Welcome to our new Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean, Jingjing Xu

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On 28 January 2020 the Faculty of Business and Law welcomed Professor Jingjing Xu as their Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean for the faculty.

Following her appointment Professor Xu said: “I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work at UWE Bristol as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law. I am impressed by the achievements made by the University in the last decade and I firmly believe that its recently published Strategy 2030 will take this University to a more exciting era. This is an exciting time for the University and for me and I am very much looking forward to joining colleagues at UWE Bristol to contribute to the further developments of the University.”

Jingjing joins us from the University of Plymouth where she was the Head of Plymouth Business School.

She joined the University of Plymouth in early 2007 as her first academic job after working as a government official in China for several years and then pursuing further studies in Sweden and the UK.

Within five years of joining the University of Plymouth she was promoted to Senior Lecturer, Reader and Professor, and became Deputy Director of a research centre. She then took on the role of Associate Dean for Research at the Faculty of Business in 2014.

In 2015, she established the Institute for Social, Policy and Enterprise Research (iSPER), a University-wide research institute to promote and facilitate inter-disciplinary research. In July 2017, when three previously existing schools in the Faculty of Business were merged to form one of the biggest entities in the institution – the new Plymouth Business School – she was appointed as Interim Head of School to oversee the setting up and development of the new school.

Some five months later, following an extensive external and internal recruitment campaign, she was appointed as Head of School. Since then, the School has made some significant improvements, such as improved ranking positions for nearly all of the subject areas in the School in the Complete University Guide, and subject areas being in the 1st position nationally for overall student satisfaction in the latest NSS.

Academically, Professor Xu is an internationally renowned expert on law and economics in the marine and maritime domain. She has over 100 publications and has won and led numerous national and international research grants. She sits on a number of national and international panels and committees and she is an elected Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation. Her publications inform the curriculum in her field and she is also an Adjunct or Visiting Professor at renowned universities in China, Sweden and Australia.

We are excited for the future of the Faculty of Business and Law with Jingjing Xu’s input and direction.

New Leadership Academy launched with Paradigm Norton

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UWE Bristol are working with employee owned and multi award winning financial planning firm Paradigm Norton to launch a ‘Leadership Academy’.

Designed to strategically invest in the leaders of the future, the Academy will see participants study modules in self-leadership, personal vision, succession, sustainability and legacy and conflict and confrontation. With a maximum of eight Paradigm Norton employees per academic year, the course demonstrates how the firm are investing in the future of their team and the wider business.   

Exclusively available to members of the Paradigm Norton team, the course will focus on management and leadership skills and spans across the normal academic year.

Those who complete the course will receive an accredited level seven certificate of leadership and management from UWE Bristol, as well as credits towards completing a further two years to achieve an MBA at the university.

Barry Horner, CEO of Paradigm Norton, said: “We have launched the Leadership Academy with UWE as a result of a desire to equip the future leaders of the business to lead with excellence. As an employee owned business, we wish to ensure that our ‘Partners’ have the required leadership skills that they need to help us grow and build the business over the coming decade. We have big ambitions and we will need leaders who can drive through change and help us stay current and relevant.”

Lynda Williams, Associate Director at UWE’s Bristol Business School and Bristol Law School, said; “Working in tandem with Paradigm Norton to bring this course to life has been fantastic, to be able to offer their team a sophisticated learning environment and a chance to build on their leadership skills is very exciting.”

Recently, Paradigm Norton was named the 22nd in the Top 100 Financial Adviser list by The Financial Times. The list provides a snapshot of the very best financial advice firms working in the UK today.

Life after University and my advice to current students

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Blog written by Isabelle Peters, UWE Bristol Marketing & Communications Alumni and Marketing Executive at Moxie and Mettle.

Isabelle Peters, former UWE Bristol Marketing and Communications student has written a guest blog with her advice for current students looking to get into a Marketing role after University.

There comes a time when all good things must come to an end, and that includes school and then University. 

Most people leave school and go straight to University without actually being exposed to all their options and end up regretting their course and being stuck with a degree in something useless and not knowing what to do. 

That nearly happened to me.

I was just about to head to Manchester to study History when I stopped and asked myself: what do I need this degree for? I took two years out to figure it out and landed on a Marketing & Communications course at UWE instead (best decision ever by the way).

I studied (and partied) hard for three years to get my degree, and then the realisation kicked in that I had to find a job, and that it should be in the field I’ve spent a lot of time and money on during University. It should be easy right? You study for your degree, and now it’s your time to shine and get your dream job and salary and begin your life…

Well, sadly no.

