Students styled to impress by John Lewis

jlSecond Year Business School students were treated to a first for the John Lewis Partnership; an opportunity to style students for an Interview and Assessment Centre Day. As part of the Employability and Enterprise Modules students had been approached by John Lewis to be styled and dressed for the Session which took place in the Faculty of Health Lecture Hall.

Ryan Comboy and Jake Cunliffe-Neal students from the Business School and Hayley McKenzie and Carole Wilson from the Faculty of Health became models for the afternoon demonstrating how to prepare by wearing the correct business attire and accessories to deliver confidence in the Interview and Assessment Centre Situation.  Two Style Consultants from the Liverpool store of JLP took time to show how choosing the right colours and styles can make all the difference in performance in an Interview.

jl2Small tips such as wearing your favourite socks or earrings to complete outfits and ensuring shoes and nails clean were offered.  Demonstrating how to sit on a chair in the Interview situation were also shown so that the student would always present in the very best way.

Organisers of this special event were Jackie Lee and Lin Boyd from Switch Onto Business & the Business Club in Liverpool, who have worked with Module Leader Sue Murrin-Bailey and Dr Dane Anderton on Communication and Presentation Skills within these Modules ensuring that in the forthcoming Mock Assessment Centre Day for all second year Business Students in January 2017 that they will be able to increase their confidence by dressing and presenting themselves to their best for this event!

Employability Skills Enhanced via Teaching & Internships

e_leaheyEmily Leahey is a Business & Management Student who has taken an Internship at Matalan Headquarters in Knowsley for one year in a role as Trading Process IP on the Trading Support and Process Team.

Further to an initial site visit to discuss her Placement and role in the team,  Emily stated:

‘I am fully enjoying my placement at Matalan on the Trading Process team. Being on this team has allowed me an insight into many areas of the business, ranging from international, supply chain, imports and merchandising. I feel like this is a beneficial role for me as it is giving me a rounded view of the company and that exposure that not many university students would get.

From my second year at university what really helped me secure my placement was the mock assessment centre I attended in January. The assessment centre was similar, if not exactly the same, as Matalan’s centre went to for my interview. I felt this was really beneficial as it set me up for what to expect and how to present myself to employers, i.e. what to say and what to prepare.

Also I feel many of my modules from second year have helped me in my role at Matalan. I can see clear links from my HR modules (BUS 2018 Managing the human resource and BUS 2024 Managing people), when helping with the company training sessions.
When I sit with other teams across the business (e.g. buying, merchandising) I can see what I have learnt from BUS 2031 Retail Marketing Planning and BUS 2035 Consumer Behaviour be used on the trading floor. These modules have also been helpful when receiving feedback from the trading floor on any company training sessions we have rolled out, to know what to improve on and how to take what the ‘customer’ wants into consideration.

Overall I am very happy with my placement at Matalan and can see this allowing me to grow my skills and be a valuable experience.’

Graduate Joins RAF to Train as Officer and Pilot

dan-hall

Graduate and former Edge Hill University Business School student Daniel Hall has been successful in his application to join the RAF. Dan was accepted for initial Officer Training and to train as a pilot. Dan cited his experience at Edge Hill as being a significant factor in his successful application:

“My graduate enterprise experience helped me massively in all of the interviews and indeed practically in terms of confidence when public speaking and confidence in myself. But the RAF loved the fact that I had set up and run my own business as it adds a rather large string to my bow.”

Dan begun his training with the RAF on August 21st 2016.

Edge Hill Business & Computing Students Flying High

EDGE HILL BUSINESS AND COMPUTING STUDENTS AT THE MANCHESTER AIRPORT GROUP ‘TALENT SPOTTING’ SESSION, 26th October

EDGE HILL BUSINESS AND COMPUTING STUDENTS AT THE MANCHESTER AIRPORT GROUP ‘TALENT SPOTTING’ SESSION, 26th October

Chloe Lawrence, Business & Management (pictured second row, right.) said “going to MAG has taught me that when an opportunity is there, take it, even if you don’t really know what you want to do, there are a million and one different stepping stones that it could lead you to. Taking the opportunities opens your options and if you’re like me and still stuck on what you want to do with your degree it can help you find something that you love. Having the graduates that are there to answer any questions was really valuable, they gave a lot of advice about masters and sandwich years, which was really useful. It was nice that everyone had a different story on how they got there, and how experiences like the assessment day, got them to where they are today. The career opportunities are really interesting at MAG, they are in a range of locations which is great if you want to stay close to home, or go somewhere new. They also have a range of different departments so there is a guarantee that something will be of interest to everyone. They also let people trial different departments so that if you don’t know what you want to do then you can experience a few.”

