MSc International Business ambassador, Alina Klonari, shares her experience of taking part in Warwick Business School’s unique ‘Business in Practice’ module online. The two-week module includes a business simulation, with teams of MSc students competing against each other.
What made you decide to take part in the Business in Practice module?
Alongside finding an MSc course that would provide me with a diverse range of modules, I was also looking for an MSc course that would give the opportunity to gain some practical experience. After researching what Business in Practice offered to students at WBS I was positive that I wanted to take this route.
What were you expected to do as part of Business in Practice?
At first, I only had a really vague idea of what to expect from Business in Practice, however the Masters Programme Team were there to guide us by providing lots of useful information before the intensive two-week course started.
During the two week course, six days were allocated for the simulation process. I was part of a team of eight people and we each had our own specific role. The roles consisted of; Marketing Director, HR Director, Innovations Director, Finance Director, and Operations Director. Some roles were taken by two people and each role was crucial in order to proceed with the simulation process which depicted a car manufacturing company. We had six years to create a strategy which would result in a successful outcome. Each day during the simulation process represented a year which we had to complete in four hours per day. It was very intense but exceptionally fun and interesting.
Tell us about your team.
We formed a diverse team which included students from India, Japan, China, Korea, and myself, from Greece. Each one of us had different personalities that added up to the teams’ spirit, and, because we had to meet and introduce ourselves virtually, we also decided to create a WhatsApp group chat in order to communicate easily with one another and to build closer relationships.
Tell us about your role in the team.
As the Marketing Director of the team, I was responsible for the marketing strategy. Besides the marketing responsibilities, I was also responsible for observing our market share performance. I had to look at our market share in three different markets, the demand in all markets, the preferences of various customers, the changing tariffs, and the revenue and profits of each car in our portfolio. I also had to ensure I was communicating any necessary information to my teammates, meaning that I had to be fast and alert all the time. This experience really helped me to build my analytical skills and my attention to detail.
Tell us about day one of Business in Practice.
I thought the first day of Business in Practice would be a very long day, but time passed by so quickly. The Business in Practice leaders were so excited and motivated and went through the timetable in detail, they prepared us on the specifics of the simulation, and they gave us some insights on strategic decision-making to enable us to start building our strategy.
Tell us about the final day of Business in Practice.
The final day was a slightly emotional day for me as I really enjoyed working with the programme leaders and my teammates. Even though our last day was experienced virtually we were all able to share our experiences, and the MSc Programme Team had made a video including all 56 team members that participated in Business in Practice which was really enjoyable to watch. The main purpose of the final day was also to announce the winners of several awards and ultimately the best team overall.
What was your favourite session during Business in Practice?
My favourite session was the Sales Pitch session. This is where I learned how to attract clients, how to set professional backgrounds (when you have a video meeting), how to respond to questions, what your body language shows, and the importance of being professional and fully understanding your client’s needs. I found this session very interesting and insightful.
What skills do you think you’ve gained during Business in Practice?
Throughout my experience of Business in Practice, I have improved my communication skills as well as improving my attention to detail. By participating in Business in Practice virtually I have learned how to interact and share information virtually whilst working in a fast-paced environment which will be hugely beneficial in my future career.
How did you feel about Business in Practice going online?
When it was first announced that Business in Practice would be online I felt disappointed because I enjoy face-to-face interaction. Nevertheless, it was important that I learned how to adapt to an online working environment and to my surprise it worked really well. I was able to work within the comfort of my own home and I also liked the idea of being the first group of MSc students to engage with a new online initiative.
What support did you receive throughout Business in Practice?
The Business in Practice online lounge where we could ask questions and share any concerns which was really useful. We also had access to an online Business in Practice forum where we could post questions during or after the simulation which provided me with a great level of reassurance.
Would you recommend Business in Practice to future students?
All in all, I would definitely recommend Business in Practice to future students and I honestly believe it is a really strong benefit of my course.
Describe your experience of Business in Practice in three words.
Valuable, exciting and perceptive.
My experience of Business in Practice has helped me discover my passion and excitement for marketing which I would love to pursue as a future career.