December 9, 2022, by aczjb1

MBA focus: Business Practice Week

This blog is written by MBA student Neelu Malhotra, who reflects on her experiences of Business Practice Week last month. 

With the MBA class of 2023 running well into its seventh week of classroom lectures, group discussions and various activities, the Business Practice Week (BPW) came in at a good time. We started our BPW on 31 Oct with the first day as visit to The Hut Group (THG) – a British e-commerce retail company headquartered in Manchester.

The entire class assembled in the Exchange Building on Jubilee Campus early morning at 7:15 am. There was chill in the air but the enthusiasm of this outdoor experience was evident on the smiling and shining faces of our classmates, who were engrossed in chatting with fellow students with happiness that warmed our hearts. The journey to our destination was covered in less than three hours and we were all very excited for this first business trip together.

The sessions at THG were led by a host of speakers ranging from graduate students that had risen in the company by sheer hard work and dedication, to former British Olympic cyclist Callum Skinner, whose presentation on motivation left us speechless. In the world of achieving targets the one great inspirational take away from Callum Skinner’s talk was “Live, work and socialise with your teammates”.  It was clear that when you start down the path of beating the competition based on something that can be easily measured, with practice and determination you can do better than your rivals.

The rest of the week was filled with lectures and presentations from notable speakers, ranging from leadership, communication, work flow management through digitalisation, and purchasing and supply chain management. These talks given by imminent leaders from the business world gave us the opportunity to understand and exploit our own strengths, giving us a competitive advantage. The one thing that we commonly realised was that flexibility in the face of change, and resilience in the face of confusion, are the attributes that are available to everyone, across any stream of business. These attributes and personal behaviours are choices, not talents.

We spend our time and energy trying to perfect our craft, but we don’t focus on skills and interactions that will allow us to stand out and become indispensable. This is exactly what we discovered when we presented our mid-week assignment for Himmah. In a short duration of one week my fellow students came up with great solutions and ideas that would work for this community action organisation and a social justice charity, working to reduce poverty and to achieve race and education equality. Great presentations came through with the sheer power of exchanging ideas, discussions and interaction. All throughout Business Practice Week, I thought back to the phrase that I had read earlier – that depth of knowledge combined with good judgment is worth a lot, and depth of knowledge combined with diagnostic skills or nuanced insights is worth a lot, too.

They say “Save best for last”, and this was true for our Business Practice Week, too. The last day of the week was reserved for visit to London. The first half of the day was dedicated to visit to London Stock Exchange and the second half was a visit to Bloomberg. At both the organisations we learned that the future lies in sustainability.  A lot of things are evolutionary and there’s a lot of businesses that can be built there.  This gave the insight that we need to stop settling for what’s good enough and start creating that which matters. Stop asking what’s in it for you and start giving that which makes a change. Then, and only then, will you have achieved your potential.

We rounded our trip with an evening dinner with the alumni.  As we came to end of our Business Practice Week, on our journey way back from London to Nottingham, some carried memories of a lifetime while some carried dreams in their hearts!

Posted in Uncategorized