Jessica Macguire, Accountancy (pictured front row, third from left) commented “one of our tasks was to work in a team and designate a list of MAG priorities in numerical order and present it.   We were timed for this activity.   Every group ran out of time to some degree.   During feedback we were told that this was the most common downfall and good time keeping was key. The graduates advised us to always wear a watch to assessment centre days and keep one eye on the time. They also advised that it is normal practise to turn off your phone, so not to rely on that for the time.  Finally, we were advised to create a LinkedIn profile and ‘always’ look up CEOs, MDs and members of the department in which you wish to work.   This is good practise, but also makes a connection with the assessors before you arrive.”

Matthew Gardener, Computing (pictured back row far left) said “the network connections generated from this event will prove invaluable when it comes to applying for sandwich year placements and jobs at the end of your degree. In some cases, these connections might even come in useful during graduate enterprise as you can draw on their knowledge and skills to enrich your company. MAG itself has a large graduate scheme and all the graduates spoke highly of the company and the positive experiences they have had so far. A number of the graduates had spent time moving around the company trying out a number of the different roles to get a feel for what best suited them, working in areas that they did not necessarily cover during their degree.”

Lauren Hugo, Marketing with Advertising (pictured front row, second right) felt “the day at Manchester Olympic House with MAG was brilliant. It opened my eyes to opportunities I hadn’t thought about & really made me look forward to what I could be capable of achieving in the future. The tasks that we were set really tested our ability to work as a team & an individual, but the challenge was enjoyable & we received all positive feedback.

The Graduates & the Talent Spotter were available for networking at the end of the session & I collected some email addresses. We are in the progress of sorting out some volunteer work in link with their charity “Click Sargent”, through the Edge Hill Business Society”.

Waqas Ali, Computing (pictured on second row) felt that the “interview questions workshop sharpened our question answering skills as well as gaining a better understanding of what employers look for when interviewing candidates.   The event then concluded with a Q&A from the graduates, which was a chance to understand how they got to working for MAG, as well as giving advice on life after university.”

Graeme Cain, Business & Management (pictured front row, third from right) has taken an opportunity to move moving forward from this event as “networking has granted me the opportunity to return at a later date for temporary work or to possibly spend a day at the airport shadowing current graduates. This arisen after my enquiry into possible sandwich placements for 2017, but the staff couldn’t commit to this at the moment, as these are not offered annually. My MAG Advisor still stressed the importance of experience and how students should feel free to get in touch for work. I am keen to do this, and have gathered contact details from staff members and graduates willing to help.”

You can read more about the event and how Edge Hill students were ‘talent spotted’ here.

Crêpes, beer and business

Embankment of river Odet and cathedral of Saint-Corentin reflecting in water, Quimper, Brittany, France

Embankment of river Odet and cathedral of Saint-Corentin reflecting in water, Quimper, Brittany, France

Georgina Watson recounts travelling to France to participate in a marketing simulation game with students from six nations.

When my tutor interrupted our lecture on the ethics of dissertation writing to announce a trip to France for a week, it’s safe to say, my ears pricked up and I quickly awoke from a trance. The idea of gaining some well-needed marketing experience, whilst spending a week abroad seemed too good to be true. But, the fact that there was no mention of price made me a little apprehensive. I quickly arranged a meeting with my tutor and, to my delight, found that the University had offered to make a contribution to the travel costs involved. It was a no-brainer: I was going!

