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.

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#HEFCECatalyst: PlacementPAL Research Project

Dr Suzanne Nolan is working with colleagues across the University of Suffolk on this exciting research project, designed to help students transition from university into work-based learning:

UoS PAL A1 poster 12.6.17

If you are interested in finding our more, please email Suzanne at s.nolan@uos.ac.uk.

The End of Summer and the Start of the New Academic Year

By David Collins, Suffolk Business School

Grey hair and failing eyesight are not, I suggest, the first signs of advancing years. As I look to the dull sky and low clouds above Neptune Marina (a wonderful setting for a University even in the rain) and feel what I fear are the first chill signs of autumn on my hands and neck it occurs to me that the first sure sign of ageing occurs at that moment when the summer vacation, rather than being full of endless sunny days, simply disappears in the blink of an eye.

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University of Suffolk is a great place, in all weathers. Photography by the University of Suffolk.

Yes you’ve guessed correctly: I’m feeling guilty about not posting for a while. And if I’m honest I am also feeling a bit sorry for myself: I’m feeling old and I’ve got the post-holiday blues. Of course, I really have no right to indulge this self-centred and mawkish emotion. The University of Suffolk is, after all, a great place to work and a great place to study, and the wonderful location is a delight in all weathers!

So it might be worth reminding myself and you, my faithful readers (and I offer my heartfelt thanks to both of you) of some of the highlights of the new semester:

During the academic session 2017-2018 we will launch our new Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship. This degree is designed to allow participants to combine work and study. Indeed it prepares students for future careers in business and management, and so places great stress on learning in and through work activities. Degree apprenticeships, it is worth noting, are funded through employer levies so they will reduce personal student indebtedness.

If you are a large employer you are already paying for degree apprenticeships. But don’t worry – you can recoup your levy payments by enrolling staff members on degree apprenticeships with the University of Suffolk. Remember you don’t have to hire someone new for this initiative and it doesn’t matter if your preferred candidate already holds a degree in a non-related area!

During the coming academic year we will also offer a new optional module within our degrees. This module, developed with the Eastern Enterprise Hub, is entitled ‘The Enterprising Graduate’. It focuses upon enterprise and entrepreneurship and offers our students an opportunity to hone their management practice and their entrepreneurial skills. I think that this is an exciting development not least because it marks a unique collaboration between the University and its near neighbour.

The third annual Suffolk Business Festival will be taking place from 23-27 October, and we are hosting the second Suffolk BME Business Awards – an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the contributions of minority groups to business in the local area.

Finally it is worth observing that the Suffolk Business School will launch its Talent Academy in October 2017. This initiative which draws upon the skills and talents of our Visiting Professors and Senior Fellows has been designed to offer those tipped for future, senior, leadership positions a development challenge and a networking opportunity.

Enrolments to this programme are capped at just 16 delegates. Those interested in learning more about the talent Academy or about any of the other developments planned should contact me for further information (d.collins2@uos.ac.uk).