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Online-savvy students scoop marketing prize

Published: 17th November 2014

Team wins best ‘social media strategy’

Job market head start with 'Agency Life'

Published: 7th November 2014

Student placements in Manchester’s top digital firms

Top teaching status for entrepreneurship

Published: 7th November 2014

Business School named 'Centre of Excellence'

Policy reform plea for women’s enterprise

Published: 29th October 2014

Event to focus on self-employment issues

Higher wellbeing drives business innovation

Published: 23rd October 2014

Cultural activities and sport can boost creativity

Become a digital communications manager

Published: 22nd October 2014

Prolific North and MMU collaborate for PG Cert

Business & Law 'Making you a Professional' sessions

Published: 20th October 2014

Professional Development Week November 3-7

Festival of Social Science comes to town

Published: 29th September 2014

Fascinating MMU events open for all

Victor scoops MBA tournament scholarship

Published: 24th September 2014

Manchester Executive MBA Challenge winner

Star-studded launch for Sporting Director course

Published: 18th September 2014

Elite football and cricket legends sign up

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A TEAM of students benefitted from hands-on industry experience after scooping a prize for best social media campaign and content marketing strategy.

The trio also have the chance of work experience at top marketing and advertising firm McCann Manchester after their simulated online campaign.

The team, Georgia Foster, Charlotte Knight and Rosie Atkinson, are all second year advertising and brand management students who created a mock marketing strategy for confectionary brand Rowntree’s, plotting how the campaign would play out on digital platforms.

The competition was organised by Brendan Keegan, senior lecturer in Digital Marketing, and Joanna Halton, MMU alumna and social media strategist at McCann and part of the agency's recently launched content strategy and production department.

Industry advice

It featured more than 100 students on the Digital Media and Marketing Platforms module, which is open to students on several courses in the Business School.

Brendan said: “The students managed to take in some fantastic advice from Joanna on what is proving to be a very important strategy in modern day digital marketing and the competition tested the wits as well as creativity of the students.

“The results were compelling, and showed a superb response to a live client-style brief, teaching the students who competed that even at first year they can create campaign ideas to a professional standard, as judged by one of the biggest digital agencies in the world.” 

The students also scooped the book ’Share This Too’, which focuses on social media strategy in the PR industry, to help with their studies. The book was developed by the CIPR Social Media panel, which includes Joanna, and features a personalised inscription to the winning team.

‘Brilliant’

Georgia said: “We had to create a three-month campaign using Facebook, Twitter and Instagram posts. It’s brilliant because it imitated the actual role and tasks that would be expected within a marketing company.

“Joanna gave us great feedback. It was invaluable for us to be able to tap into that knowledge.”

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AN INNOVATIVE marketing module is giving students CV-boosting skills through hands-on work in companies across Manchester.

Students from advertising, digital marketing, public relations, retail and joint-honour degrees spend one day a week on placement during their second year for the Agency Life course.

The module allows them to hone their talents in blogging, copy writing, market research, Google Analytics and networking, while picking up all-important work experience at one of a host of top Manchester digital and marketing firms.

Many of the students go on to land full-year placements and jobs thanks to Agency Life, now in its third year with a current cohort of 45 active placements.

Employability

Sarah Penney, associate lecturer and Agency Life course leader, said: “It is a perfect opportunity to build up a profile of work that students can show to employers.

“Agency Life gives them a head start in the job market with real employability skills, learned in real-life situations. They come out with skills, a good reference and in many cases, a job.

“Everyone who comes back off the course says it improves their employability - they know how it is to work in a digital marketing agency.”

Students spend two terms, from September to April, with their chosen company. They decide from a list of agencies but must pass an interview with their company. The module is marked 70 per cent on a portfolio and 30 pc on employer review.

‘Hands-on'

Harriet Wright graduated from her BA (Hons) Advertising and Brand Management degree in the summer and started her new job in September as a Marketing Executive with recruitment firm The Candidate, her placement company from Agency Life.

“Agency Life offers undergraduates invaluable work experience in the industry of their choice,” she said.

“It gives students a real taste of what they can expect once they graduate and it also makes their CV stand out from the crowd when applying for jobs. The Agency Life programme takes the learning out of the classroom and into a real, hands-on working environment.”

Agency Life was originally developed by David Edmundson-Bird, Principal Lecturer in Digital Marketing Communications.