Like most people, I’ve always loved going abroad, whether with family or friends. But, I think there’s something very unique about travelling with people you don’t really know. When I was 14 I went to Germany on an exchange trip, and at 16, a Geography trip to Iceland, both of which were with people I was familiar and friendly with. This trip to Quimper was different for me, whether it was because I was travelling with people whom I’d never met before, because it’s been a few years since I’ve been on a ‘school trip’, or because it was to gain experience in an industry I’m not yet all that familiar with, I’m unsure. Nonetheless, I was nervous.

After early morning introductions, staggering through London, a whirl of endless trains, rail replacements, and much complaining about the weight of my rucksack, we made it to Quimper. Admittedly, I hadn’t done much research, but the town was a beautiful surprise and really lifted my spirits. The treacherous journey was soon forgotten after I had met my group for the week. The groups were made up of different nationalities: English, French, German, Italian, Romanian, and Dutch. The practice (‘Zero’) round was beyond helpful, as we all got to grips with the database and familiar with each other.

As the days passed, competition got tougher, new markets opened, reports were written, and the anticipation for every round’s results grew more and more.  Immediately, we took the lead and also gained the best grade for our halfway report. We also came out with the top grade for our final presentation, a particularly proud moment for me as President of the group. Academically, it was an amazing experience, as all the theory learned over the past two years was put into practice. I can say that without a doubt, it improved my personal skills in leadership, communication, data analysis and decision-making. However, it was the sense of independence I gained, and the motivation to learn and achieve more, that were the most valuable things I brought back with me.

Outside of the classroom, the week was filled with socialising over crêpes and beer, mingled with the learning of foreign slang.  The local French students were very accommodating and went out of their way to help us, especially when it came to transport. Highlights for me include: the afternoon trip to a fishing town Concarneau, visiting a local brewery, the international buffet, and going to the strangest little club (regrettably, twice!). The farewell dinner came around too fast and I wasn’t the only one to get a little emotional by the end of a lovely three-course meal, and several bottles of wine!

The journey home was much less stressful than the one there; it was filled with tales of the week and plans for the future. Overall, it was both physically and mentally challenging, and by the end of the week I was exhausted. However, the planning and execution of the Markstrat programme was impeccable, the atmosphere was amazing, and it was obvious that everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. The opportunity to go somewhere new, to meet new people and experience different ways of life, while gaining valuable knowledge, is rare and should not be missed. I’ve kept in contact with some people that I met over there, and have plans to visit them in Brittany later this year. My only wish is that I could do it all over again!

Georgina Watson, Marketing with Advertising student.

Thank you Edge Hill and to Fiona Syson for making it such a worthwhile trip.

 

Accountancy prize for first class graduate

phoebe-harris1

Phoebe Harris, who graduated from Edge Hill University this year with a first class honours Accountancy degree, has been named her year group’s most outstanding student by Liverpool Society of Chartered Accountants (LSCA).

During her graduation ceremony Phoebe received a certificate and £100 prize from LSCA in acknowledgement of being the most outstanding third year student on the BSc (Hons) Accountancy programme.

Phoebe said: “It is a great honour to have won the prize and to feel that the hard work I have put in my studies has been recognised and celebrated by the University. Graduating from Edge Hill comes with mixed emotions, I am delighted to have gained a first class honours degree and the LSCA award but I will be sad to leave! 

“The only way I can describe my three years at Edge Hill is to say that it has been the best experience of my life. As soon as I arrived on campus I felt welcome and at home. Everyone I have met from the lecturers and students to the staff who help run the University have been friendly and supportive and nothing is ever too much trouble. I have met friends for life and gained a degree which will significantly help with my future progression. I really would not even consider choosing another University after studying here for the last three years as I have had a student experience which I look back on and smile.

“After graduation I would like to secure a graduate job in the accountancy field and use the exemptions I have gained from the course to become a fully chartered accountant in the next three years.”

Edge Hill’s BSphoebe-harris2c (Hons) Accountancy course covers accounting and financial management theories and practice, introducing students to accounting practices in areas such as financial accounting, management accounting, information technology applications in accounting, financial management, auditing, and taxation.

