BY STEVEN SNELLER, MBA STUDENT
Where do I start about my business in action experience?… It was action packed, interesting, really engaging and one of the best experiences about the MBA so far.
The first few days of the week, we went to visit two businesses based in the North East. The first business was family-owned, specialising in chemical manufacturing. It was really interesting listening to the Managing Director explaining about the family business, their heritage, values and how the business had evolved from when it was founded in 1926. We actually have a business case competition around this business, which we are coming back to present to the company on the 20th February. This is an MBA group-work competition, so we are all working on presenting our strategic plan to the business, with a competition winner announced at a Celebration evening in February.
The second business, specialised in manufacturing exhaust systems and was based very close to Nissan in Sunderland. We were given full access to the manufacturing site and had a tour around the assembly lines. It was a very interesting day, being able to engage with the company’s senior management team on how they implement the manufacturing processes of Kaizen, Lean and TCQM.
On Wednesday, the cohort then travelled down to London and attended the Newcastle University London campus for a lecture on financial transparency by Dr Anna Tilba and Chris Sier. The lectures gave an insight into hidden charges within financial investments and how the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is regulating the investment market.
On Thursday, we visited two companies within the City of London. The first was a visit to Lloyds, where we gained an insight into the future of banking payments and the IT infrastructure needed to support the emergence of new payment systems. The knowledge presented, gave a crucial insight into Change Management and the Risk Management practices of Lloyds, and how they are positioned for the technological change within Financial Services.
On the Thursday afternoon, we visited a company called “The Sandpit” which focuses on supporting business start-ups. The business model they use helps validate the viability of the business start-up and supporting the business through its early stage development. The structure of the model, aims at maximising the growth potential of the business start-up, to then allow it to “graduate” and excel within the marketplace once the start-up has been built to a successful business. The experience shared by its founder Simon Campbell was very inspiring and demonstrated how a portfolio of business start-ups can be supported using the Sandpit business model.
On Friday, we concluded the week with a group reflection about our combined experiences from the Business in Action week and then evaluating each of the businesses visited. On reflection, it was very stimulating and interesting to visit each of the different businesses and learn their industry insights within the sector that they operate.
The bond between the MBA cohort has been very strong since we started studying in September, and our time together in London also allowed the cohort to reflect upon our learning experiences from the 1st Semester.
I am glad Lesley (Director of MBA programmes) and Suzanne (MBA programme Secretary) arranged the Business in Action week, because it really reinforced all of the learning on the MBA so far and how this can be applied in real business environments.
The MBA encompasses more than just study, it gives you the opportunity to expand your career learning and understanding of the business world.
It’s true what our Programme Director said back in September, that “the more you put into the MBA, the more you get out of it”.
That is certainly true from my own Business in Action week experience and I found it really beneficial to my own personal development and potential career direction.