b-school, Henley, MBA, Thoughts

Countdown to my first year exam (it all comes back to this)

Yes, I admit it: I am nervous. Been there before, but I still feel the anxiety to sit an exam. Maybe I shouldn’t. I am supposed to be wiser, older (that’s for sure), more mature and self assured than before. But still I insist into getting myself into the verge of anxiousness again, clouded by emotions, cluttered by several contradicting feelings.

Because the whole spectrum of learning comes down to this, the whole personal development rhetoric melts and, what is left, is hard bone again, the same measurable and accountable bottom-line: exams.

Sadly, the whole learning experience converges and funnels to an exam. It all revolves around being tested, thoroughly or not, with a closed set of rules that deprecate initiative and enforce strict followership of rules.

After all that disquisition around soft and hard people management models, after all that rambling around the balanced scorecard, after acknowledging uncertainty and complexity, all the roads end here again, in a cold, specific and simple figure, the mark.

I wouldn’t want to practice the cynic or sceptic here. It’s simply that I am nervous. There must be a better way to assess people than the one I have experienced this year. I simply don’t feel it’s fair. A friend of mine just advised me not too read too much about the case: it could be counterproductive. Excuse me? Counterproductive trying to learn more? Since when? Yet I fear he’s right.

If I had to change one thing about the MBA it would be its assessments. I can’t agree with certain doctor at Henley that decided to judge me by her obscure set of rules instead of listening to me and being fair. But not being British has this things, and you learn to live with a cultural gap. Where would be the international experience if everything was just like at home?

Yet another day less in this countdown to Wednesday…


7 thoughts on “Countdown to my first year exam (it all comes back to this)

  1. Matt Baker says:

    Doing the FT course myself and had enough of revision. We’ve torn the case studies apart, rebuilt them, I even think we could tell you about the ancestry of the person who wrote them!

    Haven’t done an exam in 21 years so it will be exciting. However this time is not like then; we’re not being tested on our knowledge but on our experience and learning in applying it in a consultancy style approach.

    I think if everyone reads the questions, has some time management, and answers what is asked they’ll be alright.

    Good luck!

    P.S. It’s pouring with rain in Henley today – good omen I hope.

  2. Hi Matt, thanks for writing. Sharing tribulations is one of the best ways to minimise their psychological impact.

    I’m sure that rain is a good omen. We had this severe draught in Barcelona that almost became a crisis and we’ve just had the most rainy May in the last 25 years, tripling the water reserves. I have no doubt that rain is good, and the trees in the garden seem to have noticed it too 🙂

    Good luck to you too. Let’s hope that we can celebrate it in summer.

  3. Great to hear that other person feel the same i do. I’m in the same situation. Feels like Roman times, the profesors are the lions and you the gladiator in the arena. Hope to see no flesh! Remember you know the case more than the judges. Good luke

  4. Wow… I cannot remember the last time I took an exam (well.. in fact I took one last year, but it was a language course), but I still remember how anxious one may be while waiting for filling a few paper pages.

    BTW, Good luck, even though you’ll get a good grade 😉

  5. Hi Gabriel

    Yet another excellent post from you. I’m going through a similar thought process at the moment and am definately anxious and a bit restless. Plenty of thoughts on this subject in my mind so don’t know where to begin. I wish there was a substitute of an assignment which I will gladly accept but need to face the reality I guess.

    Take Care


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