Emma completed her BA (Hons) Business Management with Human Resource Management in June, and graduates with a 1st Class degree and a place on the Morrisons Graduate Scheme. Here, she shares some of her experiences:
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University of Suffolk. Throughout my experience here my lecturers knew me by name, and have been supportive and approachable in all aspects of my studies. This made the experience more personal, something that was important to me when deciding on where to study.
I’m really excited to be moving on to the Graduate Scheme at Morrisons. I will be completing four placements within the business, across 2 years, experiencing logistics, manufacturing, and more. At the end, I will be a fully trained ‘people manager’.
My degree prepared me for the role by teaching me to focus on the wider context of working environments. We explored the vocational contexts of the learning material, highlighting my interest in HR. I particularly enjoyed modules such as Change Management, Organizational Behaviour and Employment Law. I took internships in the HR industry in my first and second year of university, which not only helped me to understand how theory applies to work, but gave me an insight into the industry before applying for the graduate scheme.
For me, there were many fantastic experiences which on my course. The internships were really interesting, and meeting new people who shared my interests were amazing. In my third year, the University of Suffolk ran a fantastic event, ‘Brand New You‘. Phil Pallen, a social media guru and image consultant, came and spoke about to position, build, and promote our brands, to stand out and make things happen.
I have learnt that you really do get out it what you put it (lots of hard work)! Being organised is really important – the graduate scheme I applied to was one of the later ones, but normally they start being advertised from November so it is important to get ahead of the game if a graduate scheme is your goal. However, it was important for me personally to realise that you really need to pick an organisation that you are interested in and that you believe you’ll fit in well with. Don’t pick something because it ‘looks’ good. My time at University helped me to make these kinds of informed decisions.
Emma’s LinkedIn profile can be found here.
Dr Tom Vine is Course Leader for the MBA programme at the University of Suffolk, and takes Student Consultants to Boston each year:
This year, four MBA Student Consultants flew out to Boston to carry out work on behalf of an international manufacturing and processing company. With a turnover in excess of $50m, the company has yet to enter European markets. With this as their brief, our students put together a comprehensive market entry strategy for the organisation which included detailed branding, pricing and positioning recommendations, as well as specific advice as regards social media. They formally presented their findings at the Sawyer Business School to the two of the firm’s vice presidents, as well as the founder’s son. All were extremely impressed; so much so that the company has already entrusted them with some follow-up work, which will be fed into their final report.
Sawyer Business School’s Prof Mike Barretti commented:
The MBA Student Consultants were superb; serious, focused and professional. Te staff here at the Sawyer Business School all appreciated their very evident effort throughout the week and the preliminary results of the project showed it.
James Long, one of the student consultants had this to say:
The Boston consultancy trip was a fantastic group experience. The brief that the company supplied to the group prior to travelling was comprehensive and required the group to remain totally focused throughout. Lectures from Mike Barretti gave the group a great start to the week and it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to learn from Mike who is vastly experienced but also current in his subject matter, also a fantastic host. The week was structured superbly by Tom who made sure that the maximum was taken from the experience, his hard work behind the scenes was truly appreciated by the group.
In my view the residential trip is a must for any MBA student, It allows every aspect of the course to be used in context under testing circumstances and results in great satisfaction. For younger students the week would give a true reflection of the working environment and would be a good addition to any CV, for the more mature student it’s great to be out of the comfort zone to implement the knowledge gained through the MBA.
Lawrence Howes, another member of the group, said this:
The Boston consultancy trip was a great experience that allowed the academic teachings over the course of the MBA to be combined and used in a real life business situation.
The visit to the company incorporated with the lectures received from Prof Mike Barretti gave a rounded approach to the week, with the presentation to the company being well received on the final formal day.
The residential trip to Boston is a must for any MBA Student as it gives real credence that all the hours and hard work from the modules are relevant and can be applied to any business in the UK or further afield.
The planning put in at both the University of Suffolk in the UK and the Suffolk University in Boston, plus the tireless hours put in by Dr Tom Vine, prove to me that this is a relationship for the future and both universities will prosper from continuing the connection.
By David Collins, Suffolk Business School
This has been a rather special week. I have, you see, been able to place a tick against an item on my rather lengthy and ever expanding ‘to do list’. I completed a draft chapter that I had been invited to author and within the agreed deadline (although only just!). It might be worth expanding upon this…
Some time ago I was invited by Oxford University Press to prepare a chapter on Management Gurus for an edited volume concerned with Management Practice. I was pleased and rather flattered to receive this offer (in truth, I would probably have asked my colleague Dr Huczynski, of the University of Glasgow, to write this chapter since he produced perhaps the first sustained academic commentary in this arena back in the early 1990s), and so I agreed to produce a chapter on Management’s Gurus. Look closely. The addition of the ‘apostrophe s’ is for me a crucial addition to the title. It is in fact my rather unsubtle way of placing a social distance between my analysis and the position of those who might be inclined to accept what their gurus tell them to think and do, without, in my opinion, sufficient critical reflection.
When I mention a research interest in the gurus of management I am regularly met by two questions:
- Who are the gurus?
- Do the gurus really produce empty fads?
The answer to these questions is far from straightforward. Well you wouldn’t really expect a clear answer from a Professor, would you?
It is rather difficult to produce a definitive listing of management’s gurus. Priorities change and ideas tend to fall out of fashion. There is probably ‘a famous five’ (including Peter Drucker and Tom Peters) but beyond this elite there is generally no agreement as to who we might place in that category of commentators which has been awarded (sometimes seriously and sometimes more ironically) the title of ‘guru’. In truth the debate about management’s gurus is not so much a discussion about whether or not this category exists; it is instead a sustained competition about who has the best gurus. Indeed it is worth observing that those academics who have attacked management’s gurus have called upon the services of their sociological gurus when launching this broadside!
As to what the gurus do? Well there is no doubt that these commentators produce and trade in fashionable ideas. That fact however should not be taken as confirmation that what the gurus say and do is simply empty and faddish. Nor does it suggest that those who would implement guru theory are engaged in a form of activity that is mindless and imitative. In truth it takes a lot of effort and imagination to implement TQM, ABC or BPR (you can look these up J). Some years ago I produced a paper that develops this line of analysis. You might find this entertaining:
Collins, D. (2001) “The fad motif in management scholarship“, Employee Relations 23(1), pp. 26-37