UCL School of Management

Ivan Tan | 9 August 2023

Top 5 Tips I Wish I Knew Before Starting the MSc Management Programme

Embarking on an MSc Management programme is an exciting yet challenging endeavour. As someone who has experienced the journey firsthand, Unibuddy Ambassador and MSc Management student Ivan Tan shares the top five tips they wish they had known before starting the programme.

Tip 1: Brace Yourself for An Intensive Experience

One of the most significant differences between my undergraduate experience and studying the MSc Management programme is the level of intensity. While undergraduates may get away with only attending lectures and doing minimal independent study, this programme demands a more dedicated approach. Consolidating knowledge and staying on top of coursework will require setting aside more time than you may initally expect. I personally was not prepared for this and fell short of my desired grades in Term 1. As such, I hope that you can take this advice and enter the programme with this mindset, preparing yourself accordingly.

Tip 2: Read Ahead to Tackle Challenging Subjects

Certain subjects within the MSc Management programme, such as Financial Frameworks (Corporate Pathway), can be particularly demanding. Challenging topics will vary for each student, but to stay ahead, you should consider studying key topics in advance, especially if you come from a non-business background or do not have much knowledge of accounting. I recommend making yourself familiar with basic concepts like cost management and financial statements before the programme begins. This will give you a head start and make the learning process much smoother!

Tip 3: Prepare for Group Work Challenges

Group projects are an integral part of the MSc Management programme and provide an opportunity to learn from and collaborate with diverse perspectives. However, do be prepared for potential disagreements and disputes that may arise within your team. Different standards, conflicting ideas, and unexpected circumstances can create challenges that may compromise the quality of your group project. Leave ample time to allow for unforeseen circumstances, such as a group member falling ill or not fulfilling their commitments, as this will avoid last-minute cramming.

Tip 4: Master the Art of Time Management

As a continuation of the previous point, time management is key to succeeding in the MSc Management programme. Beyond group projects, you will need to carefully balance coursework, assignments, projects, and other commitments. Prioritise tasks, create schedules or utilise any method that would allow you to complete deadlines in an efficient manner. Avoid the temptation to cram! Instead, distribute your workload evenly to ensure a more balanced, manageable, and healthy study experience.

Tip 5: Seize Every Opportunity and use your Initiative

Finally, make the most of the additional workshops, lectures, and extracurricular activities that the MSc Management programme offers. While you may initially question the immediate and obvious benefits, attending these optional events can provide valuable insights and broaden your horizons. Recently, I participated in a Consulting Masterclass workshop organised by the school and it proved to be a fantastic opportunity to gain insights into the consulting industry. Embrace these opportunities and be proactive in seeking out additional learning experiences beyond the classroom.

Final Thoughts

By following these top five tips, you’ll be much better prepared than I was to both handle the workload and take advantage of all of the opportunities that this programme has to offer. I hope this helps and wishing you good luck on your MSc Management journey!

Learn more about the MSc Management programme.

Last updated Wednesday, 9 August 2023