Archive for May, 2009

Dear all,
Some months it’s really easy to come up with something to say at the beginning of these newsletters. For some reason, though, this month is proving tricky and I’ve been reflecting on why this might be so. That I’m able to do so on what is a glorious day of warm sunshine here, with those attending workshops taking every opportunity to work or relax outdoors on Henley’s immaculate lawns, only makes the writer’s block more mysterious. On days such as these, when the world seems so placid, it would be easy to forget that at one time or another it’s a pretty good bet that each of you will face significant barriers to attaining the goal of completion of the MBA and this week I’ve been dealing with several of these.
This newsletter goes out to over 3,000 of you and I suppose it’s a fairly safe bet that at any one time a good percentage of you will experience one or more of the ‘darker’ sides of undertaking the MBA. Within the programme the key pressure points tend to be right at the beginning, just after the first exam and then in the long, lonely walk to the finishing line at the dissertation or management challenge phase. In addition come externally generated difficulties, some of which are part and parcel of growing up in adulthood, others which are forced by economic cycle. These can and do throw you off balance. Though small in number overall, each one is of vital importance to the person concerned and each story presents an opportunity for us to learn about how you learn (of course, this is a topic very much on my own mind at the moment).
Business Schools have been on the receiving end of some bad press during this recession. Some of it may well be deserved. I don’t believe that Henley is the kind of school which can fairly be viewed as part of the problem, but I do believe that there may be a fantastic opportunity now to contribute something to the massive change in mindset in business that the economic disruption could allow. Systems aren’t just made of bricks, they’re mostly made of people and even in (especially in) the hard times it is really important that we know who we are – and that requires us to reflect deeply even when (especially when) things go awry.
Many of you will already know that HenleyConnect has an embedded device, called SameTime, for contacting other members of your intake synchronously. SameTime can operate as an instant messenger, and it can also be used for audio/video calls, as well as for full-blown online meetings and ‘webinars’. We are keen to explore and promote this tool and as part of that process, I am planning series of monthly Programme Director “office hours” using SameTime meeting. These will be held on the first Friday of each month for four months (initially) from June 5th at 15.00 UK time. Anyone is free to join during that hour, whether it’s just to take a look at the e-meeting environment, raise a question with me or simply say hello. If you have a webcam and microphone, then you will also be able to interact using those. 
Home Straight news
With around 60 participants, Richard and Mike hosted an extremely well attended Home Straight meeting at Greenlands the day after graduation. They were able to whet everyone’s appetite for finishing by playing interviews with successful graduates from the day before. Carola Hillenbrand then ran a very well received session on quantitative methods in research.
Research Corner
No-one has contacted me this month with details of a research project needing advertising, but don’t hesitate to let me know if you would like other programme members to participate in your research. Also, watch out for news of a questionaire that I will be launching as part of my PhD very soon…
Dissertation Clinic
The next clinic, which is a chance for a one-to-one with a member of faculty if you are still working on your first proposal, or a reminder of the dissertation process if you have not got that far, is on June 18th. Sue Thomas is organising bookings for this.

Your Registration clock



Programme Examiners Meeting – Statistics

Here is one of an occasional one of my for ways into the attainment reports from April’s Programme Examiners Meeting, the body that meets quarterly and reviews all assignments and examinations and which puts forward names for graduation

Sorry – this item removed for blogging purposes…

Events Coming Up 

Ashley Arnold, who heads up the recruitment for graduate programmes here, has forwarded me this link, with information about a brand new event on the evening of July 2nd, to promote Henley among your contacts. The evening forms part of the Henley Regatta Week.

Amanda Proddow has sent me another link for an alumni Garden Party in London on June 16th, organised by the London and South East alumni group. She writes “this is a great opportunity to network with alumni at the highest levels and at a most prestigious venue! Speakers from previous events have been invited and will include Julian Tregoning, Bank of New York Mellon and Tom Flanagan, Pinsent Masons.   Being an external event, the charge for current students is £20.00.”

Finally, don’t forget Henley alumni Family Day is coming up on July 5th!


Who’s Who

First, I need to let you know that my title has been changed from ‘Director of Studies’ to ‘Programme Director’, in line with the terminology used elsewhere in the University. Then, I’m pleased to announce that from mid July Kathy Jarvis will joining my team in the role of MBA Programme Manager. After quite a while being the only one at the helm, so to speak, I am pretty relieved about this! Kathy moves over from her job as manager for admissions and will bring energy and experience to a very demanding job spec. There’ll be more about Kathy in the July newsletter.


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My god! My book has made it onto Google Books! Yes, you can now preview almost the entire thing here

Whether it interests anyone enough to go and buy it is another matter, of course.

Tomorrow is the first of 2009’s two graduation ceremonies at Henley. A pity it’s been raining on and off – I hope the weather doesn’t spoil it for those attending.

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