For more information, log on to http://mmuagencylife.com/.

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GROWING entrepreneurial options for students at MMU have been recognised at the House of Lords with national teaching excellence status.

The Business School has been named a ‘Centre of Excellence’ for entrepreneurial teaching and learning at the glittering ceremony in the Parliament, hosted by the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs.

The title is the culmination of years of work to nurture a hub of student enterprise – growing from just 50 students engaged in entrepreneurship within the curriculum in 1998, to 2000 this year.

The MMU team led by David Taylor, Principal Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, was recognised for developing entrepreneurial skills and attributes in their students as part of their studies.

Excellence

He said: “We are really excited by this award and see this as enhancing the employability credentials of our business graduates. The Centre for Excellence status will act as a platform to extend our influence across the University and the region.”

In his acceptance speech, David recognised the New Entrepreneur Scholarship scheme, the launch of Innospace, and the birth of the ‘Ideas, Creativity and Entrepreneurship’ units.

The MMU team was presented with the award by Jenny McDowell, of the Lloyds Banking Group, who said: "MMU is creating the next generation of successful entrepreneurs and professionals through its creative and experiential approach to enterprise."

The University was represented by: Dr Steve Mansfield, Associate Head Employability, David Taylor, Director IOEE Centre of Excellence, Robert Dixon, Entrepreneur and ICE lecturer, Madeleine Jarvis, Senior Fellow Teaching and Learning, Carolyn Branston, Faculty Employability Coordinator, Martha Horler, Senior Administrator IOEE Centre of Excellence, and Dr Diane Wright, Head of Management.

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A RISE in the number of self-employed women hides the fact that a lot of women’s enterprise in the UK is unglamorous, scarcely profitable and curbed by childcare responsibilities, a Manchester Metropolitan University researcher argues.

The recent rise in female self-employment simply reflect the disproportionate impact of the recession on women’s full time employment, particularly in the public sector. 

“The 34 per cent rise in numbers of self-employed women shown in the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) report is not evidence that women’s enterprise is flourishing in the UK,” says Dr Julia Rouse, principal lecturer and Director of MMU’s Centre for Business and Society

Unglamorous

Women still only make up a third of the UK’s self-employed (1.4 million) and the top occupations for self-employed women are cleaners and domestics, childminders, carers, and hairdressers.

“The reality of entrepreneurship for most people is not the glamour of Dragon’s Den but the struggle to make ends meet,” Dr Rouse points out.

“The majority of self-employed women earn less than £10,000 a year – less than a full-time employee earning minimum wage.

"Enterprise policy has not been well integrated with childcare and maternity policies which simply don’t meet the needs of women wanting to launch a business. The failure of successive governments to understand the strength of the maternity and childcare barrier to enterprise means that a great deal of female entrepreneurial potential is being wasted.”

Reform

Recent research suggests:

Dr Rouse’s will discuss the issues as part of Developing Women’s Enterprise to Create Sustainable Communities’ event on November 4, 12-6pm, in MMU Business School, for the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) Festival of Social Science. 

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GOING for a swim, a gentle jog or taking a trip to the theatre could open the door to success for business owners.

According to new research, those with a higher level of personal wellbeing are more likely to innovate new products and services, subsequently driving growth in small and medium-sized firms.

Higher wellbeing reflects owner-managers participating in an arts or cultural activity, regularly exercising and being alert, attentive, determined and inspired in the workplace.

Now, the MMU team’s results could help boost ‘UK plc’ by underpinning a new approach for policy makers to help small business owners by developing wellbeing intervention schemes.

Innovation

Lead researcher Dr Robert Lee, senior lecturer from The Research Institute for Business and Management, said: “Encouraging owner-managers to understand and monitor their own personal wellbeing could have important implications for creativity, the development of new products and services, and entering new markets.

“The new survey demonstrates a significant association between positive emotions, mood in the workplace and higher innovation.

“The data further shows a significant association between participation in an arts or cultural activity - such as museums, galleries, theatres, or concerts - and higher innovation. In addition, regular exercise is also associated with higher innovation.”

The British Academy-funded study was conducted by surveying 1,000 business owners across the north of England. They answered a series of questions on their exercise habits, cultural activities, health, wellbeing and mood.

