Ambitious students got the chance to learn from industry experts at a recent business networking event at the University of Stirling Management School.
The three-day ‘Solutions for Business’ event allowed students to build links with industry, develop employability skills, and discuss with business experts the challenges and opportunities faced by companies.
Leading figures from the world of business, many of whom are also alumni of the University, represented a range of local, regional and global companies, including Costa Coffee, HSBC Bank, Banco Santander, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Bruce Tait Associates, BskyB and the Institute of Directors.
As part of its commitment to enhancing the student experience, Stirling provides a range of personal and professional development opportunities, to enable students to develop skills and attributes that will enhance their employability.
The University is also committed to working in partnership with employers and strengthening connections with industry, businesses and alumni - to maintain an aspirational environment for students in which to develop into employable graduates.
Professor Sharon Bolton, Head of the Management School said: “Stirling is among the top universities in the UK for graduate employment and is committed to developing confident and ambitious graduates who are well-prepared for the workplace.
“This event – which aims to enhance students’ networking, interpersonal and teambuilding skills – is just one of many innovative business engagement initiatives we have established to equip our students with the resources they need to succeed.”
She added: “In addition to helping students make the industry connections necessary in an increasingly competitive global job market, the event also provides a platform for local and national employers seeking new talent. I would like to thank our business partners and alumni mentors for sharing their expertise and experience with our students and for their support in ensuring the event’s success.”
One of the MBA student participants, Martin Coulter, gained confidence from the event. He said: “The Solutions for Business event is a superb employability and business engagement initiative.
“Not only does it give business students like me a real taste of the world of management and leadership, but it also serves as a source of tremendous inspiration. I am now better equipped and more ambitious than ever to forge a successful career as a business leader.”
Many of the business figures and alumni in attendance also commented on the event’s value and success. Marie Christie, Director of McAdam King, the Scottish recruitment agency said: “Gaining experiences and developing the interpersonal skills that allow you to stand out from other candidates is increasingly important. Engaging with business is vital to developing the key skills that students will need when they make the transition to the workplace.”
Her words were echoed by Richard Carlow, Digital Account Director for Frame, a creative agency based in Glasgow. Richard said: “It is vital for students to have early exposure to business and business culture so they can feed the experience back into their studies. It is also incredibly important to develop personal skills that are essential for entering and thriving in the business world.”
Another business expert in attendance who spoke of the importance of student engagement with business was Ian McKay, Chairman of the Institute of Directors. He said: “The benefits of students engaging with business are countless. Our common futures are dependent on each other.”
‘Solutions for Business’ is part of the Flying Start leadership programme for all taught postgraduate students in the University of Stirling Management School – an induction programme which aims to introduce participants to the employability and leadership skills that will form the foundation of successful careers. The event was led by the University’s Professor George Burt, Director of the Centre for Advanced Management Education and Programme Director of the Stirling MBA.