answers, with the construction, substantiation and articulation of points of view being of most importance.
To this end, I feel my exam preparation has already been done through the term, with this pre-exam window providing a time to review the massive amounts of material covered and collect my thoughts on pertinent issues. That having been mentioned, I realize I still have a fair bit of ‘collecting my thoughts’ to do, and so I will end the blog here for fear of writing this again next year.
– Neil Krige, FT MBA 2012/13 (hopefully!)