Let’s Talk Business: Copiae Consulting Ltd Director shares what it takes to run a consultancy firm

Sue Granshaw HR Specialist, Director and Co-founder of Copiae Consultancy Limited who worked with clients such as British Gas, Office of Fair Trading and John Lewis visited the Brunel Business School MBA students last Wednesday to discuss her story behind establishing Copiae. Sue is a qualified human resource and development professional, has a BA (Hons) and BSc (Hons) in psychology and has achieved the Advanced Certificate in Employment Law. She is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and is a member of the Institute’s consultancy team. Sue has worked as a Personnel Director in medium and large sized companies.

Sue Granshaw, Director and Founder of Copiae Consultancy Ltd

Sue Granshaw shared with the students her story of the past 20 years and gave the students a real insight into the challenges and opportunities that starting their own consultancy firm could bring. Students were engaged in thinking about what Copiae Consultancy Ltd business strategy was over 20 years ago and the various management theories she used, for example the Balanced Scorecard by Kaplan & Norton.

The other Copiae Consultancy Ltd co-founder was Dave Gradshaw, a Brunel MBA Alumni 1992. He had a tremendous impact on the company and helped build Copiae with his extensive management experience. He sadly passed away in 2011 and Sue shared her experience of working alongside him. She commented that learning, innovation and continuous development were the most important factors in how she moved the business forward. Students were given the opportunity to engage in a discussion of real business scenarios and challenges faced by Copiae Consultancy.

MBA student Sayantan Das was invited to lunch with Sue and Prof Amir Sharif, the Director of the MBA programme, as a reward for asking the most insightful question. He comments on his experience “I found Sue to be a very easy person to talk to and she made me feel very comfortable during our lunch, it didn’t feel as though I was talking to a director of a company! She is so passionate about her field and how she runs her business, I guess this is an excellent attribute to have as a consultant. If I was a client requiring the skills and knowledge in her field, Copiae Consulting Ltd would have definitely won my bid.”

Copiae have also donated two annual prizes to MBA students in memory of Dave Granshaw until 2013: 

  • Copiae prize for Personal Professional Development
  • Copiae prize for Best MBA Business Project

Article submited by Funmilayo Obileye, MBA Ambassador 2011

MBA Student Yearbook 2010

Brunel MBA Yearbook 2010-2011 provides a flavour of the wealth and breadth of our student talent – and serves as an opportunity to get to know them, as well as the Brunel MBA further.


MBA Yearbook 2010

Our students come to us from all over the world and are a testament to the diversity within it – from regions far afield such as the Americas, through to Africa, the Middle East and Gulf and onwards to the Far East. The breadth and wealth of skills and experience of our students also encompasses a varied number of sectors such as financial services, IT, engineering and healthcare – but also general management, the public sector, construction and media.

We thank the individuals who have taken part to contribute to the contents herein, and we hope you enjoy finding out more about our students.

Prof. Amir M. Sharif, Director of MBA Programmes

Corporate Brand Management Graduate is One to Watch

Busola Akomolede and Bola Anibaba from Dat-AC

Busola Akomolede always wanted to run her own business. A graduate with a Masters degree in Corporate Brand Management from Brunel Business School, she has been obsessed with wristwatches, and now, with the help of her friend, she can turn this obsession into real money. She is the CEO and main designer for Dat-AC, a company designing top quality and beautiful wrist watches, which are then produced by world class watch makers in Switzerland.

Despite sometimes challenging beginnings Busola already plans to go to Switzerland to undertake training in watchmaking and dreams of having her own factory in Nigeria soon. Her attitude is one of “just do it”, and it seems to be paying off as Dat-AC is enjoying an exhilarating success in Nigeria.

Beautiful designs from Dat-AC

Read the detailed interview with Busola here.

Alumni: staying with them through life changing years of their lives

Francesca talks about her role in staying in touch with BBS Alumni

I went from not knowing anything about our Alumni, to realising how important our past students really are. We are perfectly capable of becoming friends with the students as soon as they enter Level 1, and stay with them all the way through the most complex, incredible, life changing years of both their academic and personal lives, yet when they leave, it seems that most become like strangers. Strangers, who will move home, change their email addresses and lose all ties with their University life. It is crucial that we remain in contact with our graduates, whether they are UG, PG or MBA’s.

