At Birmingham Business School, future leaders consider different perspectives to gain a global business outlook. They strive for a responsible future by realising positive and sustainable changes — big and small — every step of the way.
So while responsible leadership is in the DNA of every module, it’s also crucial that learning extends beyond the classroom through a host of hands-on, industry-linked activities. This gives students experiential opportunities to prepare themselves to lead with knowledge and conviction, guided by an overarching sense of responsibility.
Here’s how it’s done.
Rising to the challenge via experiential opportunities
We often discuss the future of work, but how do we prepare for it? Birmingham Business School equips MSc students to stand out in the Fourth Industrial Revolution with the Future Leaders Certificate. Not only will students hone the skills to successfully compete for coveted jobs, they will also increase their awareness of how to conduct business responsibly and ethically.
Additionally, students receive expert coaching, mentoring and industry insight via the Gold Award section of the Certificate. They will also get to sharpen social and corporate responsibility by working on a group project for multinational companies.
Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes Dr. Nicola Newman, explains, “The Future Leaders Certificate gives students the opportunity to develop a range of employability skills in the areas of creativity, communications, networking, digital capabilities, and entrepreneurship through working with a range of different stakeholders. The activities include guest lectures; workshops designed and delivered by practitioners; developing their CVs and digital profiles; and working on live consultancy projects with global organisations.”
Birmingham Business School introduces industry realities
The triple-accredited business school collaborates with leading organisations to expose students to the reality of work. This is how the University of Birmingham Capgemini Community Challenge was born a decade ago.
Here is a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to generate fresh ideas for charitable organisations while boosting their sense of purpose, community and responsibility. Participants get to work directly with the global consultancy firm for a week, developing their business, planning, and interpersonal skills by creating solutions for third-sector clients. In past years, this has included the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Age Concern, Air Ambulance and Shropshire Wildlife Trust.
BSc Business Management student Amelia Wildmore-Evan found the Capgemini Community Challenge to be an “invaluable experience” for her. She enjoyed meeting new people and making friends all while discovering new ways to help the client, Small Woods.
“We had the opportunity to work with a real charity client and develop viable solutions and deliverables for a specific issue they faced. During the process, I developed many skills including time management, presenting and prioritisation,” she shared. “I am very grateful to everyone at Capgemini for this great experience, and I wish I could do it all over again.”
Capgemini’s Corporate Vice President Billie Major looks forward to hosting students from Birmingham Business School every year. “We get so much energy from the students during the week. It’s moving to see just how much they gain from the experience and achieve for their charity,” Major said.
Another example of the School embedding responsible leadership into practice is The Birmingham Project. In this university-wide challenge, first-year undergraduate students get to tackle real-world challenges with peers from different disciplines.
In this project, Professor of Accounting and Director of Lloyds Banking Group Centre for Responsible Business Ian Thomson leads a “Responsible Business” challenge each year. For two weeks, students get to gain invaluable skills and experience that set them apart in an increasingly demanding industry.
How a pandemic response can produce well-rounded leaders
Effective leadership involves operating responsibly within current contexts and difficult circumstances. Every business student at Birmingham Business School is learning this lesson in real-time throughout the ongoing pandemic. They are learning to make decisions based on expert opinion from the College of Social Sciences, on top of supporting university efforts to navigate the COVID-19 landscape.
Experts weigh in on every aspect of understanding and managing the pandemic, from new normal practices such as working from home and social distancing to administrative policy and business sustainability issues. This helps students dive into the business, economic, and social implications of the pandemic via informed discussions and timely strategies.
On top of that, the university’s robust research culture is also contributing to the global fight against COVID-19. Researchers channel their expertise on genome sequencing, data analysis, and testing towards effective collaborative efforts. Staff and students offer their time and effort towards gathering and manufacturing supplies, donating food, even providing clinical and mental healthcare support.
At Birmingham Business School, business education is a well-rounded experience that turns responsible individuals into impactful leaders. Besides being exposed to numerous opportunities for practice and networking, students are immersed in an environment that prioritises ethics and duty.
Now that’s how great leaders are born.
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