Earlier this month on the 5th August, the latest NBS employability Prize competition took place. The competition was sponsored by Raglan Housing, a national social housing association turning over £70,000,000 per annum with over 12,500 properties across 95 local authorities. This innovative prize required shortlisted MSc students to improve their Management Skills and Personal development by presenting their feasibility studies to a panel of senior managers and academics. The prize was embedded within a core module, MC1X Management Skills and Personal Development, which is offered to over 325 students and 57 groups competed for the prize. The feasibility study topic areas included: a corporate/academic black tie evening; a business breakfast networking club; a corporate/academic golf day; a Chinese Social Enterprise and an NBS module which could be marketed to other schools within UEA.
Six groups were shortlisted by a panel of academics and each of the groups had to give a presentation in a boardroom context to an expert panel comprising academics and the sponsors and defend their propositions under a question and answering session. All of the presenting groups were invited to the celebration buffet sponsored by Raglan Housing where they were able to network with senior staff from within the school and the university.
Robert Smyth, the Head of Performance and Market Intelligence at Raglan Housing was impressed with the presentations commenting that “As an organisation we know the importance of investing in new ideas and innovations and the presentations from each of the teams has shown a unique and insightful approach to addressing real business issues”.
The module and prize organiser Dr Graham Manville added that competing in a prize that emulates the context of a real business is an invaluable way of building valuable employability skills. In addition the winning teams can also add their prize and certificates to their CV which will help them to stand out in an increasing competitive graduate market.
The prize-winning feasibility studies were as follows:
1st Prize: AI Dream– a Social Enterprise which provided HIV/Aids awareness for young people in China using an innovative mobile phone game application – £250
2nd Prize: Black Tie Affair – A Corporate/Academic Networking Dinner with two leading corporate sponsors – £150
Team Members: Mark Chappell, Achmad Mulahela and Frankie Bainbridge
3rd Prize: “Not Yet” Corporate Golf Day – A Corporate Golf Day which secured conceptual commitment from several sponsors – £50
Team members: Alicja Gronska, Yining Hu and Shiyuan Wang