Suffolk Business School Graduation 2017

By David Collins, Suffolk Business School, spoken at the Suffolk Business School graduation ceremony at 11:00 on Tuesday 17 October, 2017

Graduation day!

Sharp suit.

Expensive shoes.

Elegant and carefully selected accessories.

And a stylish haircut ruined by a stupid hat.

But enough about me…this is your day and I have something that I wish to share with you:

I love graduation day. I look forward to it. I enjoy it, I think, because all of the normal routines of daily life are temporarily suspended. All the hum-drum routines that signal and which are necessary to everyday life are set aside.

I rose early this morning.

I put on fancy clothes – Does anyone else feel like they have wandered into a Quidditch match?

I consumed a full English breakfast. And much of it did not make its way on to my tie.

If I’m honest I’m feeling pretty happy; rather content. In fact I’m feeling a bit festive.
You see the suspension of my daily routine makes today feel a bit like Christmas morning.

Charles Dickens – the soppy old fool – was a big fan of Christmas. And in his writing Dickens makes it very plain why he loves Christmas so. On Christmas morning, he tells us, people try just a little bit harder. They speak warmly; there is softness and kindness in the voice. There are no strangers on the street. Everyone is saluted. All are welcomed. Dickens loved Christmas, I think, because on Christmas morning we meet and become our better selves.

This has been my experience today. It is my better self that I think of when I turn my mind to graduation day. This is why I feel all festive. I hope that this has been your experience. I hope that like me you are feeling festive.

With warmth in my voice therefore I will take a moment to highlight the achievement of Helen Cook. Helen is the very first PhD to graduate from the University of Suffolk. Helen we are very proud of you. And at the risk of breaching protocol I will say congratulations Dr Cook!

And with softness I would like to speak now not only to the graduands but to your families and to my colleagues: I hope that today feels a bit like Christmas day (or Eid or Hannuka) because you have worked hard and you deserve to have your achievements recognised. Today you deserve words that are warm; speech that is soft. You deserve to have you achievements celebrated.

In a moment my colleague Dr Thomas will call you to the stage and in time-honoured fashion will acknowledge and honour your very substantial achievements by mis-pronouncing your names. Before this I simply close by asking that you stay in touch.

Don’t forget about us. Don’t forget what it took to get here today.

And as you go on to build your careers be ambassadors for the University of Suffolk.
Be role models for your communities. Meet and become your better selves. Don’t pull the ladder up after you.

Honour and keep the festive feeling that we share today.



#SBSFest17: 3rd Annual Suffolk Business Festival is almost here!

Later this month, we will be welcoming students, professionals, and academics to the University of Suffolk for the 3rd Annual Suffolk Business Festival.

Suffolk Business Festival

Each year, we host a range of academic and professional development activities for students, and networking and keynote events for local and national business professionals. This year, we look forward to welcoming Professor Emma Bell, Professor Keith Still, Chief Inspector Matthew Rose, Minnie Moll, Michelle Pollard, among others, to the University of Suffolk #SBSFest17.

Please see below for the list of events, and links to the booking pages:

Monday 23 October

16:30-20:30 Business at the Movies: Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Tuesday 24 October

07:45-09:15 Ensors Business Breakfast: Supporting  Entrepreneurship in Female Students

11:30-13:00 Women in Management & Leadership Panel Discussion

Wednesday 25 October

18:30-21:30 Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017 

Thursday 26 October

14:00-16:00 Managing Risk with Keith Still & Matthew Rose

17:30-19:30 Keynote and Networking Evening: Stefan Stern, Director of the High Pay Centre – Can We Manage? A Short Talk About the Tasks Facing Leaders Today

Induction and the Start of a New Year

By David Collins, Suffolk Business School

It seems to come around more quickly each year…and it’s here again. It is of course ‘induction week’; that point in the calendar when as Head of the Business School I have the very great honour of welcoming new and continuing students to the University of Suffolk. My welcome to you is genuine and heartfelt. I am very pleased to see you. Education changes lives – it certainly changed mine – and I am delighted that you have chosen to join the Business School at a very exciting and highly dynamic point in our history. In future posts I will talk more about the exciting changes that we have under development at present. For the moment however I want to take a moment to remind you of two key points that I made in my welcome address. These key points relate a) to our mission as a business school and b) to one of the key ways in which we are working to make this vision a reality.

On our mission: This is to ensure that you are not employable…but are ‘career-ready’. So our mission as a Business School is – whether you are in the first year or the third year of your UG programme – to work with you in order to ensure that you are, (metaphorically-speaking) awake for and alive to what it will take to carve out that life-long and life-enhancing project which we call ‘a career’.

And how will we make this a reality?

Good question…we will do this in a variety of ways but for the moment I simply want to draw your attention to the 5 ‘big ideas’ which now shape our curricula. These are, namely:

  • Advocacy
  • Plurality
  • Accountability
  • Empowering
  • Application

You will find these terms in each of your module guides and in your Course Handbook and perhaps more importantly you will find additional text that explains how and why these ideas underpin your modules and your degree programmes. Please study these carefully: They underpin our teaching and learning strategy and they guide our assessment. And perhaps more importantly these Big Ideas signal what makes our programmes distinctive, they are consequently the narrative materials that you will draw upon when it is time to convince future employers that you have the knowledge, skills and the attitudes that deserve a career!

And… finally I was a little perturbed to learn, during induction, that no-one recognised my reference to the novelist, Kurt Vonnegut. In response to this I am, of course, tempted to say… ‘so it goes’. But I won’t (despite the fact that I just have) but will instead ask the dear Webmistress to conjure a web link… Click away dear friends… and in case you doubt the wisdom of the 5 Big Ideas you might like to reflect upon the fact that I have called upon each of these in the course of this blog!

You’re welcome!