After last week’s introductory sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday my studies at EDHEC are now truly under way. As I mentioned previously, I am undertaking the full Master of Science in Arts and NGO Management (also referred to as Arts’n’Go by students and course co-ordinators tired of the full title) and even though I read all of the course information available to me it is only now that my studies have begun that I understand how the course actually works.
Essentially, units are either a 15 or 30 hour unit and these hours are taught intensively over a day or two of classes. Some assessment such as orals necessitate another class on a particular unit later in the semester but otherwise you may not attend another class on a particular subject until the exam block at the end of semester. This sounds a little odd to me as I am used to studying the same subjects with the same timetable for a full thirteen week semester before final exams but for the French students, it is quite standard to study ten or eleven different subjects over a semester and then have three intense days of back-to-back exams. It will be interesting to see how we all go at the end of the semester.
There are only 26 students in the Arts’n’Go major so we have all of our classes together in the same little classroom every day. Because we’re such a small group it is also possible for us to go on field trips. We have had three field trips so far, which admittedly sounds excessive since we’ve only been studying for a week and a half, but these trips were not just sightseeing. So far we have been to a museum in Roubaix where we toured the museum and were able to ask the curators how they manage the collection, spent a day at an entrepreneurship conference in Lille to attend workshops and also met the deputy mayor of culture in Lille to hear firsthand how cultural festivals are organised on a grand scale. Speaking with professionals who clearly enjoy their work is a great motivator during those long classroom hours and is also very helpful as we will soon be commencing our Masters projects.
The Masters projects involve small teams of students working with established companies or organisations in order to meet some objective. They’re not just case studies either – they’re real projects with clients, deadlines and budgets. Some of the groups will be working with fundraising committees, others will be creating cultural programs and others will be co-ordinating events. It’s both very exciting and a little daunting. I cannot say too much about the project I have been assigned to for confidentiality reasons, but I can say that I feel very lucky my client is bilingual (some clients requested only French speaking students and unfortunately my language skills aren’t quite there yet) and in the local area so arranging meetings will hopefully be a little easier.
I apologise for another post that is just a block of text – I promise that there will be pictures in my next post.