Key skills such as problem solving, analysis, teamwork and negotiation all contribute to employability in the field. Those graduating in this degree will also gain a considerable number of exemptions from the exams of the main accountancy professional bodies.

Edge Hill Business School celebrates graduate achievement

As part of the 2016 Edge Hill University Business School graduation events, the school was proud to add a number of students to its Roll of Honour. This new scheme introduced by Director of the Business School Professor. Helen Woodruffe-Burton is awarded to students for distinguished academic achievement. This annual event has been introduced to showcase the quality of Edge Hill University Business School graduates as they take the next step in their development and career progression.

Attended by family members and staff, Prof. Woodruffe-Burton felt that it was vital to celebrate those students who distinguish themselves during their Edge Hill University academic careers.

She notes that

It is important to acknowledge outstanding performance which distinguishes our graduates as being of the highest calibre and this is a way for the school to come together on a day of celebration with students, staff and family in order to recognise their achievements.

This Year’s Honour students were:

Accountancy Calleja Matthew
Accountancy Dickinson Rebecca
Accountancy Jones Gary
Accountancy Melville Alastair
Marketing (PR) Messmer Laura
Accountancy Olphert Emma
Marketing (PR) Simonis Daisy
Accountancy Tidd Lian
Marketing (Advertising) Watson Georgina
Business Anderton Greg
Business (HRM) Astill Charlotte
Business Brannelly Rebecca
Business Gell Adam
Business Glynn Julia
Business Holcroft Louise
Business Keefe Dominic
Business Reid Mark
Business Swinnerton Antony

Edge Hill University Business School offers a range of Management, Marketing and Accountancy courses at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  To find out more about our courses, click here.

Graduate Enterprise students get visual with John Lewis

As part of a Graduate Enterprise module, Second Year Business School students were visited by marketing staff from John Lewis Partnership. The students were given an insight in how John Lewis makes use of visual merchandising marketing to attract the eye of and entice the customer to make a purchase. Some of the issues discussed were how complementary products should be positioned and the role of colour in attracting the eye of customers; this was followed up by an exercise where students were asked to look at some existing merchandising displays and consider if they could be improved and to consider what makes a successful display stand.

The students will be holding a trade fair at the start of February and the visit and the exercise is to help them prepare for this – the aim is to make sure each group’s stand is as appealing to customers as possible.

Graduate Enterprise is a second year module opened to students from both the Business School and the School of Computing. Supported by the University and Young Enterprise, the businesses that the students run are registered at Companies House and like any other going concern, each is keen to make a profit and grow their business.

Students businesses encounter dragons on road to success

As part of a Graduate Enterprise module, Second Year Business School students took part in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ event. Supported by the University and Young Enterprise, the businesses that the students run are registered at Companies House and like any other going concern, each is keen to make a profit and grow their business. Graduate Enterprise is available to all students in the school regardless of their degree pathway.

The Dragons consider the presentations and business plans.

The Dragons consider the presentations and business plans.

 

 

 

 

 

Two of the groups have been selected to represent the University at the regional finals for Young Enterprise in early 2015. The student enterprises will compete against 14 other teams for a chance to represent the North West at the UK final in London. The teams selected are Portatech who sell a portable credit-card sized emergency phone charger and The Candle Company who sell premium candles.

PortaTech - one of the teams selected to represent the University at the Young Enterprise North-West Finals.

PortaTech – one of the teams selected to represent the University at the Young Enterprise North-West Finals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Chadwick, HSBC Bank & Young Enterprise Advisor commented as the lead judge for the Dragons Den “overall the judges were most impressed with both the effort and enthusiasm which the students exhibited in their presentations. As they are all near to the start of each business project experience, it was sensible to weight our judgement more towards the potential for each business idea and the team’s ability to deliver in the future, rather than the actual achievements to date. We were definitely of the firm opinion that each of the Groups evidenced substantial future potential and we look forward with interest to see what they achieve by the conclusion of the programme. It was a delight for us to participate in this well organised event which we thoroughly enjoyed. Well done and good luck to all the students.”

