The hybrid learning experience
Since 2020, there has been a shift in the way we all live, working and learning from home more than ever before, with a gradual return to in person activities. Bayes Business School have adapted the way we deliver our master's programmes to a hybrid approach that suits students around the world. Here, MSc Management student Deepsheka shares her experience of her master's so far and what it is like to study in a hybrid way.
From engineer to master's student
Five energy drinks and two coffees down. I was staring at the thousand lines of code not knowing what was wrong. The jury panel that came to review my team at 11pm the previous night had changed the evaluation criteria and we had very little time to restructure it. Six hours of strenuous effort and recognizing the source of the paralysis of our model, I immediately started debugging it by trying out about six different constructs that might work. And that’s how I helped my team get to the finals of Smart India Hackathon 2018. So, if I was that good at being an engineer, what am I doing here?
A little about me
Hi, I’m Deepsheka! Born in a south-Indian family which is driven by honesty and diligence, I am achievement-oriented with loads of determination and confidence. I always knew what I wanted to do and it is definitely not just being an engineer doing a desk-job and coding thousands of lines of program.
I dreamt about being the one to make decisions and lead those engineers towards my decisions. To make this dream come true, I knew I had to pursue a management degree. Though India is a great destination for management studies, I always felt that India should be more open to international exposure. So, here I am, studying my MSc in Management at Bayes and living my dream life amidst beautiful monuments, in the dreamy city of London!
Deciding to study my master’s during the pandemic
The global COVID-19 pandemic was making life harder for everyone and so my journey towards postgraduate study hit a pause sign in 2020.
Even as things started getting back to normality, the possibility that I might be doing my master's online, was definitely something I was concerned about. What about the classroom feel? What about meeting my international colleagues? Will my chances of employment be affected? So many questions!
But I knew nobody had answers for them, so I decided to take the risk and flew to London on the 5th of September 2021. Little did I know, I made the first big step towards a fruitful future!
My hybrid learning experience
The induction week wasn’t entirely online and they announced that most of my lectures will also be delivered in a hybrid way (part online and part face to face). I didn't know what to expect from hybrid learning but I quickly realised that I had no need to be nervous. I was welcomed and made comfortable right from the instant I set foot inside the building. Everyone at Bayes, from the receptionist to the course director, is super friendly and they treat you like their own.
After a packed 2-week induction, lectures began and my first lecture was a hybrid lesson with the course director Dr Daniel Beunza Ibanez. He sent us a case study 3 days before the lecture and mentioned that we will be discussing this in class. We were given name tags and asked to place them on the desk in front of us. The whole lecture was just about the case study – discussing all the aspects of it and possible directions of solution to the problem at hand. It might sound intimidating but trust me, the lecture was so fun! You find yourself thinking from different perspectives, wanting to voice out your opinions making the class engaging.
This class was taught to myself and other students face to face and then also some who joined online. It must have been a new and challenging experience for the online students, given that they were commenting their opinions on the comment box in Zoom. However, Bayes has great trained classroom pilots who ensure that the online students are engaged as well by monitoring the comment box for any opinions or questions. This system helps the module leaders to include the students who are unable to attend classes in person and facilitates seamless teaching.
My marketing lectures were taught completely online and to my delight these lectures were as fun as the others! These were delivered by Dr. Laetitia Mimoun who identified that discussing case studies wasn’t enough to make the lectures interesting – she incorporated online polls and drove the discussion based on the poll results. It was so exciting to see our lecturers finding new and innovative ways to keep their modules engaging and exciting even while practicing hybrid teaching.!
Term 2 started this month and so far it has been really good. We have one core module and an elective which are completely taught online. The Entrepreneurship elective this term, also has polls and online fun questionnaires and I think, this makes the class more compelling and engaging, even for the online students as this can feel like they are actively involved in the classroom activities.
Advice for future students
My main advice for students considering a master’s during this time is that you are likely to be positively surprised. Whilst you will need to build your own personal motivation to sit online for lectures, hybrid learning is a great way to experience both aspects of the course and enjoy the benefits of a global international student community. You will extend your network worldwide and gain new friends living on the other side of the globe (thanks to the core groups for course works), learning a lot from them in the process. Studying online, in my opinion, will prepare you for the future that the virus has introduced to us as most companies are practicing working from home.
I came to London with a clear goal in my mind putting my trust in Bayes to prepare me for the future that I have planned for myself and Bayes definitely is doing its part. The Bayes Virtual Careers fair brought me closer to my future employer and today, I am writing this, with a job offer from Deloitte in my hand and I cannot be more proud and grateful!
I would be lying if I said, it was a piece of cake, the pandemic has definitely made our lives harder but life doesn’t wait for anything. So my advice to the class of 2023 is don’t be scared to make the jump. Online or face to face doesn’t matter, as long as you can keep up with the curriculum.
Trust yourself and trust Bayes, you will not be disappointed!