My role is to ensure our students, particularly MBA and Masters in Management, remain in contact with us, by updating their data on a regular basis, keeping them involved with all the goings on in the Business School and holding events in order for them to keep in touch with each other as well as ourselves. Our next event is being held at the prestigious Saatchi Gallery in London in March, and we hope it will be as successful as the Aston Martin and Albemarle events were in the  last two years. I look forward to contributing towards keeping Brunel’s position in the rankings this year, and building upon the success which has already been achieved.

Upcoming Alumni Events for MBA and Masters Programmes Graduates

Alumni Dinner in Mumbai, 15th February 2012

Alumni Event 2010, Aston Martin Showroom, London

Following on from the success of establishing our Business School Indian Overseas Alumni Chapter last year, we are delighted to announce the third event within this Chapter which will be taking place next month! Join us on the 15th February at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, Mumbai, where Professor Ashley Braganza will be hosting a dinner with our current MBA students. If you are a graduate of the Brunel MBA or any Business MSc programme, living or working in Mumbai then we would love to see you!

Contact Francesca to register for the Alumni Events today!

Please contact Francesca, our Alumni Administrator on Francesca.Vitale@brunel.ac.uk  if you are interested in attending, as places are limited.

Alumni Dinner in Istanbul, 14th or 15th February 2012

Brunel Business School will be coming to Turkey next month with a select few Masters in Management students who are currently studying at Brunel, and we hope to meet with our graduates who are currently situated in Istanbul.
Last year we successfully established Alumni groups overseas in India and China and we hope to continue developing our Alumni network into 2012! Are you currently living or working in Istanbul and are you in contact with any other Brunel graduates who are also in Turkey?
We will be having a dinner on the evening of the 14th or the 15th February which we would love for you to attend and meet some of our current students! We will meet in the Hotel Princess Ortakoy in Istanbul. 

Please contact Francesca, our Alumni Administrator on Francesca.Vitale@brunel.ac.uk  if you are interested in attending, as places are limited.

Alumni Dinner in London, 15th March 2012

Register now for a place at the Alumni event held in the prestigious Saatchi Gallery

Alumni Event 2011, Albemarle Gallery in Mayfair, London

Restaurant in Sloane Square, London, on the 15th March for an exciting evening of networking with colleagues and old friends!
We look forward to seeing as many of you there as possible but places are limited so be sure to register soon to avoid disappointment!  

Please register for our London event as places are limited!


Students talk the BRICs and beyond with Goldman Sachs

James Wrisdale, Analyst and Macro Economist in the Asset Management Division of Goldman Sachs

James Wrisdale, Analyst and Macro Economist in the Asset Management Division of Goldman Sachs, joined the Brunel Business School MBA students last Wednesday with a presentation on “The BRICs and beyond”, a unique insight on today’s global market and a forecast for the next decades. The meeting was a part of ‘Let’s Talk Business’, a guest speakers series running throughout the MBA calendar.

Goldman Sachs meets with Brunel Business School Students

Wrisdale works closely with Jim O’Neill, the eminent economist at Goldman Sachs who is well known for its thesis regarding emerging economies, and who coined the grouping acronyms BRIC and N-11. His talk presented the opportunities and challenges of the growth of the new economies to the global growth, forecasting the individual country contributions by decades, until the 2050.

His projections see the BRICs as the major drivers for economic growth in the next decades, positioning in the top largest economies over the next four decades together with the US. Major growths are also expected by some of the N-11 countries such as Indonesia, Mexico, South Korea and Turkey. The presentation also showed data of the effects that this unprecedented growth of the emerging markets will have on consumer-related sectors. The expansion of the middle and high income classes in the BRICs will drive higher consumption particularly in the consumer durables, luxury goods and travel and tourism sectors.

This visit gave students an understanding of the growth market concept, and of the methodology used in forecast analysis. Goldman Sachs’ data are based on the assumptions that changes in the GDP expectations and in the valuation of the market are key when a judgment about future growth is being made. Mohamed Abdelkhalek commented: “The presentation was very useful to give us some interesting figures of the future global growth, and to see how the BRICs will be among the top countries. However, we have to consider that many other factors that play a crucial role in the global growth are not considered in this analysis”.

Article submitted by Flavia De Facendis, Brunel MBA Ambassador

Graduate Employability: it’s personal and it’s business.

Graduate employability is the final product of a good degree, most of us would agree. It’s personal to the student, and it certainly is business to the University.

