Post mortem: Strategic Advantage

Executive Summary: hard part’s over!

OK, so there are a couple of assignments to do before end March, but the Strategic Advantage exam – two essays, two hours – was a pleasant finish to exam week. Not too rushed, took a five minute holiday in the middle, managed to shoehorn a Porter’s Five Forces diagram and the distinctive assets pyramid in there. Had 10 minutes spare at the end so I thought I’d add an Appendix with the Value Chain! And why not. (Appendices are cool.)

And now the first half of my MBA is over bar the resits, oops, I mean bar the shouting. Today is the last day the 80 of us will be together as a cohort, sharing a core of content: from this day forward, we go our separate ways, into diverse electives and project/dissertations.

In some sense, I’m already missing it.

Hands in pockets against the not-yet-Spring weather, I wander the emptying campus of what I’ve come to know as ‘my’ university.

University House, a beautiful chunk of geometric white angles and a soaring four-storey atrium that’s become one of my favourite places. Coffee in the cafe at the Arts Centre. The card entry gates of the library. The short walk down the curving road, assorted buildings of the university becoming denser like scattered foothills. The humid humanity of the Sports block. The gangrenous 1960s wasteland of Humanities. The soaring new engineering buildings. Somehow, it’s become home.

I continue drifting in the damp gloom. Back to where it all started: the collection of white cubes on Scarman Road.

Silently I walk down the now-hushed corridors of the business school. The coffee nook. The printer corner. The syndicate rooms. The student lounge. Remembering all the moments of the last six months: the frustrations, the late nights, the syrupy fog of breaktime doughnuts and the clacking vooosh of the coffeemaker. The conversations, the headaches, the scribbles on whiteboards. And the laughter. Amid the toil, there was a lot of laughter.

All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

Time to say goodbye.

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