Getting a job is very difficult, and I wasn’t enlightened about how hard it would be, nor did I listen. I must have applied for over 60 jobs before I even started to get interviews, and my experience still wasn’t enough. This is an essential piece of information that I HAVE to express to current students: if you don’t have actual real-world experience in your desired industry, good luck trying to find a job because it will be hard.

If you are serious about a career in Marketing, PR, Comms, Journalism or anything related, I would 100% suggest doing a placement year or at least a few weeks unpaid work experience here and there during holidays. I’ve found the best way to approach this type of work experience is to build a solid LinkedIn page, do some research and connect with the MD/CEO of the company expressing your interest in working unpaid/work experience.

If you need assistance with finding a workplace/work experience, Moxie & Mettle offer a unique Graduate Plus scheme for entry-level graduates and current students. They aim signpost candidates to their clients who are looking for students or graduates to fulfil a work placement and hopefully help more people get opportunities. 

My second piece of advice is to familiarise yourself with extra marketing blogs and materials on the internet – all posted at the bottom. A big part of marketing is understanding the current market, keeping on top of changes and understanding constant developments. Not only will this increase your knowledge, but it will accustom you to the language of marketing and develop your copywriting skills. 

This brings me on to my third piece of advice. Copywriting is at the heart of what you do. (When I first started at Moxie & Mettle, I didn’t even really know what this meant, and I actually had to Google it discretely). It is the activity or occupation of writing the text of advertisements or publicity material. It comes in all shapes and sizes from a blog to a post on social media! Usually, we’re taught to write academically for essays and reports, while in the real world, we should be writing in a style that’s accessible for our target audience. Meaning it should probably be more colloquial, simpler and ENGAGING.

Marketing is moving away from theory-heavy academia and newspapers to digital platforms, which means our consumer is changing the way they take in information.

Blogging is a big part of content marketing; it promotes and raises brand awareness. I know blogging can’t necessarily be taught, but practise helps, and the process of understanding different audiences can be tricky. I struggled a lot when I first started writing blogs for Moxie & Mettle, I was unsure how to lay it out, and the tone was all wrong. My advice is to read a lot of these style blogs and practise writing whenever you can.

Finally, my last piece of advice is to try and build your confidence up as much as you can. University can’t teach you to be a people person but testing yourself by joining clubs and societies can! 

I’m a firm believer in the ‘people hire people’ concept, which pretty much suggests if you leave a great impression you will be remembered. A significant part of my job is attending any slightly relevant events to act as a brand ambassador for my company; this helps us generate leads and meet new clients.

I have currently been working for Moxie & Mettle for almost a year, and honestly, I have learnt so much about marketing and myself; what I’m good at and what I can improve on; but weirdly enough what marketing really is.

Future Impact Webinar: Supporting women in male-dominated industries

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You can now watch the recording of the latest of our Future Impact Webinars on the topic of supporting women in male-dominated industries.

In this webinar our main speaker is Stella Warren, Research Fellow at Bristol Leadership and Change Centre, who gave a detailed presentation around this topic and set the context behind the issues faced by women working in a male-dominated industry.

Our other two panellists are founding members of alta (an online mentoring platform to support women in aviation) Judith Milne, Specialist Aviation Executive and Ros Azouzi, Head of Careers at the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).

The webinar gave way to some positive discussion about this subject and we were able to answer several audience questions live.

To view our previous webinars in the Future Impact Webinar series visit our website and to view the most recent webinar head to the recording here.

Course Connect case study: Nationwide Building Society

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Thanks to Gemma Clatworthy and Eleimon Gonis, Senior Risk Managers, for providing a case study from Nationwide Building Society who are partnered with our Credit Risk Analysis and Management module here at UWE Bristol.

What is Course Connect?

Course Connect Partnerships help bridge the gap between academia and industry and contribute to the practice focus of our programmes. Businesses can partner with us to co-create knowledge and help educate our students by supporting a module on a taught programme for two years.

You can contribute through live cases studies, guest lectures, co-designing the curriculum mentoring or sponsoring students and student competitions, and providing internships or placements.

Please give a short bio and history of your business:

‘Nationwide is the UK’s largest building society with a balance sheet of c.£240bn and c.16m members.’

‘As a mutual, Nationwide is managed for the benefit of its current and future members, who are its retail savings, owner occupied mortgage and current account customers.’

How is your business getting involved with Course Connect?

