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Taking flight: International summer placement inspires Stephanie

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

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Whether it’s for a summer or a whole year, our students are all encouraged to engage in practical work experience while at Sheffield. BA International Business Management student Stephanie Taviner has just completed an 11-week placement in Uganda, ahead of spending her next year of study in Hong Kong. She is having a truly global Sheffield experience!

She spoke to the University of Sheffield Placements Team about her experience, which she’s delighted to share with other students considering an international placement.

As they partner with the International Citizen Service, where the government funds volunteers to travel and support organisations, Stephanie found and applied for her summer placement through Balloon Ventures’ website. Balloon Ventures is a social enterprise which enables micro-finance in Ghana, Uganda and Kenya, helping entrepreneurs and start-ups to grow their businesses.

Ahead of the placement, Stephanie had to go through a comprehensive application process including an online form and an assessment day). She explained: “Questions mostly focused on why I wanted to join the programme. After I was accepted, I was asked to raise a minimum of £800, which fundraises for the project. All other expenses are paid for such as flights, visas and vaccinations I was also given a weekly stipend.”

After arriving in Totoro, Uganda, Stephanie settled in and got to grips with her responsibilities which were mostly shaped around managing four micro-businesses and one start-up entrepreneur, upholding the objective of facilitating growth and development on their business ideas, consequently alleviating them from poverty. She also worked in a team to empower local entrepreneurs and monitored Balloon Ventures’ impact on entrepreneurs and the community. She described her typical day: “My group would attend meetings with entrepreneurs in order to prepare for their pitching document. Additionally, we trained them about marketing, strategy, and their finances such as record keeping, profit analysis and cash flows in order for their business to succeed. Moreover, I was chair for the socials committee whereby I planned weekly social events for the team.

“I lived with a host family, sharing a room with a Ugandan counterpart. This gave me a cross-cultural experience as I learnt a lot about their lifestyles and made me feel part of the community.”

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Stephanie cites teamwork and analytical skills as being core to her success – both of which have been developed through her first year on BA International Business Management. Discussing how the summer placement has influenced her career aspirations, she said: “My placement has confirmed that I would like to go into a career of development, specifically supporting businesses abroad. Having this experience has made me feel that working in the third sector is where I would like to start my career after doing a masters in International Development.

“This placement has been a two-way process. I have learnt a lot about cultural experiences, living overseas and being part of a new community – meanwhile I have passed on business knowledge which will support my entrepreneurs for the future so they can have a sustainable and profitable business.”

Click here to visit the Management Gateway, where students can explore placement and internship opportunities.

Celebrating Sheffield’s relationship with NCUK

Monday, September 4th, 2017

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2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Northern Consortium Charity and NCUK, a collaboration of leading UK universities including the University of Sheffield, dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to universities worldwide and helping them succeed when they get there.

To mark the occasion and celebrate continued success, the IEN Institute joined with NCUK on 3 August 2017 to hold their first alumni event recognising the success of students that have progressed through the partnership in Korea.

Dr David Littlewood, Divisional Director for Impact, Innovation and Engagement at the Management School (pictured above, left), attended the event held at the British Ambassador’s Residence, Seoul, South Korea, meeting with Sheffield alumni and delivering a speech.

David said: “The UK remains at the forefront of research and academic quality, with world-class facilities, industry leading academic staff and a tradition of excellence which dates back hundreds of years. The NCUK qualifications help students to contribute and succeed when they come to study with us.”

IEN has taught over 800 students and helped them to achieve their dream of studying in the UK. The centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with NCUK in 2018.

Student insight: Studying Operations and Supply Chain Management, a Rolls-Royce sponsored module

Monday, August 14th, 2017

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Hannah McLennaghan, a recent graduate of our BA Business Management with Employment Experience, discusses her experience on our Rolls-Royce sponsored module. First published on our Undergraduate Blog.

“I’ve been looking back over everything I have learnt across my degree and all my best bits. For me, my most challenging yet rewarding module was my second-year Supply Chain Management module. This was a core module at the time and made up of a group project and a written exam at the end of the semester. The most amazing thing about this module was that it was sponsored by Rolls Royce! This meant that senior industry professionals from the company were involved in the creation/ structure of the module content and the assessment. The group project was our way of applying the theories we had learnt throughout the module, to a real life business.

