Welcoming alumni back to the Management School and University is something we are always pleased and extremely grateful to be able to do. Over the academic year of 2014-15, we were delighted to welcome a number of alumni back to volunteer their time, knowledge and energy by helping to enhance the learning experience of our students. We spoke to just a few of you were a part of giving something back over the 2014-15, and we heard from our students about just how much your generosity helped them.
Alumni from the Management School and across the University made a real impact on our students with their help at the March 2015 City Connections event. Forty students from backgrounds under-represented in Higher Education, took part in skills workshops at London businesses and most importantly, were able to speak with alumni from a range of organisations and roles based in the city. Many of the students may not have had experience of visiting London, let alone thought of working or living there.
Meeting alumni in a professional environment can have such a positive influence on our students, and we want you to know just how much such experiences can impact on their outlook. One of our Management Students commented about how City Connections has benefitted them:
“The highlight for me was definitely learning from very experienced individuals who had once been in a similar position as me. It made me think about my own potential and what I can achieve following graduation. I also took away from the day that it is important to believe and be confident in striving towards whatever it is you feel passionately about, despite the obstacles.” Harry Avdic, a second year Business Management Student.
With six students from the Management School, and four Management Alumni taking part in the March 2015 scheme, as well as other students and alumni from across the disciplines, ‘City Connections’ provides an opportunity for students to build their confidence and develop essential skills – introducing themselves to professionals, asking questions about potential careers – things we might take for granted, but some students may simply not have had the opportunity to interact in these kinds of environments before.
Our students have also benefitted from the precious time that alumni have dedicated to being eMentors. These relationships are built up over a few months via email, telephone or skype. Providing insightful knowledge around certain career areas and industry specialists is something that only people working in those areas can bring, and what better people to be able to share this than alumni, who have also been in the same daunting position as our students – deciding which career step to take next.
The 2015 Spring eMentoring scheme saw 16 Management School students paired with alumni mentors, and from the positive comments we know just how much your time is appreciated.
“My mentor was very insightful and helped me get a clearer perspective on the field I would like to work in. I could not thank her enough for taking the time out to guide me and provide so much relevant information! Her knowledge of the industry, together with willingness to assist me where possible was very helpful.” Harshali Desai, Final year Accounting and Financial Management student.
Another way, in which alumni have given their time to students and the Management School, is through short talks as part of the school's Careers and Employability programme. The Careers Discovery Series at the Management Schools sees employers, professional bodies, alumni and students come together in week-long events throughout the year.
As part of the Finance, Accounting & Banking Careers Discovery week in October 2014, students heard from Ben Duckham, BA Business Studies 2004, and now Relationship Director, for Barclays’ Corporate Banking Origination in the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire area. Ben shared his advice on being a new graduate and how to make those essential big steps in your early career.
Ben was pleased to return to the school, and said: “It was a pleasure to be invited back to my alma mater and to give the students a flavour of what a career in Corporate Banking is like. The faculty staff and students were friendly and welcoming, and full of interesting questions. This made the session an interactive one, hopefully meaning the students benefitted from receiving answers to questions that they cared about.”
Business Management alumna Jodie Cook, has delivered guest lectures on social media to management students as part of the Business Management programme modules also throughout 2014.
Jodie said: “It was very strange to be delivering a lecture rather than listening to one. All being well the students found it useful and it’s got them thinking about what they will do once they graduate, and how social media could play a part in that.”
Volunteering your time, knowledge and experience can have a real impact on the lives of current and future students. If you are interested in getting involved in alumni volunteering at the Management School please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0114 222 3382 to discuss your interest.