Five weeks into my new role as Dean of Salford Business School and I find myself at an important juncture of (furious) activity. To date, my personal challenge has been to balance a combination of pressures.
As a leading business school, we must ensure that we are fully capable to meet the needs of our students – to develop their personal, professional and technical skills and knowledge for their careers.
These complex needs are set against the demand that we fulfil our role in the wider world by shaping global business and management education – in particular in the areas of digital business, social business and sports business – by shaping policy and business decision making.
Of course, this combined sets of challenges do not require the reconciliation of incompatible requirements but rather to emphasise that this work is closely connected and part of the University of Salford’s new vision:
“By pioneering exceptional industry partnerships we will lead the way in real world experiences preparing students for life.”
An integral part of the MBA experience is an overseas visit, in which I had the opportunity to spend an intensive week in the United Arab Emirates. This experience enabled me to meet like-minded leaders and be immerse in another business culture. This year’s visit included a Global Leaders Industry Visit to the Intercontinental Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
The intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) is a global hotel company traded on the New York as well as the London Stock exchange. Present on over 100 countries worldwide with one of the largest room inventories of over 177,000 room in 4900 hotels, there is no surprise when IHG has been named on FORTUNE Magazine’s 2014 World’s Most Admired Companies list. The question when the Salford MBA students entered the hotel was, what makes them ‘amazing?’
In conversation with Ivor Prestwood, the General Manager of The Intercontinental Abu Dhabi, the Salford Business School MBA students were given an insight into the exciting and challenging world of hospitality.
Almost a full year ago I wrote about why I chose to study MSc Marketing at Salford Business School. And now, almost twelve months later, I wanted to write an update on why this is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
When I last wrote about my attendance of the business school, I was two and a half days into my first module… Fast forward a year and I have now finished all four of my Masters modules and have moved on to the Business Innovation Project in order to turn my Postgraduate Diploma into a full MSc in Marketing.
After working extremely hard and overcoming various obstacles and challenges, I have so far been thrilled with my grades, and have most definitely exceeded any initial expectations of myself and hope to continue to do so throughout the somewhat lengthy process of researching, presenting and writing up my final project.
We have witnessed a number of persistent disruptive bouts of strike action in recent years in the UK. Teachers, civil servants, fire-fighters, and rail & London underground workers amongst others made their voices heard.
However, these strikes were sometimes called with only a small proportion of union members voting in favour of strike action. This has provided the backcloth to the publication on 15 July 2015 of a Trade Union Bill by the newly elected majority Conservative government.
As new research conducted at Salford Business School by me Professor Ralph Darlington reveals, the Trade Union Bill 2015-16 promises the most sweeping and radical tightening of the rules on industrial action seen since the Thatcher era of the 1980s. Notably with (amongst other restrictive measures) new voting thresholds in strike ballots that will have a devastating effect on many unions’ ability to take lawful industrial action.
Is it ever possible to keep up with the constantly changing nature of Digital and Social Media Marketing?
The answer is – YES, with continuous professional development. This comes in many forms and for an industry that relies on online content there are plenty of online resources to keep those “grey cells” active.
One of the latest courses is a Digital and Social Media Marketing MOOC.
This most recent offering from Salford Business School (part funded by the European Union) has been developed through a JEMSS project partnership of universities in Europe. The partnership draws on consultation with digital marketing recruitment specialists The Candidate Ltd and the leading European Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider – Iversity.
On Tuesday 27th October 2015 Judge Doyle, President of the Employment Tribunals in England & Wales and a previous academic at the University of Salford, will speak at Salford Business School. He will consider how far the employment tribunals have come in the 50 years since they were first established in 1965.
How far do they remain faithful to their founding principles of being open, fair, impartial and expert? To what extent do they remain accessible, speedy, informal and inexpensive?
He will address the challenges to an accessible justice system that the employment tribunals face and look forward to how they might be modernised to ensure that employment rights are effective and enforceable in a way that does justice to both worker and employer.
As I was about to embark on my final year at university, typically, more and more graduate unemployment statistics kept creeping up. I say ‘typically’ because naturally when you don’t want to think about something there it is, constantly in front of you.
Social media was a great reminder of how tough the job market was and I always knew I had to stay ahead of my competition to stand out from the crowd.
I was always presented in class, gained 1st class marks in all my academic years, did a 12-month professional placement and had two part-time jobs in the marketing and communications field in my final year, not to mention how hard I worked on my online personal brand.
Gender representation in particular within the digital and media industries has been a hot topic of late, with much debate around diversity and inequalities within this thriving workforce. Although digital is a progressive industry that encourages equal opportunities and embraces talent rather than gender, many believe there are too few skilled female professionals.
There are gender imbalance issues across many industries, however as the digital industry is facing a massive skills shortage, perhaps more females pursuing a career in the sector is part of the solution. For example joining courses such as BSc Business Information Technology, MSc Digital Marketing or Law in Media and Digital Industries.
Here at The Candidate, we commissioned research to investigate gender representation within the thriving digital industry. Our study of 150 digital agencies in the North of England, found there were almost twice as many men employed than women. In addition, we found that there is a severe lack of females in management roles, with 156 per cent more men taking up these jobs. The situation is more severe at senior management level, with just 18 out of the 150 businesses involved in the research headed up by women.
Can a university keep up with the constantly changing digital environment? Here is industry proof – with another of our students being recognised by the industry in the Big Chip Awards 2015.
Keeping up-to-date is a challenge in the world of digital where technologies are disrupting old ways of doing things.
At Salford Business School, out students are given incredible opportunities for placements and internships. This allows students to connect with companies on various levels for mutual benefit. Companies get advice and practical help and students get the real world learning experience and skills that they need.
An excellent recent example, Business Innovation Project is with Web Shop Direct, who are an e-commerce, fashion business based in Macclesfield. Web Shop Direct have been operating since 2005 and consist of UK Swimwear and UK Tights. We were able to assist this company through our industry focused training courses and business internships.
What does Hotel Desk, is a North West UK based venue finding company, thinks about working with Salford Business School students?
Hotel Desk is a small medium-sized enterprise (SME) that has a recent experiences of Business School placements students. We have benefited from digital marketing students who made a great contribution to our business.
I am Jo Egan, Managing Director of Hotel Desk, and here are my top ten reasons why other local organisations and SMEs could also benefit from providing Business School students work placements.
Narrowing the many benefits down to just ten is the tricky bit, but here we go!