“Our task was simple; generate a 10-year operations and supply chain plan for one of 4 companies in the aviation industry; Rolls-Royce, Pratt and Whitney, Airbus or Boeing. My group chose Pratt and Whitney, a major competitor of Rolls-Royce. Each group member was given a director role within the company: Director of Operational Design, Planning and Control, Enterprise Resource Planning, Manufacturing Operations, Supply Chain Management and my role which was Director of Quality Control and Total Quality Management. Working collaboratively, we analysed the company’s current situation and how the market was operating. Using the theories, we had developed during the lectures, some of which were given by Rolls-Royce executives, we applied it to Pratt and Whitney to generate a plan for their future operations. Although this may sound complicated, it was incredible to take on a task that felt so real! It was also the kind of thing I’ll have to do when I graduate and work for a real company so it was really great practice.

“Our plan was assessed through a written report, and a formal presentation to the module leaders from the University of Sheffield, and senior executives from Rolls-Royce. This was the starting point for me developing my presentation creation and delivery skills which I am now extremely confident in thanks to all the chances I have had to practice during my degree. My group’s hard work finally paid off when we were awarded second place for our 10 year plan out of the entire module! This meant we were presented with the Rolls-Royce Academic Award of Excellence, something that looks INCREDIBLE on my CV, and I have found that employers just love it in interviews. To have my academic work accredited by senior professionals such as Ian Shellard – Director, Global Physical Logistics, Rolls-Royce, is a great talking point that really makes me stand out.

“This is just one example of the way Sheffield University tries to link the theory of management studies to a real industry organisation. It was a strong turning point for me in becoming a more practical learner, which also gave me a greater confidence in my own academic and business operational ability.”

 

Note: After reviewing the programme in 2016, this is now a third year module which involves company visits and applied case work. Click here to read more about it.

Representing Sheffield: Jessica reaches finals of Undergraduate of the Year Awards

Friday, May 5th, 2017

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One of our first-year International Business Management students is a UK Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017 finalist.

Jessica Lane, the only finalist in the awards representing the University of Sheffield, applied in January and was shortlisted – after a rigorous assessment process she reached the finals, held recently in London.

Jessica said: “I submitted my application after receiving emails about the Undergraduate of the Year awards. After some online tests, I was chosen from 300 applicants for a telephone interview. Forty-five successful candidates then attended an Enterprise Rent-A-Car assessment centre in Surrey which was really tough.”

“I was delighted to be chosen as one of the top ten to attend the finals in Canary Wharf and feel so proud to have represented Sheffield in becoming a UK Management Undergraduate of the Year Award 2017 finalist! I never expected to get as far as I did, and coming away with two summer internships with Enterprise Rent-A-Car was a great conclusion to an incredible experience!”

Other finalists attended from all over the UK, including Aston University, the University of Exeter and Strathclyde.

Programme director for BA International Business Management, Dr Julie Alevizou, said: “I’m so proud of Jessica’s achievement, especially reaching this level of the competition in her first year at Sheffield. The assessment centre had a very practical focus, including tasks such as ‘leading a morning meeting’, and it’s testament to her commitment to studies and natural leadership skills that Jessica progressed to the final stage.”

Click here to read more about the Undergraduate of the Year competition.

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Sheffield women gain insight at IBM

Friday, May 5th, 2017

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In March, four Management School students joined a visit to tech giant IBM’s site in Hursley for a Women in Technology Insight Day.

The trip, shared with students from Sheffield Hallam University, offered participants a great opportunity to learn more about opportunities at IBM – they were able to get a feel for the culture, experience group work activity, get support with their CVs and meet with staff in a wide range of roles in the organisation.

Two BA Business Management students, Israa Abdelrahim and Monika Fekete, were joined by BA Hispanic Studies and Business Management student Anna Rubingh and Mirna Cheet, who studies our MSc Work Psychology.

We asked Israa about her experience:

“The Women in Technology event is organised exclusively for female Sheffield students by two alumni, now IBMers, Waleed and Emma. It was honestly the most valuable experience and opened my eyes to a whole world of technology I had never experienced before.

“On the first day we met some of IBM’s inspiring female employees. They talked about their experiences of working in top positions and each gave refreshing perspectives on how to progress through a career as women. There was a discussion on how IBM provides plenty of opportunities for employees, particularly women, to develop themselves and progress. A common aspect of their jobs they were all passionate about was the flexibility they have.

This gave us an insight as to how IBM employees work. There is a great deal of autonomy and control over their work which is fantastic if you are seeking for a position that allows you to lead and one that recognises your contributions and ideas. What’s more, you do not necessarily have to be a very technical person to work at IBM. For example, I spoke to a chemistry graduate who mentioned that IBM valued her analytical skills from her degree more than her knowledge on technology. Whilst this definitely a relief to know, having a valuable, unique skill is most definitely useful when it comes to finding a graduate job.

