Payback Time?

If you ask me what is one of the most unpredictable things in MBA life at the Asian Institute of Management, I'd say it's getting the grade for the Written Analysis of Cases (WACs).


It's because of the WAC readers-- There are many variables surrounding them:

  • Culture - WAC readers are alumni from all over the globe
  • Experience - Alumni who gets asked to read WACs range from grizzled executives to fresh graduates
  • Industry - Regardless of the topic of the WAC, the reader from different industries (IT, manufacturing, retail, education, etc.) will be asked to be WAC readers
  • Attention to Detail - Some WAC readers will be happy with broad, but substantive analyses, but there will be very anal about the specifics
That's why it's easy to take a defeatist stance when it comes to WAC's (e.g. "What's the point of excelling in WACs? It's like playing the lottery!"). A great deal of folks in my class hated the WACs, because it was hard and it was unpredictable.

So you could imagine my reaction, when I was asked to read one of the WACs of Cohort 3. On the back of my mind, I could hear myself saying "It's payback time!" but I eventually declined because I felt the topic (Management Control Systems or MCS) wasn't my strong suit. Even with a guide for the evaluation, I felt I'd be doing the students a disservice if I read a WAC on MCS.

But eventually read one single paper because some of my classmates who were asked to read the WACs needed some help. The grade I gave the WAC? Let's just say I didn't exact revenge: that person got one of the highest grades in the class because he/she deserved it. :)


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