The student experience should grow out of a culture of feedback and exchange

Our own Dr Klaus writes this week’s Soapbox for the Financial Times

“Students and teachers should have an opportunity to exchange views on performance and other matters in frequent sessions during the semester in a non-threatening, non-confrontational environment. This would allow both sides to analyse each other’s perceptions and discuss possible solutions to try to make the learning environment a mutually rewarding experience.

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Not only should the students’ experiences be assessed during their time at university, but also, more importantly, years later, once they have left university. It is only when students apply their knowledge that they can judge how beneficial their experience was in relation to their career and life goals.”

Dr Philipp “Phil” Klaus is a marketing lecturer at Brunel Business School and the author of Measuring Customer Experience – How to Develop and Execute the Most Profitable Customer Experience Strategies.

Ground breaking PhD research on middle-ranked business school student attractiveness

Top, rather than middle-ranking, business schools tend to be the focus of academic research. However, a seminal study by Rudaina Mahmoud (Brunel PhD marketing scholar) revealed the attractiveness dimensions valued by international postgraduate students within a prominent middle-ranking metropolitan, business school. Key factors valued by the students included not only a business school’s research profile and teaching, but also the country/city and physical campus.

Raisa X photo 3Rudaina Mahmoud successfully defended her PhD thesis on 14th July and the quality of her work resulted in an exemplary pass (without the need for corrections). Her first supervisor was Professor John M.T. Balmer and her second supervisor Dr Weifeng Chen.

Rudaina Mahmoud (left) with her two examiners: Dr Suraksha Gupta of Brunel Business School (centre) and Dr Trueman of Bradford University School of Management (right).

“I will take what I’ve learnt wherever I go” says MBA alumnus

Brunel MBA Alumnus Anoo Mehmi has recently visited Brunel Business School to tell the tale of her experience on the Brunel MBA programme and her achievements since graduating from Brunel. In this filmed interview Anoo reminisces on her fond memories from Brunel, tells of the great support she received as a mother and a professional undertaking the MBA at the same time, the activities she took part in and people she met along the way in Brunel that left a lasting impression on her.

Since completing her MBA in December 2013 Anoo secured a high profile position with Nestle UK as the Head of Digital and Brand Governance where she will be leading the digital strategy for consumer and HCP engagement for Nestle Nutrition, and she shared with us how she got headhunted for the role following the completion of her MBA via LinkedIn, a professional online platform, strongly endorsed for the use of Brunel students in their career development programme, and recommended by Anoo to students seeking to advance their careers.

BBS Guest Portrait 1AAnoo said of the help she received from Brunel in helping her move up the career ladder:

Upon updating my LinkedIn profile with my MBA qualification, I was approached by several companies and recruiters. I truly believe the MBA combined with my experience in marketing helped me to secure my new role

Anoo is excited about her new role in Nestle and we look forward to seeing even more success in her future endeavours. You can follow Anoo on twitter and view her LinkedIn profile for details of her professional experience and education.

To find out more about Brunel MBA please visit our website.

MBA students learn big business operations on visit to Coca Cola Enterprise

The Brunel MBA students have recently enjoyed a visit to Coca Cola Enterprises bottling facilities in Edmonton, North London where a presentation delivered by the Coca Cola host highlighted many aspects of running a large corporation, from marketing challenges, business operations management, sustainability, to human resource management. Although Coca Cola comes across as a standardised product across international markets, students learned that behind this standardised image, there are many adaptations to both the product, price and its packaging between markets.

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Sustainability initiatives were also demonstrated and a discussion followed regarding the challenges presented by the widespread recycling options between and even within markets, notably in the UK where each local council drives their own recycling agenda.

Christina Scandelius, the Deputy MBA Director, who accompanied the students on the visit said:

“This visit gave our MBA students a great insight into the business operations of a very well known brand – our main objective of this industry visit and part of a series of corporate events taking place as part of the Brunel MBA programme. The students also enjoyed a tour of the state of the art bottling facilities which demonstrated a highly automated process with an average of 1 million bottles filled per day.”

As a part of the Business Life employability programme, the Brunel MBA students undertake regular visits to companies in the UK and many companies visit the students on campus as part of the MBA Guest Speaker Series: “Let’s Talk Business”.

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The following companies have an on-going relationship with the Brunel MBA and our students have a chance to network with representatives from:

  • Barclays
  • British Airways
  • Capital & Counties Properties PLC
  • Enterprise Rent-a-Car
  • Goldman Sachs
  • HSBC
  • IBM
  • Iraq Energy Institute
  • Jaguar
  • Johnson and Johnson
  • Lloyd Northover
  • Microsoft UK
  • Oxford Instruments
  • Radley Yeldar
  • Xerox

Postgraduate placements becoming a must for Masters students

Brunel Business School is amongst the first few Business Schools in the UK to introduce postgraduate placements for students completing their Masters programmes as far back as 2011. This feature, pioneered in the UK for undergraduate students by Brunel University, is becoming more popular amongst more mature students, for whom such a placement can often serve as a springboard to often extremely competitive labour market. Postgraduate work placement employers cover all related expenses with many also providing a salary.

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Two programmes are currently offering work placement for students on the postgraduate level:

Placements are an integral part of the courses and students receive support from the academic staff and the Placement & Careers Centre while on placement.