We have a responsibility to the students to equip them with a professional advantage, and not just give them an academic qualification.

says Joanna Oman, Admissions and Marketing Manager of Brunel Business School.

Given the increasing mobility of young people, that advantage must be evident on an international scale. By this I mean that our students must be equipped with skills that will make them competitive in the job market in any country in the world .

In order to enhance the employability of its students the Brunel Business School conducted research with companies and organisations like Bosch, Centrica, FDM Group, GlaxoSmithKline, IBM UK, Intel, Jaguar Land Rover, Matchtech Group, NetApp, Webfusion, Atkinson Associates,HotCourses, Kids2Work,Saloria Architects, VT Partnership, Workzone Professions, BP Collins, Catalyst Housing Group, Grant Thornton, IBB and London Borough of Hillingdon.

They helped identify the job-ready skills and work tools that make a difference for companies when choosing graduates for employment or placements. As part of the Business Life Employability Programme students are able to participate in events and training that helps them obtain these job-ready skills and gain recognised certificates and valuable examples of their work which provide Brunel Business School students with real employability advantage.

  1. National and International tours
    1. Oxford Mini Factory Tour ( MIM’s & MSc Supply Chain)
    2. International Business Tours (MBA and MIMs)
    3. UK Industry Visits
  2. Networking with companies
    1. Meet the Professional Bodies Showcase
    2. Annual BEST Event
    3. MBA Capstone Event
    4. Career Booster Programme: Sessions with Guests from Industry
    5. Naked Series – Inspiration Career Journeys from Industry Professionals
    6. MBA and MiM Showcase Events
    7. Meet the Apprentice
    8. Undergraduate Showcase: Students can exhibit their talent to professionals
  3. Business Games and Simulations
    1. Practice Business Challenge with CIMA
    2. University Trading Challenge
    3. IBM Business Challenge
    4. CIMA: Simulation (Business Games)
    5. CIMA Global Business Challenge
    6. Marines Leadership Training: Leadership & Team Building with the Marines, physical  and practical session (PCC)
  4. Employee Best Practice Competencies
    1. Auditing your Skills & Presenting your Strengths
    2. CV Writing Skills
    3. Time Management & Project Management
    4. Professional Written Communication Skills
    5. Preparing for Numeracy:  Number crunching for non-number people
    6. Skills: Job Interviews
    7. Teambuilding: Myers Briggs Type Indicator
    8. Bloomberg Aptitude Test (BAT)
    9. Volunteering  & Entrepreneurship
    10. Presentation Skills
    11. Introduction & Advanced Sage Accounting
    12. Critical & Analytical Thinking
    13. Psychometric Testing
    14. How to Network
  5. National and International Conferences
    1. Web  2.0
    2. PhD Symposium
    3. Annual Brunel Business School Lecture
PCC logo ASK logo

Business Life is run in partnership with the Placement and Careers Centre and Brunel Library Service (ASK).

MBA? Hang on a minute!

There are nine key factors for a potential MBA student to weigh up before deciding to embark on a course, says Prof Amir Sharif, MBA Director, Brunel Business School:

  • Location: where will you study (in your own country, overseas, on campus or on-line)? Will you commute, stay on campus, be close to the campus or does it not matter?
  • Cost: how much will it hit your pocket? Are you going to be funding it yourself, family or friends – or do you need to seek funding (including direct sponsorship, loans, grants or scholarships)? What is the total cost of study (TCS): include living expenses, transport costs, family expenses, books and materials AND lifestyle!
  • Accreditation, Reputation and Ranking: Do you understand how rankings work (noting the specific methodologies used to create leagure tables)? Is the programme accredited? Is it located in a business school or a business school in a university? Is the institution well known and recognized by employers? Is it a ranked programme? Does the B-School appear in the popular press / online?
  • Managing your time: how will you fit study into your life? What’s the non-financial cost of “re-entry” into higher education for you – work/life/study balance? Do you have a work ethic? Do you have family support to do so?
  • Teaching methods and Learning Culture: Does the programme provide a range of teaching methods and styles (lectures, seminars, team exercises, off-campus visits, etc)? Do you know the best way that you learn to make use of these teaching methods? What type of a learner are you? Are work-essential skills training also provided? If you enroll, who will your MBA classfellows be and what does a typical MBA class look like?
  • Flexibility and process: How flexible is the B-school to your needs? Is the process of enrolling clear and simple? What do you need in order to make your enrolment a success?
  • Content: What will you learn? Is it important to learn “the fundamentals” or would you also prefer to learn eclectic subjects (such as creative arts, or sciences) alongside? Does it “look like an MBA”?
  • Onward opportunity: What are the career prospects? Is there a bespoke and clear career development programme as part of the MBA? Are there any successful alumni? What are their stories? What do employers say about the MBA programme? What do employers say about the B-School? What is the transformation from pre- to post-MBA? Can the school explain this?