‘Members of the Risk Community at Nationwide are shaping the Credit Risk Analysis and Management course content and giving guest lectures on different aspects of risk management, such as advances in credit risk modelling, the use of credit risk in decision making and horizon scanning.’

‘Also, Nationwide risk professionals highlight topical issues in the credit risk industry, such as the advent of AI / ML or the need to account for climate change in risk-based decision making, which can in turn inform student assessment to ensure that graduates are aware of and tackle the issues that practitioners deal with on an everyday basis.’

What interested you about being a Course Connect partner?

‘The ambition of the Risk Community at Nationwide Building Society is to become a world class risk function, which safeguards the Society’s strategic cornerstone of “built to last”, while always putting its members’ interest first. In that respect, the Risk community is keen on forming close ties with UWE Bristol, so it can share best practice and expertise and become the recipient of novel and fresh ideas with respect to the future of risk management.’

‘For this reason, we were genuinely excited about the opportunity to connect with UWE Bristol, share knowledge and learn from each other.’

What is your feedback so far?

‘The module leader has been very active and supportive of the programme. Although at the early stages of our collaboration, there have been some interesting discussions on the future of risk management, and we find that there is an open channel of communication that has the potential to add value to both sides’ operations and strategic thinking.’

‘Course Connect has benefits to both the business and the university and we’re proud to be involved.’

If you would like to find out more about Course Connect or would like to become a partner, please email bbec@uwe.ac.uk.

Course Connect Case Study: Lloyds Banking Group

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Thanks to Caron Ricciardi, Senior Business Development Manager, for providing a case study from Lloyds Banking Group who are partnered with our Banking and Finance module here at UWE Bristol.

What is Course Connect?

Course Connect Partnerships help bridge the gap between academia and industry and contribute to the practice focus of our programmes. Businesses can partner with us to co-create knowledge and help educate our students by supporting a module on a taught programme for two years.

You can contribute through live cases studies, guest lectures, co-designing the curriculum mentoring or sponsoring students and student competitions, and providing internships or placements.

Please give a short bio and history of your business:

‘When Lloyds Banking Group was formed in 2009, it brought together many well-known, financial-sector brands, including Lloyds, Halifax, Bank of Scotland and Scottish Widows. Our combined history stretches back more than 300 years, and encompasses a diverse range of businesses.’

How is your business getting involved with Course Connect?

‘We provide support for the banking and finance programme, complimenting the programme modules through a variety of activities, for example:

  • Interactive presentations on Robotics and Money Laundering
  • Giving new starter students an introduction to the soft skills needed in business
  • Helping 2nd and 3rd year students with mock interviews, CV feedback and assessment centres to fully prepare them for careers after graduating.’

What interested you about being a Course Connect partner?

‘We want young people to get a great start to their working life, sharing our experiences, knowledge and skills is a great way to help make that happen. This approach aligns to our Group purpose of Helping Britain Prosper.’

What is your feedback so far?

‘Personally I feel we have built a robust relationship with the lecturers and course directors / leads. This is complimented through Lloyds’ seat on the UWE Board, where in collaboration with other local businesses we help to shape the discussions for course content and direction.  As an employer, we look to add value by ensuring the courses provide a ‘true to life’ perspective for students.’

‘When talking about our relationship with UWE internally to my Lloyds colleagues, I class us as an “integral partner for the programme”.’

If you would like to find out more about Course Connect or would like to become a partner, please email bbec@uwe.ac.uk.

The British College International Students Visit

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Recently Bristol Business School hosted a group of international students from Nepal who are studying UWE Bristol courses in their home country. Thanks to a partnership with The British College (TBC), students are able to study our BBA Business and Management and MSc International Management programmes in Kathmandu.

The British College offers an unforgettable academic experience, transcending international boundaries with thought-provoking incision. Being the pioneering International College in Nepal, they also provide their students with international exposure and experiences.

It was fantastic to welcome a small group of these students to our facilities at Bristol Business School for a day. They were given a tour of the building including visiting the state-of-the-art Law Courts and Harvard Lecture Theatres, followed by a presentation from Hilary Drew, AHOD for Partnerships (BIM).

Carolyn McNicholas, Link Tutor for TBC, was there to support the visit and meet the students over a lunch provided. She says, “It was a pleasure to meet with the TBC students and be able to give them an idea of what it is like to study at UWE. This will hopefully be the first of many future visits by TBC students to UWE.”  

If you would like to find out more about our global partnerships head to the UWE Bristol website.

The Everest Challenge

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Staff at UWE Bristol took part in the Everest Challenge in aid of promoting physical and mental wellbeing at work.