“After a chat with the ladies, we were taken on a tour of the campus starting with the ‘Innovative Room’. It had four stations in this room each showcasing different projects developed by IBM. One that stood out to me was the ‘Classifier Content’ software that was developed by IBM Watson – you could enter any baby name into a search box and the software provided a statistic showing what percentage of the name sounded female and what percentage male. The software was also able to ‘classify’ a name of a city to where in the world it is most likely situated. It was particularly fascinating because it was an unusual but original idea and there were some unexpected results.

“After this, we explored the surrounding parkland – if you are the kind of person who likes to take a walk outside during a break, this is the perfect spot.

“We spent the next day participating in a mock assessment centre, one of the stages of the IBM placement or internship application process. This was useful as I was put to the test with other women in my group to figure out the answers to two logical questions using statements given on a paper given to each one of us. What we’d thought was going to be straight forward turned out to be an ordeal and a few minutes in, we realised our own papers actually had different statements so had to scramble together the pieces! Something I learnt to keep in mind for any future assessment centres! In the end, we did manage to find two possible solutions and were given some great tips such as using a logic table when finding the answer.

“IBM does not necessarily look at how much experience you have in technology or coding but rather find any useful skills you may have. They also assess how well you work with other people. There are plenty of opportunities there to progress your career, be flexible with your job and have full control over your work.

“A massive thank you to Waleed and Emma and IBM for organising everything for us. It was a wonderful experience and one that I hope to share with others.”

First and second years – put the Module Choice Fair in your diaries!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

From 24-28 April, the Management School is holding a Module Choice Fair in the Courtyard Cafe.

From 2-19 May, the University wants to know which modules you will take next year – between these dates, you’ll be able to select your choices. If you don’t choose in May, you’ll have to wait until autumn when your preferred choices may be full. The University books its rooms in summer, to ensure capacity for students and classes.

If you’d like some extra information to ease the decision making process, come along to the Module Choice Fair in the Courtyard Cafe to chat with module leaders, other students, or programme directors about your options:

Module Choice Fair, April 24-28, SUMS Courtyard Cafe

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Email Jane Mallinson in the SEO with any queries: j.w.mallinson@sheffield.ac.uk

International Business Management students progress through UK competition

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017
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ABOVE (L-R): Margaret Barrionuevo, Kristers Zuika, Meg Seaman, programme director of BA International Business Management Panayiota Alevizou, Dominique Von Oppell and Isaac Bamber Lister

A team of five BA International Business Management students have reached the UK semi-finals of a prestigious international competition.

The Universities Business Challenge (UBC), which runs annually, has educational and employer partners and guides them through three rounds of rigorous testing designed by Learning Dynamics. The Management School’s team, championed by programme director Panayiota Alevizou, stormed through the first round – an online simulation of a real business where they had to make business decisions with regards to the financial data of each trading period, the external business environment, competitor data, and other live factors that any executive board would have to consider.

Competing directly with seven randomly chosen groups from other universities, our team accumulated as much profit as possible after six trading periods, confidently progressing to round two which will be held at the Sheffield’s Octagon Centre on 7 March.

Should they progress to round 3 – the grand final – Margaret, Kristers, Meg, Dom and Isaac will go to compete live against ten other teams at a London venue in an event hosted by UBC’s lead employer partner.

Click here to read more about the competition.

Real-world insight: Our students pitch AECOM entrepreneurship expertise

Friday, December 9th, 2016

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Entrepreneurship is about more than individuals starting businesses – in fact increasingly, big businesses are thinking and working more entrepreneurially.

As a part of our MSc Entrepreneurship and Management, students pitched ideas for entrepreneurship inside an organisation to directors at AECOM, a multinational engineering firm.

The module leader, Dr Chay Brooks, emphasised the importance of working with AECOM on the module, explaining: “Visiting AECOM is a great opportunity for our students and is a part of the learning experience, the contribution of AECOM to the module brings the realities of entrepreneurial activity in a corporate setting to life.”

This semester, students have studied the theory and practice of how big businesses are looking to create environments that encourage employees to be more entrepreneurial, while continuing to deliver their core business. Our collaboration with AECOM gives students a unique opportunity to see how an organisation with over 90,000 employees is changing its working practices to become more innovative and entrepreneurial. As a part of the module students have had guest lecturers by AECOM staff that provide real-world insights, and as a part of their final assessment they presented their recommendations for them to become a more entrepreneurial organisation.

