Rob Thomas, Director of Cost Transformation, BT Wholesale hosted an International MBA seminar exclusively for the Royal Holloway MBA 2012/13 group in October 2012. The timing and theme selected could not have been better, as the highly successful Para and Olympic games has just drawn to a close, giving a number of senior BT business leaders a chance to reflect on their organisations involvement.
|The Royal Holloway MBA 2012/13 cohort and academic staff at the BT Tower|
The seminar took place at BT’s premises in London - the iconic BT Tower. In addition to Rob Thomas, other key BT speakers included; Mick Wayman, BT Managing Director, London 2012 Programme, Lee Hamill, BT Brand/CSR, Marketing Lead and Mark Wilson-Dunn, Global Sales and Marketing Director, BT Media & Broadcast. The invitation to host a group of MBA students was extra-ordinary, the BT Tower is closed to the public and usually reserved for hosting important customers and hosting the ocassional high profile charity event.
Presentations given covered BT’s involvement in the Olympic & Paralympic games providing key insights into the company’s role as a key service provider in delivering the most connected games ever - responsible for carrying every call and every TV picture transmitted. Thanks to BT, London 2012 was the most connected Olympic games ever, with 27 live streamed web channels.
A special lunch was provided in the restaurant at the top of the BT tower providing spectacular views over the whole of London, along with the exclusive opportunity for our MBA’s to network with the key speakers. Students spent time orienting themselves, spotting the gerkin in City, the shard at London Bridge, Canary Wharf, the Emirates, Wembley and the Olympic park, of course were also visible, thanks to a reasonably cloudless day. The University of London's main campus and iconic Senate house building were close by and easy to view.
Several areas key to the MBA syllabus were covered during the highly engaging and interactive sessions, including; operations, marketing, HR and strategy, providing our MBA’s with highly valuable insights from BT. The dedication and commitment shown by all BT staff throughout the games was made evident and served to inspire our own MBA’s as to how to lead and motivate people that they may manage in their future roles.
Each seminar ended with ‘Lesson for the future’ and a highly engaging Q&A session between the speakers and our MBA’s. The event was deemed highly successful by both parties. Justin O'Brien, MBA Director at Royal Holloway, stated "This was a brilliant opportunity for our international group of MBA students to engage with one of UK's leading companies and to focus on their successful involvement with a highly current and enormously impactful Olympic games."
Interesting fact: The BT Tower was completed in 1964, though until 1993 the building was officially a secret and did not even feature on official maps. Public access to the building ceased in 1981 and the building was awarded Grade II listed building status in 2003. It is one of the seven largest global television hubs and place a crucial role in distributing audiovisual programming worldwide.
Special thanks to: Sonya Murrell for text copy and Rix Cao for the images.