This is the area in my website, which I have created for the Masters course in Business Administration started, in October 2010. I have seen the course as a great challenge. I expect to gain a broader overview throughout this process and advance my career opportunities. It is a University of Sheffield MBA, attended at CITY College, the International Faculty of the University..
I still believe that education has no age limits. On the contrary, it is the best ally of human nature. I have managed to complete succesfully my previous degree in MSc in Technology, Innovation & Entrepreneurship with a First Class Honors, awarded last February 2010. Small achievements, are enough to provide you with adequate courage and attitude to keep on walking.
It should be a big opportunity for me to acquire a more holistic view of business and learn to approach issues in a prismatic way.
I have tried to prepare all my papers following a three-pronged strategy: (a) to comply with the course assignments' academic obligations, (b) to give them an international perspective for future use, and (c) to comply with different academic conferences guidelines in order to submit them in relevant global conferences.
This page serves as an academic diary of my achievements and research experiences in this specific course. Therefore, there are included my thoughts and findings during my studies. All papers have been submitted and approved through TURNITIN plagarism and copywright academic tool.
Researchers and students, are encouraged to use them as references or as material for further study.
Module delivered on October 2010: UNDERSTANDING ORGANIZATIONAL BEHAVIOUR. The paper was submitted on 26th of November 2010. It was evaluated with 80 out of 100. I have chosen to study on Workplace Communication. To be more precise this was a study on how to administer the informal communication network in a company using Communities of Practice as the backbone framework. Informal links are always useful and add value in the brand equity of the company depending on how to exploit them. The paper is entitled: Workplace Communication: A case study on informal communication network within an organization.
After five months, since the assignment was evaluated with a very good score i have decided to send it in an International Conference. I have focused on the significance of using informal communication as a knowledge tool. It was accepted to be presented in June 2011 in Slovenia. The Conference was the MAKELEARN 2011. The paper submitted is entitled: Turning the informal communication network of an organization into a knowledge tool through Communities of Practice.
The paper was included in the Conference Proceedings and the most important for me was that after one year it is included in the EconPapers database: on-line Economics working papers.
Module delivered on November 2010: BUSINESS ECONOMICS. I prepared a report on micro-macro effects of crisis, both in global and regional level, including the impact in the company that i work and the industry it belongs. Also i discussed the future potentials for my company. I created a certain backbone upon which i have based my study. I tried to cover as many as possible micro and macro factors. I was based in the decoding of what we were taught in the class during the three days sessions. I have uploaded the material, further to my mindmapping decoding here in mind map diagrams. That helped me for sure. (it is a rar zipped version). The paper was submitted on 18 January 2011 and it was evaluated by the Module Leader of the course with 77 out of 100. It is entitled: Evaluating the macro and micro economic effects of the current economic crisis and analysing the implications for the short and medium term planning in private tertiary education in Greece.
Module delivered on January 2011: DEVELOPING MARKET PRESENCE. The third module was a real fun, full of positive vibrations as the subject was more than extraverted. I have enjoyed mostly the in-class cases as well as the lectures. The paper is related to marketing mix. Interesting and challenging, especially since I dont have so strong background in marketing issues. I always kept a distance from that sector although I have been involved several times both for professional and academic reasons. I followed the same practice by applying the mind-mapping technique in the three-days lectures. Presentations were clear and understandable so this helped me to decode easier the meanings and elevate the key points. The mind maps produced can be found here. I submitted the paper on 22 February 2011. It was evaluated by the Module Leader of the course with 80 out of 100. The title of the paper is: Critically evaluating the marketing mix of an academic programme. The case of Master of Science in Business Management and Technology, at CITY College International Faculty of the University of Sheffield.
Module delivered on February 2011: FINANCIAL REPORTING & MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING. The subject of the assignment, as requested was very interesting but I was obliged to find a company that would have plenty of financial information, meaning annual reports, financial statements as well as any other useful supportive info. I finally chose NBG (the National Bank of Greece). Of course, at this point helped me very much my past involvement with the stock exchange market. Through personal experiences and trading, i was involved with evaluation of companies economic wealth and have studied on different ways to catch the info and foresee the moves. Nevertheless, I had to research on my choice first and then finalise my action plan. I studied on the NBG Annual Report of 2009 and I prepared a small one-page plan, where you can see the structure of the report easily. After a thorough research on literature and related material, I finalised my decision in NBG Group. The book of Michael Jones, which was the main textbook of the module, helped me very much. During my study on the book I had made some book-mappings which proved to be crucial for the progress of my study and i am giving them here: first part, second part, third part and ratio analysis. On the 1st of April 2011, I submitted the assignment which was evaluated by the Module Leader of the course with 72 out of 100. The title of the paper is: Analysing the financial performance and risk position of National Bank of Greece (NBG) Group. A critical appraisal on the Group’s financial statements from the shareholders’ perspective. Suggestions for the improvement of the financial information.
