Time for a breather …

So we have arrived at the mid-term ‘break’ following our first eight weeks of the MBA programme. I use the term break loosely as it really isn’t so much a break and is more like some breathing space, extra wiggle room or a chance to come up for air. I feel like the boxer who is sitting in his corner after 8 gruelling rounds. As he takes his breather the boxer must ensure that he takes on much needed water, massages his aching muscles and absorbs the tactical wisdom being offered by his trainer. Just like the boxer I will need to use the opportunity to take the wise inputs from the supporting people around me. In particular those that I haven’t seen in a while.

When I set out on the MBA I knew I was going to be busy so managing the expectations of friends and family was important. ‘I’m going to be pretty busy for the next while but I’ll catch up with you at mid-term’ I would say to many people who were asking if I was about for a pint, to watch a match or attend other social events. It was a genuine promise made at the time that I now have to attempt to keep. I also promised my body that it could regain some of the lost hours of sleep it has had to endure over the last eight weeks. The fact of the matter is that there just isn’t enough of a break to squeeze eight weeks of socialising and lost sleep into. So I will need to be resourceful and get the best bang for my buck in the time that permits. I have become quite adept at squeezing more out of less time in the last eight weeks and if nothing else my ability to effectively manage my time has improved. It’s a key skill that I will require in the next week if I am to keep those promises to family and friends.

The mid-term break has come at a good time and provides us all with an opportunity to take stock on what has taken place so far and plan for what is yet to come. The volume of material that has come at us has been intense. Like trying to take a drink from a fire hydrant is how one of my classmates described it. The issue with this is not that there is so much material coming at you but more that the thirst for learning is not satisfied by only absorbing some of it. For me the break also provides an opportunity to catch up on some of the supplementary material that I missed out on during the first eight weeks. Again, I know that it will be almost impossible to catch up on all of the material in one week but I do plan to satisfy some of that thirst for learning by revising the material.

So as the bell rings and we prepare to come out of our corners for rounds nine, ten, eleven and twelve, it is important to consider that whilst the first eight rounds have been gruelling, they have also allowed us to grow and develop character. The next four rounds of the MBA promise to be as demanding as the previous rounds but it also promises to offer just as much opportunity to develop and grow. So it is with optimism that I look forward to the remainder of term but let me enjoy my breather first!

David Cashman

EMBA Midweek year 1