This week makes me acutely aware of the workload we put on the students. Yesterday they gave their Equity Research presentations to our invited panel of practitioner experts, which is a very stressful experience – though I think students learn a great deal from it. The students had to prepare the reports on which the presentations were based during the “holiday” period, and with an exam last week to take into account. They have another exam tomorrow and normal course lectures started again yesterday.
Unsurprisingly there are a few blurry eyes around today. So I worry, are we pushing them too hard?
Overall, I think – hope – not. One of the reasons for recruiting only students with work experience is that have had to cope with the pressures of real business life. So all will at some stage have had to deal with these sorts of multiple overlapping goals.
And the timetable constraints make it impossible to have a nice segmented schedule where one course ends then another begins.
In a degree programme lasting only 10 months (excluding summer projects) it has to be intense – there is so much to cram in. I reckon our students cover twice as much material as on some more traditional postgrad courses, where there is more emphasis on students doing lots of extra reading.
But we are trying to cover all the material that is essential to a course in finance and to offer value for money. It was reassuring to me to get a very positive email from one MFin student this morning saying thanks for the Equity Research project and for the course in general. It’s reassuring that in the midst of all this stress the students feel it is a valuable experience.