Sue Murrin-Bailey, Module Leader for Graduate Enterprise summarised “students enjoy the experience of the theory of small business enterprise and the practical and tactical exposure to meeting customer needs and expectation, identifying opportunities to promote and sell their product/services and interfacing and negotiating with investors, suppliers and customers.  This year for the first time teams sold their products at the Love Ormskirk Christmas Market at the annual light switch on in the town where thousands of local residents gathered.  A real experience in small business engagement.  This coupled with the Dragons Den, Barclays IT Challenge, training sessions from the English Speaking Board, presentations from Santander Business Incubation Team, John Lewis and the Franchising Association provides a thorough view for students of the importance and opportunities small business management offers.”

Dr. Night – super-villain academic at large

Dr. Charles Knight

Dr. Charles Knight

Below Dr. Charles Knight discusses a recent exercise involving social media that he ran with some of his third year management students.  

At the start of the new teaching year like many academics I am thinking of new ways to engage students by reflecting on what worked previously, what was less successful and what new things I could try. This year as I had been writing about social media, I wondered if was possible to work its usage in some of my teaching in an active rather than passive way.

One of the courses I teach is a third-year management module called Strategy and Decision making which starts with a discussion of the process of individual decision making and builds from there to look at organisational strategy. I had looked at various case-studies and other activities that would introduce the idea of group decision making but it suddenly occurred to me that the use of social media in a structured way would allow me to do a real-time exercise that would bring in various facets of the information seeking and decision making process.

The scenario itself was relatively straightforward – I had been replaced by my evil counterpoint Dr. Night and he was planning to take over the world in the next 30 minutes.

A picture of Charles Knight

Dr. Knight meets Dr. Night

The students were told in advance that we would be undertaking a real-time decision making scenario but were given no further information at that point to better simulate an emerging problem which did not match to previous exercises they had undertaken. To take the students further out of their comfort zone, I started the scenario by giving a power-point based presentation which on the face of it was completely normal – however a few students were puzzled that on the opening slide that I had misspelt my own name! The level of puzzlement increased when they saw that the learning objectives for the session including ‘how not to displease my robot minions’ and so on.

The learning objectives of Dr. Night

The learning objectives of Dr. Night

After revealing my evil plans and the timescale for the exercise, I then left the room with no further instructions about how to proceed. After five minutes, a student helper then provide a handout which explained the rules and boundaries of the scenario. Students had 30 minutes in small teams to locate me using social media and the clues that I would provide via the use of photos – the scenario would end if a student touched me on the arm and stated ‘I arrest you in the name of intergalactic peace and harmony’. 

Dr. Night's twitter feed

@charlesnite – the twitter feed of Dr. Night

To further complicate the exercise (and to demonstrate to the students that decision-making may be based on erroneous information or heuristics that are misleading)  as soon as I had left the room, I changed out of my blazer, jeans and shoes into an entirely different outfit.

Dr. Night's causal wear

Dr. Night’s causal wear

I then proceeded to tweet on a random basis with ‘clues’ about my possible location – and also when I recruited new minions.

Dr. Night’s excellent new minions

I ran the exercise twice with one group finding me in 25 minutes and another in 18 minutes. A number of interesting points arose in the discussion afterwards about both how decisions are made and also the scenario itself:

  • No students intentionally worked out that I had changed outfit but a number of teams started to suspect it due to the fact that they should have been able to see me when I was taking some photos in public spaces;
  • Many students walked straight pass me even if they looked directly at me (Inattentional blindness);
  • One team took the decision to not to wait for instructions and left the room almost as soon as I did – they left one member to relate instructions;
  • Smarter group thought carefully about their resources and left a ‘controller’ in the classroom who directed other members to travel to other buildings to track me;
  • Part of my evasion technique was to join random groups of students all of whom were happy to play along.

The actual discussion itself got quite technical as we discussed why nobody could see me in plain sight and thought of other (strategy related) scenarios in which it might occur and also discussed questions about resource allocation, how search teams could incorporate their previous experience into future search strategies. Overall I would say that as a way to get students thinking about a quite technical and often very dry area it was very successful – in addition, the real-time nature of the event provided an extra impetus to the learning experience. On that basis, I would hazard a guess that Dr. Night might reappear at some future date…