Following on from my written piece on my ‘intended’ preparation work, this article covers the main tasks of note that MUST be completed by a Sloan Fellow prior to starting on the course..
At this point it is probably a good idea to point out that as I was a British Citizen already living in the U.K when I enrolled onto the Sloan programme, I have not had to go down the U.K visa application process, and therefore I can’t advise on this area. However, if you do need some advice then I will be more than happy to put you in contact with one of the many fellow Sloan candidates that did go through this process. Contact me via email or LinkedIn and I will be happy to help.
So of the main tasks given by LBS that are needed to be performed other than obtaining a U.K visa, we can break these down into two main groups: 360 degree feedback and traits questionnaire, and pre-course study material.
360 Feedback and traits questionaire
You will receive access to these around November time..
The ‘5 Step Traits’ questionnaire is simply a quick quiz asking how you sit on various items. Your answers to these questions will create a personality profile that you will use to identify any personality areas that you would like to develop while on the Sloan programme, so it is advisable to answer these as honest as possible. Other than having to honestly assess yourself, there is nothing to be concerned of here.
The 360 degree feedback process is a little more involved. You may have already completed a 360 feedback as part of your organisational performance assessment. I hadn’t, and so this was a new experience for me. The crux here is that you are relying on your fellow colleagues and other stakeholders (clients etc.) to fill out a feedback form for you. To add an element of complexity, the feedback is anonymous and so you wont know who has and who hasn’t completed the feedback. You will need a minimum of seven responses in order for the feedback to be valid, and up-to twenty. I would suggest pick as many people as possible, and try and pick people who are more likely to complete the feedback, thus to minimise the risk of you not having enough respondents.
Pre course learning materials
You will received these around Mid-December, meaning that you will have around three weeks to complete them…
Plagiarism, this course is fairly straight forward, and very useful, it covers how you need to reference researched materials in all of your assignments to ensure that you don’t get disqualified for using other peoples’ work. I fully expect to go back and use this course as reference material (no pun intended) throughout my study year to ensure I stick by the rules. This course doesn’t take long (approx 2 hours) and is very straight forward.
Accounting, OK so this is also an area where I can’t really give much feedback, this is by far the most time consuming course to complete, but I didn’t actually complete it! This course takes approx 12 to 15 hours to complete, and there is a minimum pass mark that you must achieve. I didn’t take this course, because there is also an option of an accountancy competency test, if you pass this brief test (approx 30 minutes), then you are done, happy days.
Before moving on, it is worth me saying that I haven’t had much exposure to accounting in my professional life, and I attribute my pass grade to the fact that I had spent the last financial year compiling the accounts for my business, but also from the knowledge gained from the accounting module in the London School of Economics MBA essentials course. So my advice here would be to jump on an online accounting course ahead of time (I’m sure that there are many out there that are free – try Coursera.org if you are stuck). This will likely mean you also pass the aptitude test, and won’t need to take this damned pre-course over Christmas when you are probably spending quality time with your loved ones before you fly to London for a year.
If you already have an accountancy background, well all the better.
Data analysis, this course is not mandatory, but it was quite brief and light so if you have a spare hour or two you may as well go through it. This course is fairly straight forward, and goes through the principles of data collection and statistics, covering the terms used (mean, median. mode, standard deviation etc.) and what they mean (again, no pun intended).
So in summary, nothing to be too worried about here, your main concern will be ensuring you get enough respondents for your 360 degree feedback, and that you pass the Accountancy aptitude test.