It is twenty years ago more or less now, that I submitted my course entitled: “A Report on the Cinema Exhibitionists Market of the UK economy” that I completed for one of my final year modules. The coursework was for my Business Information User Needs or some similar module as part of my Library and Information Studies undergraduate degree at Loughborough University.
Having completed a company analysis report (Cable and Wireless) for the first module, we were asked to then write a sector report as the coursework for the second module. We were also told that if we wanted to change our sector to speak to the lecturer.
At the time I was just beginning to understand the cinema exhibition sector and wanted to do my coursework on that sector, rather than telecommunications. I had a long discussion with my lecturer, and in the end, he said to me that it’s not often that you get to do what you want, so if I believed I could write enough words for my coursework then I could do it on cinema exhibition.
And so I did. I had so much fun researching and gathering information on another topic. This was 2000, so Google was only a couple of years old, there were only a few million pages of websites in existence, with not huge amounts of information easily available via the Internet. Instead, we had to use expensive command-based databases, which usually meant being logged into a computer in the library. At best there might have been a copy of the company annual report available from their website.
I remember that I ended up writing nearly double the number of words that I was allowed to, and having to really cut the report down. But equally, I remember that the deadline was at the beginning of the Easter term, but I submitted it weeks beforehand because I had completed and I knew that I wasn’t going to make any changes.
In the end, I received one of my highest marks at 89%, and not a mark often handed by my lecturer.
But after I left university I posted the report on my website, where it was picked by a publishing company that used it as part of a Business Studies teaching pack for schools as a case study for a while.
It was one of the first pieces of work I was proud of, and while these days it is somewhat dated, it was pretty good for its time and the situation at the time.
I suspect it was one of the first real pieces of analysis that I actively did.
It is very much out of date now and probably somewhat basic (given the word limit that I was working to), but kind of gives a bit of a snapshot of time in what the sector looked like in the spring of 2000.