Three key skills of undertaking an MBA

Prof Amir Sharif, the Director of the MBA Programme in Brunel Business School, comments on the three key skills of undertaking an MBA.

This is really simple but students all over the world forget this as soon as they start their programmes:


Ability to handle information:  MBAs need to be able to not only state the Who, What, When of information, but be able to ask the Why question as well. Handling and being comfortable with information from multiple sources and in multiple formats (especially powerpoints, excel spreadsheets, company reports and news items – but increasingly social media feeds) is vital.

Making Connections: an MBA needs to think – fast. And in order to think fast an MBA must be able to make connections between vital information and data. An MBA tries to give a student the opportunity to sharpen their connectivity skills: social as  well as analytical.

Applying judgment: judgment is crucial for any MBA – and this belies having a deep understanding and awareness of responsibility and accountability. Applying judgment is a key leadership and management skill and above all, is the root of successful and ethical sustainable leadership behaviour.


What do Brunel Business School graduates do?

In 2009/10, six months after graduating from Brunel Business School, 72.7% of graduates with a first degree in Business were in employment, 10.3% were in full-time further study and 4.1% were combining work and study.

These statistics relate to graduates from a number of different pathways – Business and Management, Business and Management (Accounting), Business and Management (Computing), Business and Management (Marketing) and Business Studies and Sports Science.

General management is a popular career choice with Business and Management students and this is reflected in a high proportion of graduate management trainees in various sectors including banking, information management, telecoms and transport. The financial sector, particularly banking, also continues in its popularity, with some students securing positions in major investment banks. A number of graduates were also successful in obtaining Chartered Accountancy training contracts within top tier accountancy firms. Graduates from this year’s cohort also went into a wide range of analyst roles.  A number of graduates were placed in marketing – some in entry level Marketing Assistant roles but a few as Marketing Executives. A small number progressed into HR posts mainly at entry level.

Job titles of Business graduates for 2009/10 included: 

  • Account Executive
  • Assistant Buyer
  • Assistant Designer
  • Business Development Consultant
  • Commercial Manager
  • Data Analyst
  • Digital Marketing Assistant
  • Events Organiser
  • Financial Analyst
  • Graduate Management Trainee
  • Investment Director
  • IT Consultant
  • Market Analyst
  • Marketing Executive
  • Operations Analyst
  • Pensions Analyst
  • Personal Banker
  • Sales Associate
  • Teacher

In 2009/10, Business graduates entered a range of further study courses which included:

  • ACCA
  • CIMA
  • MA Banking & Finance
  • MA Digital Marketing
  • MA International Relations
  • MSc Economics
  • MSc Financial Services
  • MSc Information Systems Management
  • MSc International Business
  • Performing Arts Diploma
  • PGCE Secondary Teaching

The graduate labour market remains competitive and relevant experience is increasingly required for graduate level jobs. Job search strategy is often about getting a ‘foot in the door’ in order to compete for graduate positions later. As a result many Business graduates were working in jobs classified as ‘associate professional and technical occupations’ such as sales, customer service and administration which broadly reflects the nature of the experience required. It is also worth noting that a growing national trend is for many students to delay their job applications until completing their studies, preferring to focus on achieving the highest grade possible. This can result in some graduates initially continuing with their part-time job while they explore their options after graduating. As a result some Business graduates were working in non-graduate level positions including sales, customer service and administrative occupations. Finally, it is important to note that the DLHE survey provides a snap shot of a very short amount of time (six months) after graduating and while many have progressed into relevant graduate jobs others are taking time out, travelling, waiting to start a course or continuing with their part-time job while they explore their options after graduating. Many graduates have moved on in their careers since completing the questionnaire.

To arrange an appointment to discover your career options after graduating simply contact your Careers Consultant direct or email careers@brunel.ac.uk stating your course and the help you need and the relevant Careers Consultant will reply.

A very warm thank you to the wonderful Placement and Careers Centre in Brunel University for this article.