2017 was a very interesting year as I started a new Masters in Financial Management at the Edinburgh Business School in Scotland. I decided that I wanted to do this course after often feeling that I was not really able to ask the type of questions that I wanted to with my clients.
So I looked around for a course that I could fit in with a busy business and family life and even though I really like being part of a class environment and find it very supportive; I knew that I would not be able to commit to a fixed schedule of meetings. Thus it would have to be distant learning.
Previously, I had completed an MA in Education with the Open University (UK) and although I was very pleased with their wonderful online service I felt that the Finance course they were offering was not the right one for me.
What did I really want?
I am very fortunate that I have many clients in many different areas of business in Frankfurt am Main and they have to deal with situations every day in English that very often involve complex financial topics. In this situation, working with my clients, I felt I really wanted to be able to ask them challenging questions above the standard ones I was able to ask.
So the course I wanted had to cover as much material as possible and be in depth to really give me the knowledge to understand the discussions I was passively involved with.
After looking at the many modules on offer that I would need to do, understand and pass I felt sure that this was the one for me.
How do you learn this much material?
After I had signed up all eager and itching to get started I started to think about how should I learn this material?
I am someone who is always interested in how people learn, and now reflecting on how I would best learn the 500 pages of material comprising the first module, called simply Finance, was an interesting challenge. In the course of the six months that I spent working on the module, I tried about four different methods.
1. Writing summaries of what I read on cards
2. Making very extensive notes in Word
3. Taking part in an online classroom setting, which gave us a great overview of the course
4. Working on numerous case studies provided by the EBS
In the end, I spent at least two months on the first two and never used the cards! The second two were by far the best way for me and in the end, this enabled me to produce a 20 page Word Document that covered all the main points that I would need.
When I went into that exam room my brain was on fire, which is the only way I can describe it. I was so hyped up. I had spent the last two months totally focused on this moment.
The biggest mistake I made that day was thinking I could meet up with a class afterward and have a normal lesson with them. I was still so energized by the morning that it was not a normal lesson in any way!
Two months later I saw the results email in my inbox and opened it with such excitement; I got the result I wanted and more. It had all paid off.
Now I had to think about the next module and how I should proceed with learning the 900 pages of the Accounting module. I had enjoyed being so involved with the first module, but I couldn’t expend so much time and energy on every module. There were still eight more to go.
I would have to be more efficient with my time and energy.
Thank you for reading this first post. In the next post, I think it might be interesting to talk about what I learned from the first module and to talk about how the module is going as I approach the next exam in March 2018