Over summer 2019 several staff across the University took part in the Everest Challenge in aid of promoting physical and mental wellbeing at work.

Organised by Fliss Cargill, Professional Development Team Manager at UWE Bristol, the challenge was to climb the equivalent of reaching the top of Everest using only the stairs in the Bristol Business School. The number of steps required to do this was 58,070, equal to 2,420 flights.

All staff members who were involved had 8 weeks to complete the challenge and they recorded the flights they had taken each day, giving way to a bit of friendly competition between colleagues.

Fliss explains, “The purpose of the challenge was not only because I had always wanted to see how many times I’d need to walk up to my office to reach Everest (403.3 times!) but just to make us all think about how we could add some exercise into our work routine by taking the stairs rather than the lift and how much this might add to our mental health as well as physical”.

After a summer of aching calves and red faces, our staff managed to complete the challenge in an impressive 6 weeks – 2 weeks ahead of schedule. This challenge proved that we can all add a little bit more movement into our work day which is especially important for those who have a sedentary job role sat by a computer. We are lucky to have the facilities in the Bristol Business School building to do this easily, with a staircase from floors 2 to 6 situated in the middle of the building with access from the downstairs Atrium café.

UWE Bristol believe in empowering staff and students to make healthy choices and have an initiative called Feel Good at UWE Bristol. Have a look at their programme and gather some ideas for inspiration to improve your wellbeing.

UWE Bristol sponsor ‘Start-Up Business’ award

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The Business Leader Awards is a prestigious event that showcases the region’s outstanding companies and recognises the entrepreneurs who run them. Each year the awards bring together hundreds of leaders in business, education and government along with VIPs and celebrities for one gala evening. This year the gala was held on 26 September at Ashton Gate Stadium.

UWE Bristol were proud sponsors of the ‘Start-Up Business’ award and headed to the evening full of excitement to see who would win this esteemed category. The evening of the awards was great fun, with the fantastic Michael Portillo hosting the gala and some fantastic food being served.

We would like to wish a huge congratulations to winners of the Business Leader Awards, especially, Smart Futures Training (previously AAA training solutions) who won the UWE Bristol sponsored Start-Up Business Award.

Business leader awards sponsors 2019

Unlocking Performance through Employee Engagement Conference

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On Tuesday 25 June Bristol Business School hosted the ‘Unlocking Performance through Employee Engagement Conference’ in collaboration with Engage for Success, CITB and ILM. This was the first Engage for Success conference hosted outside of London, and it was fantastic to hold it here at UWE Bristol welcoming over 170 external delegates to the Business School.

Keynote speaker presentations

Workshop presentations

On Tuesday 25 June Bristol Business School hosted the ‘Unlocking Performance through Employee Engagement Conference’ in collaboration with Engage for Success, CITB and ILM. This was the first Engage for Success conference hosted outside of London, and it was fantastic to hold it here at UWE Bristol welcoming over 170 external delegates to the Business School. The main theme of the event was around harnessing the skills of people and resources to reach new levels of engagement to boost productivity and save costs. There was also a focus on creating and sustaining employee engagement during challenging times, and with limited budgets, as often experienced by SMEs.

The event was chaired by Dr. Gareth Edwards, Associate Professor of Leadership Development at UWE Bristol, whilst Noordin Shehabuddeen, Director of Bristol Business Engagement Centre at UWE Bristol, welcomed the delegates, who came from a variety of professions from within the South West including the construction industry, accounting and finance, and local government. The conference was treated to some excellent keynote speakers focusing on the necessity for employee engagement now more than ever, to case studies from baby food manufacturer Ella’s Kitchen to Wilmott Dixon, a local construction company, who were recently ranked the 4th Best Company to work for by the Sunday Times.

There then followed a series of interactive workshops led by invited guests who are also ambassadors for Engage for Success, and a rather intriguing energiser event led by the Creator of Joy at Inspire me, who was able to create a credible rock choral version of ‘Aint No Mountain High Enough’ in just 20 mins – definitely an occasion which you had to be part of to actually believe. The event concluded with a keynote address from Andrew Sandiford, Managing Partner of local accountancy firm Bishop Fleming, followed by a panel discussion to answer questions submitted by the delegates throughout the day. It was evident that employee engagement is everyone’s responsibility, and many of the questions centered on how to do this if given little or no budget, as well as strategies as to how to gain support from the cynics and buy-in from senior management. Support was certainly gained by everyone present, and we were delighted to have hosted such a fantastic event.