Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Memories of the MBA MRP (Major Research Paper) Poster Presentation on 4 December 2012 + Lessons Learnt about working on the MRP

Lessons learnt from working on the MBA MRP (Major Research Paper):
  • Choose a topic that interests you - coz you will be stuck with the topic for a few weeks or months
  • Start early - it is very common for people to go into snooze mode and forget about it.
  • Work on it regularly
  • Save your work often on the computer. If you lose unsaved work, you will feel miserable!
  • Save a back up copy on cloud storage - like or Google Drive - so that you can access your work from any location - from home or school or when out of town, and you do not have to take your laptop with you
  • In fact, save a latest copy of your work on cloud storage every single day (I used to have a back up every few hours)
  • Leave a buffer zone for completion
  • Stay in regular touch with your supervisor
  • Respect / Expect the time-delay from the side of the supervisor - coz he / she will probably be busy with a lot of his / her work
  • Option 1: Choosing a topic that you are good at will help you complete it quickly
  • Option 2: However, choosing a topic that you are not good at will make you learn something new
  • Prepare the poster way in advance
  • Print the poster a day at least in advance - do not print on the last day
  • Proof read your poster multiple times - take a print out and check, not just on the computer screen
  • No two MRPs are the same. No two MRP experiences are the same - I know of some people who have worked on their MRPs for months, and I know of some people who have worked on it for a week and completed it
  • Some supervisors are very strict, and some are not so strict
  • 2 important decisions before you start: your topic and your supervisor - choose wisely
  • Burnout factor: MRP happens at a time you are about to complete your MBA. While some people still retain the energy and enthusiasm, it is common for people to face a burnout. It is common for you to feel detatched from the school after having been away from school for 1 to 3 months while doing your MBA internship.
  • 2 types of MRP: Primary research and Secondary research.
  • Primary research can be good because you have original findings that you can present as your own. You do what is necessary: interviews / surveys / focus groups / market research - and you then take the data and analyze it.
  • Secondary research can be good because you can stay at home or library and get all the work done. But then, you have to come up with original analyses and conclusions.
  • Plagiarism is a SERIOUS offence. Never use stuff without citing it. Don't even think of rehashing someone else's work. You will be kicked out of the University for that.
  • The poster size required (at the school where I study) is 4 feet height and 3 feet width.
  • The funny thing about the MRP experience is that (like anything else in life), you will be better at it at the end of it all, rather than at the beginning. So it helps to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others before you, by talking to people who have completed MRPs before you.
  • Work alone or in a group? Working alone helps you learn well, while working in a group may help you complete your assignment faster. However, you have to good enought to complete all work on your own eventually - that is the very purpose of an MRP.
  • Here are some TIPS for making your POSTER:
  • The easiest way to prepare a poster is to use the headings of paragraphs from your table of contents and using the headings on the poster
  • Then, summarize the findings from each section
  • Have plenty of tables and numbers. People like numbers.
  • Have graphs if / when significant. People like graphs and charts.
  • Have big size fonts for the titles so that there is good visibility
  • The fonts of the body should not be too small (not smaller than size 24)
  • Some people go for multicoloured posters, while some keep it simple. I know of some people who had black and white posters as well. The choice is yours, but have something elegant and easy on the eyes. Take a second opinion from a friend about the poster, if you must.
  • Make sure to include some of the following details in your poster: Your name, student number, name of the university, date of presentation, name of your supervisor and reader, - apart from the title of the research and logo (if any)
  • It is a good thing to acknowledge your supervisor and reader on the poster (even if within a small space in the corner) and thank them for their kindness and guidance
  • Will post more tips as and when I think of them.
  • Do you know of any tips yourself? Please leave a comment below...
Gerry Som.

With Healthcare Management Professor and Assistant Dean

With MBA Program Director

With Management Consulting Professor

With Global Marketing Professor


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