THE CHALLENGES OF WRITING A STRAMA PAPER
I have been on leave from work for almost a month now, not to enjoy a much-desired vacation but to complete my Strategic Management paper. For Ateneo-Regis MBA students, the Strategic Management paper (or STRAMA) is the capstone course requisite for graduation. It’s the “make it or break it” subject, as I call it. Everything you have learned in your subjects for the whole course will now be put to test and encapsulized in a company of your choice.
The journey has not been easy, even for a person who loves to write as I do. During classes, one is required to submit an assignment per topic that is meant to be a preview of the paper one is to make. To some students who already know what to do and what company to study on, this is a real blessing because it makes the pressure lighter (save for a few revisions recommended by the professor, of course). For some who have not decided what company to work on, this is a real terror. But not to fear, because your professor will always be your best ally in any event.
Strategic Management requires a student to look at the company’s industry, it’s strengths and weaknesses. One constantly has to read, read and read – and finally, write. You have to choose variables that you think can help build your company strategy. You weigh in these variables. SWOT, IFE, EFE, SPACE, QSPM and other useful matrices become your friends. You do market and company analysis to determine if the company is liquid and if it is earning reasonable profits.
In STRAMA, the objective is to move the company forward, and in the words of my professor, “in leaps and bounds”. And that should permeate in all of the strategies you should take. After devising the proposed strategies, you now do the projected financial statements to show how the strategies will redound to the benefit of the company.
In between the processes, you constantly have to read, compute and revise some more. I have had to revise and refine my paper countless of times, even as I am near to completing it. It can get anyone panicky. As any academic paper, it is tough and painstaking. Definitely not a walk in the park.
Nevertheless, doing the paper is quite a journey and a good challenge. Hopefully, I will be able to contribute ideas to the company I am working on. It may grow in leaps and bounds or not; either way, it has been a worthwhile exercise and has enabled me to think creatively and within the parameters of the company’s capability and existing resources.
Vacation will be over for me in a few days. After gallons of coffee, log-in time at the university library and sleepless nights, I will finally finish my paper. I am thankful for the professors who have contributed much to my learning during my stay at the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.
Defense will be a new challenge altogether, but that’s another story.