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Students enter Dragon's Den

Published: 22nd March 2007

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The MMU Yomping Finalists and 'supporters' at Old Trafford

GOING to lectures and hanging out in bars is all well and good, but MMU students like to live dangerously too!

This week, some of our more enterprising students entered the Dragon’s Den for a taste of the high-octane world of business in the student version of TV’s The Apprentice!

Students swapped their jeans for 'power suits' for the glitzy grand final of the National Business Skills ‘Yomping the Nations’* competition.

Hosted by Manchester Metropolitan University at Lancashire County Cricket Club, Old Trafford, the winning teams from the 10 UK regional heats competed against each other in an exhilarating two-day event under the scrutiny of some of the UK’s top business experts.

Pitch to judges

Each team of students taking part had to develop, plan and present a business strategy for a business scenario given to them on the day. They plan a successful business, arrange meetings with business experts and, finally, pitch a strategy to a panel of judges.

Judges included Lisa Tse (Sweet Mandarin), Gonzallo Trujillo (Global Renewables), Andy McDougall (Central Telecom) and John Sandford )KPMG).

David Taylor, business and enterprise lecturer at MMU Business School, said: "MMU is putting enterprise at the heart of teaching and learning, so contests like YTN 07 are a great opportunity to allow our students to benchmark their skills and employability. We were delighted to host the YTN 07 Grand Final."

The MMU team comprised:

  • Jordan Peel, BA Business Enterprise
  • Michelle Strydom, Accounting and Finance
  • Mohammad Sibtain Mujahid, Accounting Information Systems
  • Carrie Huilin Yuan, MSc International Business Management
  • Tamara Hall, Economics & International Business
  • Michael Wilson, Business Economics

Boost for career plans

Jan Moore, Head of Careers at MMU, said: "Although our illustrious team did not lift the cup this time they still acquitted themselves extremely well and feel they learned a terrific amount that will be relevant for their CV's and longer term career plans."

In a survey published in late January, 43% of employers polled by the Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) said they had unfilled graduate vacancies, against less than a third in 2005. According to the AGR, the underlying reason is that 'employers feel there is an inadequate supply of applicants of sufficient calibre.

* Yomping the Nations is organised by The Working Knowledge Group, a coaching, training and consultancy organisation, as part of their support to education and a belief that students will only graduate with the skills required by the workplace if business engages in their education.

Other teams were from: London School of Economics, Queen Mary, Northumbria, Cardiff/UWIC, Leicester, UEA, Plymouth, Reading, UCLAN and Leeds Metropolitan universities.