It's always a pleasure to write these newsletters. This month's has added spice as I am writing on location in Johannesburg, South Africa. I'm here to fly the flag at a World MBA Tour event, sit in on part of a Stage 2 starter workshop, work one-on-one with programme members who are now at dissertation stage and then kick things off next week for the Stage One Starter with the next intake, which is looking like it's going to be a big baby, weighing in at over 80 new people.
It's sometimes tempting - when secure at Henley - to entertain the illusion that the world revolves around the College, occasionally paying a visit. While many of you will at some point spend some time come and enjoy the studious peace and quiet of Henley-on-Thames, the truth is actually you live your lives, manage your careers and do much of your reflecting and learning elsewhere.
So connecting to the outside world is a vital part of generating the energy back in the UK. Over the last 12 to 18 months we have been trying to incorporate more and more ways to link you with each other and with us. The Internet is no substitute for the subtlety and nuance of personal contact, yet it does open the (virtual) door to touch others with our thinking and inspiration in our use of language via the written word. I am amazed by the diversity of people on the MBA and, in equal measure, encouraged by the conformity of impact that your programme has. As we further develop our ability to provide a dynamic electronic learning environment, I hope that we can find a way to share your stories and facilitate your networking even more.
Home Straight Community news
Mike and Richard are busy preparing the next Home Straight Community event, which will be on Sunday May 18th. They will be distributing the agenda to all those who are eligible to attend.
I know that it is quite common at this late stage of your MBA that you are looking around for a change in career. One great way of exploring this is to undertake a dissertation conducting research in a new industry or around a new organisation. If anyone out there has a topic, project or suitable theme for another member to do in their MBA, then let me know and I will advertise it here. For example...
Opportunity to carry out research for your dissertation with Henley’s KM Forum
I have received the following from Christine Van Winkelen.
"Members of the Henley Knowledge Management Forum are large multi-national organisations and UK public sector bodies: there are currently 45 member organisations. Each year working groups of members undertake a number of collaborative research projects. Members choose the topics and shape the direction of the research, which broadly relates to aspects of knowledge management.
If you are looking for a dissertation topic and need access to research data, then you may be interested in working with the KM Forum on one of this year’s projects. You will need to be able to work to the timescale required by the Forum (working very actively between April and November 2008) and attend 5 half-day meetings with the working group at Henley. You should also have an interest in knowledge management and intend to complete your dissertation on this timescale. Contact the Forum Director to find out more, including how to apply. The deadline for applications to be received is the 14th April."
Another one, received a tad too late to make it into February's e-newsletter, was this from Claire Williams:
"I know an ex-colleague who is in the process of starting up his own business of an internet booking service. He needs some help with researching the market and analysing price strategies, etc. I thought it would be a good dissertation project. I'm sponsored by the Bank and so am in discussions about their requirements for my dissertation, but do you know of anyone who might be interested? Thanks. Claire"
If you'd like to be put in touch with Claire, let me know.
Next Course Reps Council
For those of you who are part of Henley-based intakes, just a reminder that the next meeting of Course Representatives will be at the College on Friday May 9th. If you would like to raise any issues for inclusion on the agenda, you need to do that with your course rep before April 18th. The course reps will be looking for feedback from you about things which affect the wider group; if you have an issue personal to yourself, then please contact your Personal Tutor or course administrator in the first instance. There will also be a full briefing of the status of the merger with Reading given at this meeting.
Members Day and Alumni Ball
This one is applicable to everyone studying with Henley. A reminder from Susan Parr that we are now taking bookings for Members Day on July 5th. Members day is a family-oriented 'open house' at the College and a fantastic opportunity to see Greenlands if you are normally based outside the UK, and a chance to relax rather than study on the grounds with classmates and friends if you are a regular visitor.
The College is also organising an Alumni Ball, on Saturday October 11th. A black-tie event, it is promising to be a high-powered affair and the College hopes to be able to raise money for the Henley Alumni Scholarship Fund. Contact Irina Woodford for further details and booking information.
This month I am attempting to email this out to all DL MBA members (around four thousand of you!), so it's possible you are receiving this for the first time. Hope you don't mind.
All the best