'Major impact'

The study is one of the first of its kind to establish links between personal wellbeing and innovation, and has since caught the attention of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Dr Lee added: “Our research identifies that very little evidence exists regarding owner managers personal well-being indicators and links to innovation, and could have a major impact for the future.  

“Understanding how to help owner-managers to increase their wellbeing could be an invaluable tool for policy makers to boost the lifeblood of the economy.”

Dr Lee conducted the research with Professor Heinz Tuselmann, from MMU, and Prof Eleanor Shaw, from the University of Strathclyde.

 

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DIGITAL communications specialists can take the next step in their career with a qualification aimed at aspiring managers.

Manchester Metropolitan University has joined forces with trade news website Prolific North to develop the industry-ready leadership course, the part-time Post-Graduate Certificate in Digital Comms Management, to provide a bridge between executive and management level in the thriving digital communications field.

Students will benefit from expertise already on offer at MMU and from Prolific North’s connections, with weekly industry speakers from leading companies.

David Edmundson-Bird, principal lecturer in Digital Marketing, said: “The communications world has its unique challenges and various specialisms.

The next step

“The course is designed for people who will have been working for a few years to understand the capabilities of others and how to manage people.

“You may be a social media executive, SEO specialist or digital marketer, but to take the next step you need to understand how to manage people who come from all those teams. You’ll be able to think in the broader context of digital communications as well as how to interact with customers of those disciplines.”

The six-month course comprises two units: ‘Strategy and planning for digital and social media management’ and ‘Management leadership for communication professionals’.

Some of the areas the units focus on are: digital and social media strategy, exploiting mobile platforms and emerging technology, developing customers and client management, leadership models, solving business problems and intellectual property.

Industry know-how

The course runs for six months and students attend the University for one day a week. The units also count towards the MSc in Public Relations and Media Management and the MSc in Digital Marketing.

Nick Jaspan, Prolific North publisher, said: “The speakers bring excellent industry credibility and it’s a chance to share best practice with the students. So far, the feedback for the PG Cert has been very positive.”

The second cohort begins in February 2015.

Opening evenings are held at MMU’s Digital Innovation hub on the All Saints site:

You can book here for the opening evenings.

For more information, log on to MMU’s course directory or Prolific North.

 

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THE FACULTY OF Business and Law has announced two ‘Professional Development Weeks’ for its students in November (3-7) and February (16-20).

The weeks are designed to improve degree outcomes and boost employment chances and come after the Faculty appointed PL Steve Mansfield as the University’s first academic head of employability.

The week will feature a festival of interactive sessions that mirror the Early Career Professional skills framework and are targeted toward all students of MMU’s faculty of business and law, with most attendees expected to be 1st & 2nd years.

Sessions are organised around five themes:

Commercial & Professional Awareness:

Thinking Critically:

Demonstrating Values:

 Communicating Effectively:

Academic & Employability Skills:

Steve said the aim of focussing on key transferable and academic was “to help students get a better degree and become even more employable in a competitive graduate jobs market.”

Additionally, there will also be opportunities to meet employers at the Graduate Jobs & Placements fair, meet with various professional body representatives, learn about and start to use an e-portfolio, develop CV’s and cover letter writing know-how, improve and enhance key employability and core academic skills and become more commercially aware and talk the language of business!

For the Complete schedule and to book sessions online visit business.mmu.ac.uk/ecp or contact Roman Taylor on 0161 247 3716

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RESEARCHERS will be sharing their insights on our social, economic and political lives to the public as part of the nationwide Festival of Social Science.

Academics from across Manchester Metropolitan University are hosting thought-provoking debates and seminars, covering everything from government cuts to TV to sustainable development.

The events are open to everyone to help understand the world around us and how social science affects us all – at work, in school, as parents, in our communities and nationally – as part of the Economic and Social Research Council’s 2014 Festival of Social Science.

In total, seven events are being held by MMU’s researchers from the health, education, business, art and law disciplines - making the University’s world-class research and knowledge accessible to all.

Engage and involve

Principal lecturer in social care Dr Martin King, who is hosting the event ‘Beyond the Childcatcher: social work in film and TV’, said: “Social science affects us all so it’s important to be able to understand what’s going on around us and to make sense of our society, culture and institutions.

“We want to be able engage and involve as many people as possible and bring research directly to the public. The festival is a fantastic opportunity to welcome people who are interested into the social science and University community.

“It promises to be lively and stimulating, and everyone is welcome to attend and join in.”

