Apologies for the lame title, but in case no one got it, I am going to be writing about my recently completed Intensive Subject. So, what is an Intensive subject? These are usually held during semester, but can also be completed over summer semester or winter semester. The three (four – if you include the Melbourne Business Practicum) intensive subjects I have completed this year have been held over 5 to 6 days from 9am to 5pm (some do finish earlier!). As painful as these classes are sometimes, once they’re done you have one less subject to worry about for the remainder of the semester. For all the students who have spare electives in their course, why not try an intensive subject??
The three intensives I’ve completed are Managing Organisational Change, Conflict & Negotiation, and Cross-Cultural Management & Teamwork. I completed the last subject just yesterday, so I have a somewhat clear recollection as to how that was. Cross-Cultural Management was a really great subject as I got to meet a diverse range of people. This subject is actually a compulsory subject for International Business students, so it was a really great opportunity for me to meet people outside the Human Resources and Management streams. Additionally, there are others who are studying a variety of courses ranging from the Master of Information Systems to the Executive Master of Arts.
The subject was held over two weekends, on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. By the Friday afternoon, I usually wanted to go home and dreaded the rest of the weekend – but in hindsight this was a really good chance for me to actually practice concentrating from 9 til 5 for three days straight. (OK, when I say concentrate, I mean I was conscious in class). As students, we aren’t quite prepared for the realities of working life as some of us are so used to attending 3 hour lectures and then going home to nap. (This may just be me, but I’d like to think that I’m not the only one). This class was definitely enjoyable at times as we completed many different practical tasks. By doing so, we all refined our communication skills, presentation skills, and most importantly – cross-cultural skills!
Another advantage to having an intensive class over the weekend is that you are somewhat encouraged to spend the lunch break with people from your class, which helps you to get to know them a bit better than if you took a subject with them for three hours a week for the 12 weeks in the semester. There were some fascinating people within this class who came from countries such as Mongolia, Hungary, and Tanzania. Within usual subjects, you wouldn’t typically get the chance to meet so many different people. We also held a Cross-Cultural Lunch on the last day, where everyone brought something from their own culture.
After classes on the last day, a group of us went to a pub within the city to spend more quality time together. Because somehow the 6 whole days we spent together wasn’t quite enough. This ritual is quite common after a lot of intensive classes. My winter subject – Conflict & Negotiation – concluded with the two lecturers buying us a round of beers at one of the bars on campus!
So the best aspects of an intensive subject, from my point of view, is:
- You get to do more practical activities, rather than just listening to a boring 3 hour lecture
- You get to know people in your class a bit better
- You get to try a lot of different food!
Anyway, I guess my message for today is (again) – try new things and meet new people here at MBS. You never know how things are until you try it, and it may be the best subject you’ll ever do! (If you repress the memories of the slow painful afternoon sessions of the class).
Until next time!