My MBA Journey

Record of my personal journey completing an MBA

Marketing Week 4 – Products, Services, Brands


I would love to tell you that this week has been nothing short of a resounding success in terms of my studies, but alas, that would be a complete lie. This post, which was due on the 25th March is over a week late, but I do have a good excuse. And no, it isn’t that the dog ate my homework!

For the last 6 years I have been enduring continuing debilitating pain in my back due to a collapsed disc around L4/5 I am told. During this time I have had to go through all the processes of exercise, physiotherapy, MRIs and cortisone injections in my back but these were all to no avail. Surgery finally took place last Friday on the 25th March. I must say, I was somewhat surprised at how much it knocked me around. Not only the subsequent pain following the surgery, but more importantly the tiredness and lethargy that took its toll. As a consequence I was able to do very little even though I had my computer and gear in the hospital.

I was finally discharged on Wednesday the 30th March, so the hospital stay was also longer than anticipated. I will spare you a photo of the incision and the 17 staples holding things together at present.

Assignment 1

Fortunately I submitted my first assignment five days early so it didn’t impact on my hospitalisation. I’m not a believer in extensions as I am afraid I would feel as if I was always chasing my tail. I am now awaiting the results.

New Software

Although it was difficult to focus on study in hospital because I would end up falling asleep, I did manage to research some new software. I am very excited about some of this and will do more by way of reviews in future. The first of these is Obsidian, a free markdown editor for note taking. What makes this so good is that is cross references everything with links so you can build a constellation of thinking. I have found Nick Milo to be one of the better teachers for how to use the program. His first video is below and you can follow up others in his series. Follow through on this one and how to develop a second brain. You’ll never look back!

The second piece of software discovered was one called Research Rabbit. Very clever given that research often leads you down the rabbit hole. Again, it’s free to use if you sign up with an educational email address. The layout is very modern and it will find an enormous range of papers for use in assignments. Based on what you search, it will find similar papers and then create a constellation map of all related papers. Below is a screenshot after a dive into Market Segmentation.

Research Rabbit screen shot


Although it has been an extremely disruptive week I feel I am now back on track. I’m still doing the reading and notes related to Week 4 and hope to get that out of the way by tomorrow. I can then move on to Week 5 and catch up. I hate being behind schedule but it will all be worth it knowing that in a couple more weeks I will be finally pain free in my back and legs. That will make life a lot more enjoyable.

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Ric Raftis

Ric Raftis

Find out more about me on my About Me page.

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