MSc in Applied Corporate Brand Management Work Placements

Students’ placement take place from September to January the following year and previous placements involved roles such as project manager, marketing executive, brand researcher, internal communication officer and marketing officer amongst others.

Work placements are offered to suitable candidates with companies represented in the Applied Corporate Brand Management Advisory Board amongst others:

  • Heathrow Airport
  • BrandPie
  • Telefónica Europe
  • Radley Yeldar
  • Mars
  • Jim Northover Limited
  • Network Rail
  • leapSTONE
  • Right Management
  • Tata Beverages
  • Tetley Tea

MSc in Management Work Placements

Students will be beginning their placement starting in June 2014 through to September, with some starting their placements on a part time basis in January 2014 already.

Work placements where students will be taking up roles in e-marketing, HR, finance and client services have already been secured in the following companies:

  • Grant Thornton
  • Orange
  • Coats plc
  • MadBid
  • Better Lettings

Work Placement Testimonials

mai ann“During the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity to start my work placement at the successful brand agency BrandPie. I supported one of their top account managers in his day-to-day work and took on some of my own projects and research for the agency. I’ve work on an important project to rebrand an international technology company named ARM. The process included an audit of the market, interviews, re-defining their vision and purpose along with supporting the design team in designing the company’s new visual identity. I have also been involved in creating a new brand for a charity programme inspired by a pilot project the prince of Wales started in 2011. The programme was built for young kids to interest them in STEM. Finally, my work involved research and supporting the BrandPie to prepare for pitches. Working along creative strategist like Dave Allen, Roger Partington, Terry Moore, Sally Bye, Creative director Pete Widdup and Engagement consultant Kevin Keohane was a privileged.” Mai An Tran

 

“My work placement was done with the corporate marketing team of Network Rail, the company that is in charge of the British Rail infrastructure. My role was to blend business, consultancy and academic insights, in order to create scenarios and tools for corporate brand management in a context of ongoing devolution and strategic partnerships. The placement provided me with the opportunity to apply the newly acquired knowledge in a blue chip corporate environment and to develop valuable insight about the art of engaging a business audience with the science of branding.” Manuela Irimescu

 

mannan“I had the unique opportunity to work as an inter n for Tata Global Beverages (TGB), one of the leading companies in hot beverages. At TGB, I got to work on a part of the course, the placement at TGB has made my portfolio stronger on the basis of being a foreign work experience. This placement gave me the opportunity to work on the client’s side and get a different kind of perspective of working in the Marketing department of a global conglomerate. This has lead me to come in close contact with a lot of new areas like working with Kantar and Nielsen research data where I got to work with consumer trends and sales figures. Tetley being a heritage brand has always been at the forefront of innovation and new product development and I have learnt the importance of innovation even though tea as an everyday product. Another insight that I gained during my internship was the understanding of television as a media vehicle in the UK. This was a very crucial lesson for me since TV remains one of the most used advertising mediums. Finally, I am very proud to mention that I was given the task to organise a small tea party celebrating Tetley’s 175th anniversary in the London office. Managing and coordinating with different people has definitely taught me how to deal with people and manage their expectations. All in all, I must say that the ACBM course gave me a specialised understanding of corporate brands and the placement at TGB complimented the course very well. “ Mushfique Mannan

Work placement students launch Student-2-Student support group on LinkedIn

A group of work placement students from Brunel Business School came up with the idea to form a Student-2-Student support group on LinkedIn to help returning placement students continue with their professional development, networking and business skills gained over the placement year.

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Mona Kalantar, currently on work placement with BOSCH as a Logistics Continuous Improvement Intern, one of the group founders, said the group will also help to reintegrate final year students into the business student community.

“We’ve created the BBS Student-2-Student Support Group to provide support to our classmates in the final year of studies. Students can connect with and seek support from other classmates studying the same modules/degree pathway, with the long-term objective of facilitating a culture of teamwork amongst BBS current final year students and alumni. This group is focused on maximising the potential of BBS students achieving their very best and to support returning placement students in connecting with their new classmates, leading to a better integration experience in the final year of studies.”

The group, launched today, is dedicated to students expected to graduate in 2015 at this stage only, with the view of including other years in the future.

To request to join the group please visit Student-2-Student support group on LinkedIn.

Marketing research group writing retreat in Brighton

A new initiative, a two day writing retreat for marketing faculty and marketing PhD scholars, has been organised by Professor John M.T. Balmer (Director of the Centre for Research in Marketing).

brightonHeld at the Seattle Hotel in Brighton Marina, East Sussex, five marketing faculty and five PhD students spent the two day retreat writing (and receiving writing support) on manuscripts aimed at top journal articles. An especial focus of the retreat was its focus on co-authored articles by marketing doctoral students and their supervisors.

This initiative is part of series of events organised by Professor Balmer which has the objective of supporting the research and publishing activities of Brunel Business School‘s marketing scholars.

The two day event was very productive and was a successful event. Professor Balmer noted:

“In addition to providing meaningful support for the research community of marketing scholars, this-and other analogous events-do much to burnish the already strong esprit de corps within the Centre for Research in Marketing. It was wonderful that so many faculty and their doctoral students supported this event: this was truly wonderful!”