MMU’s academics will be joining colleagues from across the country who are hosting similar sessions in 40 UK towns and cities.

Events

The 12th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from November 1-8 with more than 200 free events nationwide. It aims to provide an opportunity for everyone meet with social scientists including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies.

MMU events are:

Find out more about the festival and how to book.  

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A BUSINESS manager has scooped a scholarship worth £16,750 at the annual Manchester Executive MBA challenge.

Victor Padee, 30, competed against 16 other professionals to be crowned winner of the fourth Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) tournament, sponsored by Williams BMW.

It now means Victor will study the MBA at the University after winning the four-month challenge.

He currently works as a corporate business development manager for Global Payments and hopes the degree, which takes place at MMU’s award-winning business school, will open new doors in his career.

Winner

Manchester-based Victor said: “It’s a great honour to win the scholarship, especially as the calibre of people in the competition was so high. It was an extremely tough competition. It took you out of your comfort zone and challenged you but that’s what the MBA is all about.

“I can’t wait to start the course at MMU and it is exactly what I was looking for. All the staff have been a great help and the new Business School is fantastic.”

The Executive MBA at MMU is accredited by the Association of MBAs and teaching takes place in three-day study blocks.

Entrants competed in a series of challenges over the summer to test their skills and leadership qualities. Two runners-up were awarded scholarships of £4,000 to Jackie Bell and Lucy Foster, and a £2,000 scholarship for all other finalists.

Industry connections

Daniel Sheratte, MBA and Masters Development Manager at MMU, said: “Our 25 years’ experience of running MBA programmes is excellent testament to the quality, resilience and flexibility we embed in the programme, retaining relevance in an ever-changing commercial world.

“We are proud of our connections with industry and it is this robust relationship which plays a significant role in ensuring the academic rigour of our flagship executive MBA programme has legitimate practical application in the workplace.”

Alexandra Cook, Group Head of Development at Williams Group, the leading retailer of BMW, MINI, Land Rover and BMW Bikes in the North West, added: “As a family-owned business that prides itself on the development of its staff via bespoke training schemes including those for middle and senior management, we are proud to continue our support of the Manchester Executive MBA Challenge and offer our congratulations to the winners.

“If the North West is to maintain and enhance its reputation for producing the brightest and best business executives from academia and industry and most importantly retaining that talent, initiatives such as the challenge need to be championed by the region’s corporate community.”

For more information, log on to www.business.mmu.ac.uk/mba.

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A GLITTERING array of elite sport professionals launched Manchester Metropolitan University’s new Sport Directorship master’s degree.

The first cohort of students are drawn from a list of sport stars and experienced business people, including former England cricketer Ashley Giles and Ex-Arsenal FC and German international goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, aiming to become the next generation of industry leaders.

They were welcomed to the University this week for the launch of the new master’s degree. Former Man City CEO Garry Cook outlined the crucial role of a Sport Director in today’s global sports business, charting his tenure at the helm of the club overseeing a struggling team transform into a footballing powerhouse.

The course is backed by an impressive advisory board from the Professional Footballers’ Association, The League Managers Association, The England and Wales Cricket Board and former Olympian Diane Modahl.

New era

The newly-created degree, called Master of Sport Directorship (MSD) and run in partnership with Visionary Sports Investment, is aimed at former sport professionals and industry experts moving into business management of teams, governing bodies and leading sport organisations.

Dr Sara Ward, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management at MMU, said: “We’re incredibly proud to be the first University to offer this course and to have welcomed the students to our Business School. They are understandably eager and excited to start the degree and the next chapters in their careers.

“The launch event was a fantastic chance to hear from the people in the thick of the global sport business, including Garry Cook who is now the Chief Global Officer for Ultimate Fighting Championships, about the importance of a Sport Director and the shift we are likely to see over the next few years.

“Our students will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to manage countless organisations, from grassroots to elite sporting organisations, ushering in a new era of sports leadership.”

Flexible learning

Ashes winner Ashley Giles added: “The MSD will give me a greater understanding of a role I’m already passionate about and provide me with a broader set of skills and competencies to be an effective Sporting Director.”

The course is on a part-time basis with most candidates studying alongside their full-time jobs. There are five units in total studied over two years, with each unit being taught at MMU’s £75m Business School in three, two-day blocks of teaching.

For more information, log on to www.sportingdirectorship.com.

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