Professor Tim Vorley, Director of the Centre for Regional for Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), who developed the relationship with AECOM, said: “Taking our students out of the Management School to present their work in a corporate environment is a fantastic opportunity for them, and it is great to see them rising to the challenge as they pitch their ideas.”

The MSc Entrepreneurship and Management provides students with an understanding of entrepreneurship in different countries and contexts, as well as from start-ups to corporate organisation.

In 2017 Sheffield University Management School is hosting the EFMD Entrepreneurship Education Conference, the theme of which focuses on ‘Entrepreneurship inside Organisations’. This area of entrepreneurship education is of growing in interest to business and management schools, and is one in which Sheffield is a leading by example.

Click here to find out more about the conference.

Management School joins ‘Startup Europe Comes to Universities’ initiative

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

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The number of university graduates willing to start new businesses—the largest producer of private sector jobs over the past 25 years—still depends heavily on the entrepreneurial focus and structure of the institutions from which they graduate.

Years ago, it was rare for a student to have entrepreneurship experience because the cost of starting a business was so high and they didn’t have the resources or expertise to pull it off. Times have changed with ‘Startup Europe comes to Universities (SEC2U)’.

SEC2U is an initiative endorsed by the European Commission (Startup Europe) to create a strong culture of entrepreneurship and innovation within universities across Europe. This consists of a series of events that bring together entrepreneurs, business people and representatives of local governments and universities in order to showcase the available support, share success stories and cases of failure, as well as network. Sheffield University Management School is joining the first edition of SEC2U which will take place from 17 to the 21 of October.

Two free events are taking place at the School, led by Prof Tim Vorley, Dr Robert Wapshott and EU project officer Kate Penney. On Wednesday 19 October there is a two-hour workshop (10am-12pm) for students with an interest in learning the basics of entrepreneurship, business and digital startups, followed on Thursday 20 October by an interactive discussion (Google Hangouts, 10-11am) on international and collaborative partnerships in entrepreneurship education. Click here to book.

This cooperation has been led by STARTIFY7 at the University of Sheffield, a step towards internationalisation also taken by Cambridge University, University Nova of Lisbon and Dublin City University.

This is a time to showcase the work of universities in the entrepreneurship area, build bridges between university communities and startup ecosystems, and facilitate connections.

Take the right step towards your future and don´t miss out on this opportunity. Click here to get your free ticket.

CREED summer school explores migrant entrepreneurship

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016

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Dr Chay Brooks from the Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED) has been leading the European Entrepreneurship Summer School held at the University of Sheffield’s International Faculty in Greece. The summer school, now in its seventh year, is held in conjunction with our international partners from University of Groningen (Netherlands), High School of Economics (Russia), and the University of Twente (Netherlands).

Dr Brooks said: “It has been amazing week with the students learning about entrepreneurship in the sun! We have had a great range of international speakers sharing insights from their research.”

Across the week students were involved in a series of lectures, workshops and debates in different areas of entrepreneurship. This year the central theme of summer school was the socio-economic impacts of migrant entrepreneurship, which is an important issue in Europe. During the week students had sessions by academics on research including informal entrepreneurship, technology entrepreneurship, corporate entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship and public policy.

Dr Robert Wapshott, who also taught at the summer school, explained: “The aim of the event is to bring together students from across Europe to learn about and debate cutting edge entrepreneurship research.”

During the week students worked in international teams to develop in-depth presentations on some of the big questions facing entrepreneurship research. As the teams explored their topic in depth they sought to unpack the complexities of creating more entrepreneurial individuals, organisations and societies. The team awarded the best presentation included Ann Lozovaia and Alexander Kalita from HSE, Tuong Nguyen from Leipzig and Zhuang Jing from Sheffield, who gave a critical account about the importance of informal entrepreneurship.

Reflecting on her participation in the summer school, Kelly Lawrence, a Sheffield student, said: “The summer school was a fantastic opportunity to meet other students interested in entrepreneurship research. The programme was excellent and we all had a brilliant week.”

The CREED team participating in the summer school this year led by Dr Chay Brooks. It also included Dr Robert Wapshott, Dr Peter Rodgers, Cristian Gherhes and Professor Tim Vorley. Next year the summer school will be held in Moscow and the topic will be on green and sustainable entrepreneurship. If you’re interested in applying to take part, watch this space.