Module delivered on March 2011: LOGISTICS & SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT. A wide approach on business logistics and supply chain management issues. A really interesting 3-day session, focusing in almost the total processes of a company having to do with transportation, warehousing, procurement, inventory and customer service. I have already made a first small investigation on the SMARTKPIs web site which I found helpful and well-organised. There is plenty of KPIs examples and it provides detailed presentation for each one, accompanied with its popularity and comments. My intention was from the beginning to devote my assignment in Education Management and develop a number of KPIs on administrative processes. A first literature review approach showed that there is no significant research on this area in terms of real metrics. Beyond the financial measures, the non-financial measures are hard to implement and to find their distinct contribution in the educational process. That was the real challenge for me. Thus, I worked on this. On 4th of May 2011, i submitted my paper in the module. KPIs in education found to be interesting and challenging subject to work for. I focused in customer service and procurement and it was a great opportunity to recommend a number of new KPIs in terms of the process of daily lectures. The most important thing was this assignment gave me the opportunity to approach usual operations from another perspective focusing in the incorporation of qualitative elements during the scheduling of classes. The assignment receive the score of 80 out of 100. The paper is entitled: Improving the supply chain performance of the onsite daily lectures in an academic institution.
Module delivered on April 2011: STRATEGY FORMULATION & BUSINESS DECISION. A three-days session full of strategic thinking and approaches on strategy as a fundamental function of business. I found the delivery and performance of lectures of high level and quality. The interaction in the class and the group works were among others exciting and many ideas came up from all classmates. The diversity of cultures and industries where people come from are opportunities for cultivating innovative thinking. The module started with a case, JetBlue Airways, actually two weeks before the 3-days session. We, as students should have read the case and submit a pre-assignment report, identifying the key strategic issues that the specific company faced. The deadline was up to one week before the module starts. You may find this small report here. It is true that a mindmap helped me to clarify some of the case's aspects. The main assignment is a group project actually. We formed groups of 4-students and we have to brainstorm and introduce a new product or service through a Business Plan. The plan will be presented from the whole team sometime in September, in front of a team of experts. Challenging but tough. Meanwhile we are supposed to present our concept in the module leader within the next 2 weeks, meaning right after Easter days. There is an overlap in terms of the obligations we already have taken with the assignment of Logistics which is still under process. Time management efforts should be articulated in order to cope with the high demands of the programme.
Since i have submitted my assignment in Logistics i am fully operational for the Strategy now.We have already formed our group (4 students), and have made a first meeting to specify the idea. We have submitted our concept statement. Now the project starts. I am involving with the mind-mapping of Business Plan as well as the lectures' notes that took place through the 3-days sessions. A decoding is necessary as a first step. If we catch up the meanings then we will be able to define the pathway to our business plan. I intend to make the skeleton of the assignment with as many details as possible. What to do, when, and how.
14 May 2011: I have concluded with the review of lectures' notes. I have retrieved a number of useful information from the modules of (a) Entrepreneurship and (b) New Product Development that i had done in my previous Master degree (the TIE). Also i have gathered some extra data from my past papers. I have made a mind map of the business plan trying to include all possible points that we should cover. Actually it was a big one, so i had to print it in A0 size which is more like a poster than a simple paper. Anyway, at least this can serve as a compass for the group work. In addition i have prepared two additional mind maps about strategic thinking and the 5 tasks of strategic management. I try to organise my thoughts and concerns in order to align my work with the expected outcomes.
21 May 2011: After two weeks, among others i have managed to complete the full Business Plan skeleton as originally have stated. I think it is a good job. If you want to read it, you have to print it in poster size (preferably A0 size). Although it seems complicated, it is an effort to entrap the useful info in one-page, starting from the right to the left. At least this can be used as a compass to proceed with the hard group work. The sources that helped me were (a) Mr Kehaghias' lecture notes (and the other lecturers taught in the module), (b) the useful notes from two other masters modules i have attended in my previous master degree (Entrepreneurship by Prof Ketikidis and New Product Development by Dr Nikolaidis) as well as (c) additional literature gathered from my first approach for the assignment's requirements. Moreover, i have made two extra mind maps, the one to map my thoughts on the Strategic Management process and the other to map the five tasks of Strategic Management. These two small maps can guide us throughout the whole experience.
