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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Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017

The University of Suffolk and the Bangladeshi Support Centre (BSC), an award-winning community organisation, are partnering with the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star for the second Suffolk BME Business Awards.

Launch of the BME Business Awards 2017
Launch of the Suffolk BME Business Awards 2017. Photo by University of Suffolk.

The awards will be held on the evening of Wednesday 25 October at the University of Suffolk Waterfront Building, as part of the Suffolk Business School’s annual Suffolk Business Festival.

Boshor Ali, Chair of BSC, said, “BSC is delighted to be working with our partners to highlight the contribution of Suffolk’s BME businesses, which is much-needed in the current climate. Last year’s event was a great success and I am looking forward to celebrating again this year.”

Dr Will Thomas, Associate Professor at the Suffolk Business School at the University of Suffolk, said “We are pleased to be working with BSC again to recognise BME businesses and to acknowledge the contribution that they make to the local economy and to our local communities.”

Terry Hunt, Editor of the East Anglian Daily Times, one of the sponsors of the Awards said “It’s a brilliant idea celebrating the often hidden contribution of the BME community in the county. Last year’s awards were a great start and now we can build on that. I am very much looking forward to it in October.”

Cllr Sarah Barber, Mayor of Ipswich, said “I think the awards are a great idea, small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and we need to encourage them from every community. I am particularly pleased there is a Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award so I am looking forward to seeing who wins that but I think there will be worthy winners in all the categories.”

Award categories

Business of the Year
Businessperson of the Year
Startup/New Business of the Year
Community Business of the Year
Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
Charity of the Year

The final category will be a Judges Special Award.

Nominations

To nominate a business or person for any of these categories please complete the online nomination form HERE.

Paper copies of the nomination form can be obtained from the Bangladeshi Support Centre or the University of Suffolk. Completed forms should be submitted to:

Bangladeshi Support Centre, 19 Tower Street, Ipswich, IP1 3BE
Email: talkbusiness@uos.ac.uk

Nomination closing date: Saturday 30 September 2017.

Suffolk Young Enterprise finals

By David Collins, Suffolk Business School

In my last blog which was, I acknowledge, quite some time ago I was looking forward to a family break. I have now returned – however reluctantly – from my trip to France. Indeed since this welcome break I have been to France, Belgium, Holland and North Norfolk!

I had intended to prepare a blog posting last week but a very crowded diary prevented this. Last Thursday, you see, I acted as the Chair of a University validation panel and in the evening I was privileged to attend the Suffolk Young Enterprise Awards, which was hosted by the University of Suffolk.

This event is the culmination of a process which sees groups of students prepare business plans designed to bring a product to the marketplace. At last week’s event the students reported on what they had done and on what they had learned and, perhaps most importantly, what they had earned through this process since this is no abstract exercise. In this regard it is perhaps worth conceding that I bought two ‘spinners’ for my kids from the team representing East Bergholt.

Aside from indulging myself in a bit of retail therapy I also took the opportunity to remind the students of the benefits of a degree education that will make them ‘career –ready’. In addition I took a moment to remind their teachers of the need to ensure their own continuing development. Teachers you see need to be ‘ahead of the game’ because they must prepare their students for a market that is always six years away! Given the complexities associated with leading a school I was pleased to be able to inform the teachers (and parents) who were present that we offer a range of postgraduate, MBA and MSc, programmes that have been designed to prepare participants for future senior management and executive positions.

The highlight of the evening was of course the prize-giving. I was invited to award a number of prizes on behalf of the judging committee and was pleased to accept. If I’m I really don’t enjoy having my photograph taken and would normally look for some way to wriggle out of this obligation. But I was pleased to set aside my normal reticence on this occasion for I was genuinely impressed by what the students had achieved. Indeed I found myself humbled by the quality of the presentations that they delivered last Thursday evening. In fact I am pretty well convinced that I could not do at 20 what the students last week had achieved in their middle teens!

Given these performance I do hope that I was successful in my attempts to persuade the students and their parents that they should continue their studies at the University of Suffolk.