Monday, 12 May 2014

Exam Season - O'Brien gets an early exit this year !

Exam FRENZY on campus...remember that feeling ?

MBA Director at Royal Holloway University of London

Social Media updated

I was rather swamped at the back end of last term, so my usual make it happen real time news journalism had to take a bit of a back burner. I try to publish something 3 to 5 times a month, usually related to student activities - subscribe via the top right hand white envelope if you want to get push notifications. I have challenged the full time MBA group to compete for Social Media Queen and King using the blog metrics tracker, has made for some interesting insights around co-creation and community amplification. Royal Holloway graduate and one of my Royal Entrepreneurs mentees Kat Bern made a big step in her interior design media personality career, getting a really positively energetic piece published in the Huffington Post. Read it - it's truly inspiring. 
Justin O'Brien, MBA Director, Spouts Forth !

At a very good departmental social media seminar lead by Dr Jane Tinkler (LSE) I was feeling quite good about my two posts on and nearly 30,000 hits on this MBADirector blog until I was well and truly trumped by my CSR guru colleague Prof. Laura Spence with her shared piece of glory in the Are we really moving towards a utopian vision where MNC's (or BigCos) are expected to solve all our social issues in addition to generating wealth, paying taxes, offering exciting career development and trading in an ethically principled manner ? I guess relying on politicians is not a sensible strategy any more.....check out the debates around Scottish devolution and Ukrainian land grabs. Suspect someone has already penned 'death of the nation state' ? 

Brand change

I have been busy re-drafting the content for the full time MBA programme, hoping this will go live with new pictures next week sometime. You may/may not have noticed the gentle nudge towards building a stronger ROYAL HOLLOWAY brand identity, our web address and emails are now primarily (using my examples:) and although of course the rhul and @rhul 
options will continue to work. Cue certainly for an unapologetic self-promotionary splash 'coming soon near you !" 

Exam season 

We are right in the middle of the annual exam season. Many of you will remember this vividly - I came out of my undergraduate exams, aged 21, nearly two decades of education behind me & I vowed that I'd NEVER, EVER have to do an exam again.... and what a strange feeling that was. 

Some of you are still in the middle of the horrible little blighters...fingers crossed they are going well... 

For me finishing exams felt a bit like Man City winning the premier league on Sunday (my wife is a BIG Citeh fan !), relieved at not dropping the ball rather than excitement or spontaneous euphoria ? 

Related news - I've just finished my exam first marking - wow ! No marking in my hotel room in Stockholm with the MBA international study visit this year !! I was quietly pleased at how few scripts (I can't says students as we have just numbers on the papers and it really does take the human orientation out of it all) made the awful mistake of failing to address the set question. I always feel bad giving low marks for these, as if you really don't know enough about a topic, then it is clear and a low mark is more than justified. But when you see a well structured answer that has tangentially interpreted the question, it feels awful to assign a mark to it. 

BTW - of course I DID sit more exams (two masters and the CIM all required them) and now I quite enjoy the challenge of setting exams - it is quite a weird feeling. 

How were your exams ? Did you love them or loathe them ?