In addition a significant number of literature have already been collected and i am in the phase of reviewing it. Although i found the idea of wholesaling simple, i start to believe that if we do it well then we can create value and diffuse it in the region. Its not only the vision. On the contrary, it is the vision precision and how we will administer the river of information that we will engage with.
Anyway, the study experience continues.
The business plan experience directed me to the decision of creating a page especially for this. The material is too much to keep it here. Therefore if you press here you will be directed to the page of Strategy Formulation and Business Decision where the experience continues.
Modules delivered on June 2011: The STUDY WEEK at the University of SHEFFIELD, was a fantastic experience. This took place between 13-19 June 2011. During the week we had the opportunity to attend an explanatory seminar on the Information Management Module (the on-line module), at the Mappin Hall. Also we had a day to work on Negotiation Skills, a real challenge and practice on modern techniques. Finally the module of Operations and Process Management (Developing Business Processes and Operations) took place the last three days. For me, the most exciting experience was the one-day lectures and visits at (a) the Sloan Medical Center of Sheffield, (b) the Health Sciences Department of the University and (c) the Orthopaedic Clinic of the Sheffield's Hospital. That mix was a great exprerience, especially now that I have chosen the HealthCare Management track as a specialisation for my MBA.
At late August (31st of August 2011), i have submitted my study in Information Management, which had to do with University administration. I took 2 weeks extension. That was my first extension request, and it was due to my increased job obligations. It is true that i have seen this module as an opportunity to research on some experiences and ideas i had concerning the importance of a valuable information system in a University. The paper is entitled Migrating from Management Information System (MIS) to Executive Information System (EIS). The information systems change for creating strategic value in an academic institute. The Module Director, Dr Kawalek, marked this with 63 (Class 2.i). I was disappointed. I thought that this paper deserved more. Nevertheless, I accepted the reality and thought that perception and reality are two different things. Sometimes they coincide but other times stand opposed.
The module of Developing Business Processes and Operations, was another opportunity to work on a University administration subject. To be more specific the paper was entitled: The case of an academic institute: the classes’ daily timetable schedule and its operations' performance through the use of operations tools. It was very interesting to confirm how important is for the value-added-service experience of an Institute, the successful design and implementation of a flexible timetable schedule. For this paper i got an extension as well. The extension was 4 weeks. The Module Director Dr P. Kastanas marked this with 65 (Class 2.i).
Module delivered on October 2011: CURRENT ISSUES IN MANAGEMENT. The first module of the second year. Very interesting and challenging since the assignment was requested to be a literature review in an area chosen from the subjects taught during the three days. Although i did not expect that, i truly have enjoyed the process of literature review, subject definition and the journey of writing my assignment. Actually my aim was triple. First to present a very good assignment, worth reading and open minded. Second to continue approaching issues about education, analyse and build on the education governance and create the conditions for my future research aspects. Third, to produce a conference-leveled report and send it to participate in a conference. In this manner i continue my last year's effort to send my papers in international conferences and get feedback from high level reseachers.
The paper was submitted on 07 December 2011. The subject remains in two keywords: resilience and repositioning. This assignment gave me the opportunity to recall and apply again the literature taxonomy methodology. I had applied that technique in the dissertation of my previous master and this was proved really helpful. Although there are specialised applications for taxonomy, i preferred to use excel and process the data. My taxonomy templates can be found here: first - second - third.
This module had an obligation of submitting a pre-assignment. The pre-assignment, deals with an interesting issue and is still subject to further research. May be at a later time. This is more related to the Information Management sector.
The paper on resilience inspired me to work a little more on it, and prepare a small presentation trying to integrate some meanings found through my literature review. The notion of resilience is high-promising and possibly the next challenge for the global society. I had given this presentation also to my supervisor from my previous Dissertation (the MSc that i have) as this would helped him in his research.
The paper was marked by Dr Szamosi, the Module Director of the course and Academic Director of the programme with 74 in total (Class I). The feedback was really helpful for me. Among others i have lost points due to the exceeded size of the study. The limit was 3000 words while the study took me approx. 5000 words. The paper was for 80+. Nevertheless, i am trying to balance with one of my initial targets; to present papers that might have an international standing and follow international conferences' guidelines. I assume that this is not so easy but it is a good challenge for my future career advancement.
The subject overall took me almost two months to cover and I am still involving with resilience. The paper in resilience is entitled: Repositioning through resilience in times of crisis: the case of entrepreneurial academic institutes.
Surpirisingly right after getting my paper's evaluation from the Department, i received an e-mail from the University of Loughborough at UK. Sometime during Christmas break, I had sent a draft of this to participate in a conference of my interest. Finally, the paper has been accepted to present in the 2nd International Conference on Geographies of Education, to take place on 10-11 September 2012 at Loughborough, UK. The paper is participating in the second sector of: Education, Cities and States and specifically in the theme of: Regional Economies and Governance.
