The Student Life as an Uninformed Business – a bad metaphor

No feedback, no luck

Maddie and her fellow Marketing Department students have just finished their second university year. How did it go? Well…we don’t know yet, and we won’t know until all the formalities of making our grades official are completed. It surely seems odd to us that following a year of studying we have nothing to show if we have done well or not. To be completely honest, we do have grades for one unit which finished in March, but how about the other units that started in the beginning of the year and for which we have submitted many assignments before the final exams?

While walking terrified towards my final exam for the Marketing Management unit I was trying to remember what I’ve studied during my second year. One of the topics of discussion was Marketing Research and the importance this has in businesses making informed decisions. As it happens in the case of most students when trying to revise, my mind suddenly started wondering off the Marketing Management, and I’ve had and “epiphany”. I realised that towards the end of our second year we are as uninformed as a business manager who decided against marketing research and went with all the ideas the company has for new products. Let me go back and try to explain what I mean.

When deciding on what new products a company should pursue, a company conducts marketing research to find which products are more commercially viable and try to ensure the company’s success by choosing the product/s which is/are conferred to have this characteristic. In the case of Marketing (Advertising and Marketing Communications, PR and Marketing) students, at the beginning of the year we were informed we would have 4 units during the course of the year, each accounting for 30 credits. Making a simple calculation, at the end of the year we would have 120 credits, out of which only 90 will count for the degree calculation. To put it in business terms, we have 4 new products, out of which we must ensure that 3 are of very high standards and that they are profitable (we get our proposed degree qualification at the end of the third year). Throughout the year, we are meant to research and come to a conclusion as to which products will have the most “commercial viability”, based on the data collected (grades and feedback) from our marketing research company (tutors and lecturers). Before the final exams come into the picture, students should have enough data available to be able to decide which of the “products” is not feasible (which unit has no chance to improve the final grade), so that more effort can be put into the other 3 products. Unfortunately, despite paying the marketing research company, the data required (feedback or grades for the submitted assignments) for the student to make the informed decision has not been presented with sufficient time to allow us to make the informed decision, except for one of the “products” which has already had the final results presented.

We therefore have two options, each of them with risks associated due to the lack of information available:

  1. We don’t make a choice and try to concentrate as best as possible for all “products”, all the while hoping the results will not be mediocre for all of them;
  2. We chose two “products” to focus on, and hope that we made the right choice.

When the “End of Year accounts” are submitted (i.e. the final grades are posted), we might find out that we have either been successful or failed, but you must agree that no business should run in “blind”, and that most businesses who do so fail, sooner or later. So why risk students’ future by not providing them with the required information to make informed decisions? I understand that each tutor might have a “quota” of grades to achieve, and perhaps a reputation to maintain, but I feel like misinforming students should not be the way to do it.

The Advertising and Marketing Communications course at University of Bedfordshire has been the best decision I’ve made, but I can’t help imagining how much better it would be should students receive their feedback and grades according to the university guidelines.

What’s your opinion?

Love,

Maddie.

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Rant of the week – with a twist :)

I’ve not told many people yet, but I’m a Student blogger intern at my University. The reason for that is I wanted to ramp up a few posts and then do something with it. I thought it was just a silly thing the uni want me to do for free and without any consequences, until I wrote the post below. It is no longer available on my student blog due to one phone call that woke me up this morning. I was told that it’s too negative and that I will get an e-mail with topics and guidelines of what I can and cannot do on my student blog. So I will just rant on my own little blog, which has more than 3 readers :))

Sometimes I wish that I was writing this blog under complete anonymity and that no one actually could see both my picture and my name at the top of the page. But then again, I’ve never been one to run from responsibility.

DisclaimerI want to confirm that it is not me writing this blog, but my tired and confused mind, and I reserve the right to take back some of my words at a later time. (soon 🙂 )

OK so … I wish that tutors were more interested and excited about the courses they are teaching. I mean seriously, even I am more excited about counting invoices than they are about MARKETING! What’s not exciting about Marketing? Well, maybe research, but regardless! You have a bunch of very interested, eager to learn students, and all you do is … well, just drain the life and excitement out of them.

I was just writing my personal reflection for my first graded assignment, and I had an epiphany…If Marketing communications requires planning and research, shouldn’t teaching also require some planning and structure? I know someone did some research at some point, but it seems that structure is something that’s missing here (well other than excitement).

So…what’s the deal here? We are paying £9000.00 per year…are we expected to make the tutors excited about their course, or is it the other way around? I’m not saying I want my mind to be blown and to have lectures and seminars that would make me praise the tutors every single time…I’m just saying that a bit of involvement wouldn’t hurt.

So tutors, please be a little bit more involved and at least pretend to be interested in the subject you’re teaching. 🙂

Thank you for listening to my rant…hopefully I will have a more positive approach to life next time we meet!

I don’t think it was inappropriate, I was just speaking my mind. And if that’s not something the student experience is about, than what is?

Well, anyway, I’m sure I’ll have a more positive approach to life in the next few hours, so I’ll write a new, more bubbly post on the other blog, which I hope no one reads!

Until next time, have a delicious day!

Love,

Maddie.

