Posts Tagged ‘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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Dear all,

in what seems to have become something of an annual ritual, this newsletter is coming to you from Johannesburg, South Africa, where last weekend we launched the programme to a new intake consisting of 80 people, and where this Thursday I’ll be meeting the class that began in 2007 to begin their Stage 3. I’m also pleased to announce that a new intake just started in New Zealand, so welcome to all.

This visit I’ve been lucky enough to spend some time speaking with some of the managers on the programme and it’s given some impression (though always dangerous to draw conclusions from so little data) of the effect of the worldwide recession here, too. The verdict? Aside from the usual (halt on house buying and selling, uncertainty around job retention and liquidity in the banking sector) the ability to emigrate has been reduced and though the idea is still a strong one, fewer seem to be leaving and some are actually returning. Crime, at least in some areas, has gone down and for the visitor there is a growing sense of expectation that the 2010 World Cup will make a difference to the way the country is viewed elsewhere. I’m really glad that the Henley name is promoted here. The calibre of candidate is diverse and consistently high, and Africa is a place which has so much to offer the rest of us, problems notwithstanding.


Those of you who are already on LinkedIn and members of the Henley Group will already know that this weekend we broke the 4,000 mark for group membership. It might also interest you to know that ours is now one of an elite number of “Supergroups” on Linkedin, and perhaps even more interested to hear that there is a group for managers of Supergroups, which shares ideas on how to use the site better and gangs up to lobby the people who run LinkedIn to improve the service. If you haven’t yet joined, or have not got a LinkedIn account, you can request to join. Please do make sure that your profile information about Henley is complete and accurate first, though.

Electives up-date

Last month I advertised the creation of bookable, guaranteed slots for DL MBA members on the elective workshops for the taught programmes. I managed to jump the gun by about a week, for which I am sorry and for which the admin team at Henley may possibly one day forgive me. But I’m happy to announce that this has been a huge success. We have now filled most of the slots, with two (Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management) full up. Thanks to Tracy Clyburn for all her hard work. We hope to repeat the opportunity later in the year (no details yet, though).

Also, a quick thank you to those who came to Hungary for the International Business Environment elective, which was a great success.

AMBA re-accreditation visit

Just so you know, one of Henley’s three MBA accrediting bodies, the Association of MBAs (AMBA) are conducting a periodic re-accreditation visit at Greenlands on April 28th and 29th. Though hard work (you pay a fee for the privilege of spending hours assembling everything you know about your degree) these events are actually very useful and the feedback we get should help us as we evaluate our new MBA curriculum and make appropriate revisions and innovations.

Home Straight news

Richard and Mike report that their numbers fell last month, due in part to people completing, which is great. But they also note that a very high number of people simply have not yet put in a proposal, and this is the critical first task in getting from dream of MBA to reality of graduation! It’s been a topic for Henley-Based programme members in the discussion on the Home Straight group on Linkedin. Don’t forget that the next Henley Home Straight event is on Sunday May 17th.

I know a lot of you are at the dissertation stage and are studying via an Associate Partner and are excluded from these Home Straight events and groups. Where it makes sense, we are looking at encouraging local versions to be set up for those of you behind schedule, and I may also set up another Linkedin group for mutual support, though this will not be tutor led. More info on those next month.

Events at Henley

Amanda Proddow has asked me to mention the following event: Emerging Markets and International Business – where next?

The Global Credit Crisis – Reforming Governance, Rebuilding Economies, Date: Tuesday 28 to Wednesday 29 April, Location: Royal Garden Hotel, Kensington, London

Henley Emerging Markets and International Business Forum is delighted to partner with the Global Emerging Markets Summit to invite members of the Henley community – students, faculty and alumni – to the 2009 Summit to be held in the same month as the G20 in London. GEMS is brought to you by an independent not-for-profit research institute, Asian Strategy & Leadership Institute (ASLI), and Perception Management International Group and supported by the London-based ASEAN UK Business Forum. The Founder & CEO Perception Management International is Ms Millicent Danker who is undertaking a DBA at Henley. One of the speakers will be Mr Arif Zaman, Co-Chair, Henley Emerging Markets and International Business Forum, a member of visiting faculty and Adviser, South Asia & Corporate Governance, Commonwealth Business Council. Henley delegates – who should cite ‘Henley’ in their booking – will be able to attend for only £160 for the full 2 days – a saving of £235 on the full price!

Family Day 2009

This year the Members Day at Henley will run on Sunday July 5th. Irina Woodford writes:

“As this event will run on a Sunday, we have decided to start the fun earlier, with gates open from 11.00 am. Boat trips and cream-teas will be booked on a first-come, first serve basis, with the first boat trip leaving Greenlands at 11.30 am. Please visit our website on http://www.henley.com/alumni/membersday2009 for a full Programme of Events and to download a booking form.

EIU MBA rankings – your chance to vote

You may know that EIU Economist produced the first ranking of DL MBA Programmes in 2008, and we were ranked 6th in the world and 2nd in the UK. The ranking is due for up-date in 2010 and they are collecting data now. I hope you will have some time to complete the survey. I am convinced that we can boost our place in the ranking, though the 10 schools on the 2008 list were not exactly comparing apples with apples. Certainly I think we should be ranked 1st in the UK!

Stephen Lee, Faculty Director, Strategy, writes: “It is now ranking survey time again by the Economist. I therefore invite you to take part and contribute your views to the survey. The Economist has asked us to forward the attached online questionnaire which needs to be completed by 22 May 2009 at the latest.

The rankings provide external testimony to the quality of our programmes and therefore the value of your MBA particularly against other MBAs in the market. I would really encourage you to spend just five minutes completing the survey to ensure you provide the responses that both accurately record your views of the programme and reflect how you expect your MBA to be viewed by the outside world – now and in the future. The questionnaire can be found at: [removed from blog]

I would be grateful for your assistance in helping us to achieve even better results than in 2008. Remember that responding to the survey is one of the only ways you have to influence the reputation that the Henley MBA has in the employment market. Please could you also confirm to Margareta Koter when you have completed and submitted the survey, so that she is able to check that we have received sufficient responses.”

A Bull elephant in Pilanesburg National Park. Not going anywhere.

A Bull elephant in Pilanesburg National Park. Not going anywhere.

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