I felt satisfaction for my choice and my work on this subject. This is a challenge for me and i have already started processing the issue of my participation in this international conference.
On the 1st of March 2012, I was notified by the ICEIRD 2012 team that this paper has also been accepted to present in the 5th International Conference for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development.
Module delivered on November 2011: LEADING & MANAGING PEOPLE. Another awesome current issue of management. The whole session was an excellent experience learning about chaos, complexity and leadership. Of course the module included more subjects placed under the framework of Human Resource, but actually this was beyond the ordinary information and knowledge. The assignment for once more challenging and difficult in terms of specifying the case and match it with the literature. I will take it. After all, it would be intriguing for me to discover new paths and trigger my mind in deep. I already have some thoughts but I need to analyse it more and find an attractive subject to present and enjoy.
The assignment had a deadline of 20th January 2012 but i have decided to ask for 2 weeks extension. Although, i had the paper ready by the 20th, i prefered to keep it 2 more weeks on my availabiliy to revert with changes and second thoughts. This tactic has been proved very useful in my experience. When you have a ready paper to proof read, there are always second thoughts and chances for corrective actions. Reviews and findings mature on your mind and enables you to critically analyse your study from different perspectives.
On the 3rd of February 2012, i submitted my paper entitled: The Monograph of Greece: Exploring Complex Adaptive Leadership in a European country.
The module leader evaluated the paper with the score of 77 (Class I).
This paper has been accepted to present on the BAM2012 Conference.
Module delivered on January 2012: CORPORATE FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT. Extremely important and useful module. The study requested was regarding the valuation of an investment. Interesting and quite difficult in terms of doing both the quantitative analysis and the literature review. On 26th of March 2012, i submitted my paperentitled: Capital Budgeting and Investment Decisions: The case of valuating a new investment in a company.
The paper was scored 77 (Class I).
Module delivered on February 2012: RESEARCH METHODS - DISSERTATION PROPOSAL. This was an interesting module in terms of getting to know how to make a scientific research. The assignment is considered part of the dissertation as this is the dissertation proposal (research proposal). Since i have declared the HealthCare Management for track specialisation, it is expected to perform a similar subject thesis. I dont know yet though. I am still thinking, searching and trying to finalise my research framework. The truth is that, as currently my country experiences one of the major recessions in its post-war period, I prefer to study this case. Moreover, I am still following the evolvement and probably this is a good opportunity for me to study Greece in a more scientific and research-orientated way.
My primary aim is to apply the periscopic approach, acquired throughout my MBA experience, in the country's case.
Currently i am reading the UK's Research Excellence Framework which i anticipate to give me some ideas for my research. Also i am digging on my past papers and other material that could be useful for defining my research.
My work on Research Methods is presented in the special page for healthcare. Since the subject had to be related in healthcare, i have separated my last 3 papers from the rest core modules of MBA.
The work received 67 (Class 2.i).
Executive MBA Program Director's List: I was surprised when i was informed that i am the best student in my Cohort 18, according to the "Executive MBA Program Director's List" for Academic Year 2010-11. I achieved an average of 72,75 (Class I). I shared this honor with one classmate from Romania who achieved the same score. I had the feeling that i will be included in the honor's list but i did not expect to be in the first place. This was a great motive for me. The responsibility is heavier now to continue with success and better results. Anyway, i do not intend to overpass my other obligations. I will keep in the same line and try to learn and enjoy from the MBA experience.
I kept to be the best student at Cohort 18, also for the academic year 2011-12, in all cities, with average 73,64 (Class I) and for the year 2012-13, in all cities, with average 71,50 (Class I).
Both modules were extremely interesting and the lecturers' performance was excellent and much contributing to the overall learning experience. I felt satisfied with my choice of following the HealthCare track although not originated from this sector. Regarding the assignments, I am trying to find a way of developing a trilogy having in consideration that there is the research proposal except the two track modules. It is difficult but not impossible. On the contrary, i see this as a big challenge for deciding where to focus especially now that Greece is under a sudden and big reform in terms of health care governance.
I decided to dedicate a separate web page for the Health Care specialisation and register there my experiences, so the journey continues there. The Healthcare page includes also my thesis, which took me approximately 10 months to complete. In this page you may see all my work through tracks and dissertation.
On 24th of May 2013, the Examination Board of the Center for Executive Education decided to award my Masters degree with Distinction (First Class). Moreover, i have been announced as the Best Student in my Cohort during the studies.