Stop crying your heart out!

I really don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I haven’t been in my best moods (yes, I have more than one good mood)…However, about a week ago I woke up with a song in my head, and I had no idea who sang it. I just knew that some of the lyrics were “Sally can wait” and while singing it in my head another song took over and the lyrics said something about “stop crying your heart out”. Of course I still had no clue what the names of these songs were, or who in the world sang them. I did the stupid thing of singing the Sally one to my boyfriend, and he started singing “Scotty doesn’t know”. Sooo…the songs in my head were gone, while Scotty had taken over. I’ve been trying since then to remember the lyrics so I can “google” them, but I just couldn’t. All I had was Sally and none of the songs that contained Sally on Google matched. That is until this morning, when again Sally took over my mind and told me to stop crying my heart out.

The difference between now and then is that now I had a computer and an internet connection handy, and I could google the lyrics and find the songs. And thank God I finally could. I don’t know what it is with some of the songs that were written, but they just have a way of speaking right to your soul and somehow heal it. Now I know that even though the stars have faded away it’s not worth to cry my heart out, cause I’ll see them again someday 🙂 This dark cloud over my soul is slowly dispersing, and the stars will shine above me soon enough.

So, I just want to thank you Oasis for making songs that make me feel better 🙂 And where you are concerned, listen to this song and STOP CRYING YOUR HEART OUT!

P.S. : The Sally song is still by the Oasis and it’s called “Don’t Look Back in Anger”

Have a delicious day!

Love,
Maddie

UoB – The Vice-Chancellor’s Awards 2013

vice-chancellor-awards

Friday evening was very special. It was the evening when many people have been recognised for their work, me included. I must admit that I felt very special attending this event. It is just something you don’t do every day, especially as a student.

Everyone was dressed up, the location was gorgeous, and the people there…well let’s just say you don’t get to hang out with them very often. The atmosphere was very posh with our raspberry filled champagne glasses and important conversations happening all around the patio of the Putteridge Burry campus.

We were then lead to the marquee where the dinner was held and the awards presented. The dinner was lovely, with the dessert being the highlight for me and we soon moved to speeches and awards. It is really nice to see that the University staff and students are all working together to improve the student experience. And this is what this event was all about – recognising the merits of people who have gone the extra mile for the students. Lecturers, staff, societies, support teams and students have all received a round of applause for their efforts during this academic year. And even though I have not won an award, it felt really good to be nominated for the Student of the Year award. Having your efforts recognised is a very powerful motivator and I feel that I have enough motivation to move mountains the following year. It makes me want to work that much harder and to do much more for my fellow students.

The organisation of the event was splendid, and the live band was awesome. I hope that I will be able to attend next year’s event and perhaps win an award that time around. I’ll make sure they’ll have a reason to give it to me 🙂

I’ll let you know how it goes. But until then, I wish you a delicious day!

Love,

Maddie.

Legaturi primejdioase – Choderlos de Laclos

Cand am vazut prima oara Cruel intentions (cel cu Reese Witherspoon si Ryan Philippe) am crezut ca l-am prins pe Dumnezeu de-un picior. Recunosc acum ca m-am inselat. Filmul este interesant…foarte chiar. Insa carte de care a fost inspirat acest film este intr-adevar extraordinara.

Cand am inceput-o, credeam ca stiu la ce sa ma astept(din cauza filmului). I had no clue whatsoever! Stilul foarte realistic care a fost abordat prin listarea exclusivista a corespondentei personajelor principale, desi un pic greoi initial, te ia frumos pe un “norisor” si te duce direct in perioada in care se intampla toata actiunea.

Stii ce cred eu despre aeasta carte? Ca ar trebui introdusa intr-o lista de carti necesare oricarei tinere femei. Te invata un dublu standard foarte necesar in zilele noastre. Te invata ce inseamna virtutea si unde duce desfranarea si rautatea. Exista totusi o sansa ca uneori aceasta carte sa fie prost interpretata si sa inveti din ea exact ce nu trebuie, insa asta tine foarte mult de caracterul persoanei care o citeste.

Controversele situatiilor abordate de Choderlos sunt general valabile in timp, poate ca la un alt nivel acum, pentru ca femeile au devenit mai…proaste. Odata cu emanciparea femeii si egalitatea in drepturi, consider ca am pierdut stiinta “manipularii” barbatilor. Azi suntem prea evidente, si e foarte greu sa mai ai controlul pe care il aveau ele. In special ca ele aparent nu aveau nimic.

Incercand sa scriu asta am realizat cat e de greu imi e. A fost o experienta foarte personala, pe care am trait-o cu sufletul, si pe care mi-e foarte greu sa o exprim in cuvinte.

Pentru cei ce n-au citit cartea asta, v-o recomand cu cel mai mare drag. Doresc tuturor experienta citirii ei. As mai vrea sa scriu despre ea, insa simt ca se pierde senzatia din inima mea pe masura ce pun mai multe cuvinte in eter.

Astfel, va las cu foarte putine cuvinte si cu speranta ca veti citi aceasta carte. Si poate ma veti onora cu o parere personala la un moment dat.

Ma inclin.