Wednesday, 18 July 2012

MBA Graduation 2012

Tina Maratilova and Justin O'Brien, RHUL MBA graduation 2012
As you will have noticed, I am not a keen self-publicist & do not often choose to put up photos of yours truly up on this blog.  However, thanks kindly to shared photos from Tina Maratilova (pictured to my left), who graduated at this summers Royal Holloway MBA ceremony on campus, I have a couple of photos to share that give a little sense of the pride graduates have during these festivities.  

I always enjoy seeing the happy, smiling faces of former students who are often celebrating their success with close family members.  It is also great to hear how everyone is getting on, about their new jobs and promotions.

Royal Holloway Distance Learning MBA/MSc students are given the choice of  graduating either at one of the two central London University of London ceremonies or joining with other School of Management post graduates in the stunning Founders building.  I still get tingly feelings down my back as part of the academic parade, we lead students through the amazing picture gallery and into the stunning golden chapel, where the graduates are formally presented with their awards.

Royal Holloway chapel
This year as part of a team working with Dr Romano Dyerson and Chris Howorth, we were awarded a prestigious team teaching prize for the innovative business engagement consultancy we undertook with the campus MBA students and Thorpe Park

The photo on the left shows the College Principal, Professor Paul Layzell presenting the award, which now hangs proudly on my office wall.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Daily Telegraph 13 July covers Royal Holloway Distance Learning MBA programme

A great piece supported by a super photo was featured on the 13th July 2012 about the distance learning MBA programme.

I'm not quite sure that everyone who gets an MBA automatically receives a promotion, but the remaining content paints a realistic picture of the kinds of candidates we have studying with us and why it is an attractive programme.

Link to article

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Hong Kong Group Project Plenary 2012

This year’s Hong Kong Group Project Plenary (for students studying through HKU SPACE) brought together 31 students during 7-8 July 2012. Students studying through HKU SPACE follow a different format for their mandatory face-to-face contact; they attend a series of weekend master classes offered by Royal Holloway staff in Hong Kong throughout their studies. The Group Project then takes the form of a weekend plenary session with activities similar to the on-campus plenary at Royal Holloway. This year, we instituted a new practice whereby the students were given one month ahead of the plenary to work together in groups in order to prepare a Group Report (for submission prior to the start of the plenary). The plenary session itself then focused on the Group Presentation.

This year’s plenary case study was based on the ongoing competitive struggles between Apple, Google and Microsoft in the converging Internet industry. The plenary used a case published by the University of St Gallen on this theme supplemented by a talk by Mr Kenneth Woo, former COO, SAP China. Interestingly the plenary coincided with several new developments in the converging Internet industry with Apple, Microsoft and Google all announcing new products and services to capture market share from each other! The case raised interesting issues in relation to a range of disciplines such as  strategy, economics, marketing, operations and supply chains, and technology.

The plenary also included a wine tasting session led by one of Hong Kong’s pioneering female sommeliers, currently GM of the retail division of the Altaya Group, Ms Yvonne Wang, as well as team building exercises and group activities. The plenary ended on Sunday night with dinner and celebrations at a local 'Chiu Chow' restaurant.

The Hong Kong plenary was ably supported by the local HKU SPACE team consisting of Dr Wai Wan, Programme Director, and Mr Samuel Chu, Executive Assistant at the College of Business and Finance, HKU Space.

Dr G. Harindranath
11th July 2012

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Royal Holloway Distance Learning student featured in Styling magazine feature

Olga Zhukova, pictured presenting here during the recent Egham based distance learning plenary, was invited by Styling magazine to be interviewed for a photo story concentrating on her work and Royal Holloway, University of London distance learning MBA.

Click here to read the piece

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Responsible Marketing: Distance learning Egham Plenary 2012 Business Consultancy Week

For a third consecutive time in as many years the Miller Brands, the UK operating arm of brewing giant SAB Miller offered a real business question for a management consultancy assessment designed for student groups from Royal Holloway to address.

Thirty six students drawn from all over the world worked in six groups during an intense week to make recommendations to Jonathan Bennett, Head of Corporate Affairs, Miller Brands UK, on the challenging question he posed on responsible marketing.  

Students, who worked together in virtual teams for four weeks ahead of coming together in the newly extended School of Management building in Egham, found the question stimulating and challenging.

 Dr Sigrun Wagner, who lead the student interaction, highlighted the high standard of work achieved by the multi-cultural groups, who had to work intensively from Monday to Friday to produce a coherent recommendation in the form of a 14 minute presentation.

"Students are at the end of a particularly demanding journey when they take on the capstone business consultancy project." stated Justin O'Brien, MBA Director, "combining family life with work is often challenging enough, but I take my hat off to these guys, who over a period of two to five years have devoted significant time to research, write course work and sit exams.  The consultancy and dissertation are the final steps on this journey and this years cohort did extremely well, delivering highly polished pitches, worthy of a masters degree."

Students are studying for either an MBA or MSc in International Management at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Egham Plenary 2012 Introduction Week

The last week in June 2012 saw the traditional 'plenary' (coming together) of distance learning students from the Royal Holloway, University of London MSc and MBA International Management programme.  Week 1 is designed for students to benefit from an introduction to the College (this year they stayed in student dorms that transformed into an Olympic Rowing village the day after), to experience first hand some academic lectures from the teaching team, to engage with a variety of businesses and most importantly to build a wide range of friendships with fellow students from around the world.

A number of highly innovative business engagements were trialled for the first time on the Distance Learning programme, a visit to a leading amusement park and a Q&A session with the whole board of successful UK manufacturing company. 

Students spent a day at Thorpe Park, (owned by global #2 Merlin Group), an amusement park that positions itself as the thrills capital of UK targeting teenagers and young adults with a range of wet and wild roller coasters, fast food franchises and traditional amusements.  Having experienced some of the more extreme rides in the morning plenary participants spent the afternoon engaging with two members of the parks management team, challenged with coming up with ideas to recommend solutions to three key strategic questions. 

Having run a successful AGM in Founders board room the nine strong board of directors of Norman Hay plc (an innovative UK based international manufacturing company that specialises in coatings processes) joined the plenary participants for a challenging interaction that invited student groups to make recommendations on how the company should invest for continued growth.  With a wide range of industrial experience and drawn from markets all around the world the student groups were able to provide Peter Hay, Chairman of the group, and the board of directors with a number of salient recommendations. 

Students combine busy family lives, usually working full time with a distance learning regime that relies on high levels of self-motivation.  The opportunity to network with others, to make friends and to enjoy some social time is often cited as a highlight of the learning experience.  The programme seeks to offer a variety of evening activities that this year included a visit to a traditional student pub, the chance to undertake some tourism in London, a Thames boat trip, a cricket club BBQ and a formal black tie gala dinner.