Salford Business School Global Business Challenge
Salford Business School students were among 100 students from around the world who had the opportunity to take part in The Global Business Challenge. The challenge allows students to work in teams on real client projects before presenting their solutions.
We talked to the students who participated in the challenge about what they've gotten from the experience and how it has benefitted their skills as well as their CV.
Students interviewed were studying a range of our business programmes including MSc Project Management, MSc International Business and MSc Digital Business.
WHAT IS THE GLOBAL BUSINESS CHALLENGE
"The Global Business Challenge is totally different from anything I've experienced previously" - Ese Olowofoyeku
The Global Business Challenge allows students to work together with the aim of presenting a solution to a real - life business problem being experienced by a range of participating businesses. The groups are made up of students around the world who compete to present the best solution.
THE BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATING IN THE CHALLENGE: OUR STUDENTS' THOUGHTS
We asked the students who participated in the challenge what they thought they got out of the experience. Here's what they said.
"It was a really good experience, it exposed me to a lot of things and made me come out of my comfort zone." - Tobi Sunmonu
"Personally for me the real benefit was being able to apply things that I actually have learned in school and in lectures to a real life challenge." - Jace Lee
"I've learnt a lot of skills. The challenge taught us how to interact with people and manage people's temperament. The way they behave." - Tobi Sunmonu
Soft skills were mentioned frequently when discussing the benefits in participating in the Global Business Challenge. The chance to practice a real life industry problem in a safe environment, applying what they have learnt within their studies also featured heavily in the discussion. The students enthused about learning how to work in a team, improving confidence and presentation skills.
PREPARED FOR LIFE IN INDUSTRY
"I have passion for entrepreneurship, so I knew that I was going to learn so much. Meeting the business owner really opened my eyes to setting up a business and the strategies used in industry in order for businesses to grow." - Akaninyene Iwatt
"My major takeaway was learning that difficult or uninteresting problems or challenges, you sit down and tackle it. Find a solution, and who knows if you might find it interesting." - Akaninyene Iwatt
"What the Global Business Challenge has done for us is bring out our leadership skills and team skills, any employer wants to know if you have the skills, and being a part of this global business challenge is an indication that you have these tools. I think it will actually boost your CV and your chances of getting employed" - Akaninyene Iwatt
"The programme puts you in a work scenario where you're not afraid of being yourself or getting something wrong." - Funmilola Olaifa
Another key benefit the students mentioned in participating in the Global Business Challenge was that it helped to prepare them for working in industry. The challenge was a real-life business problem currently being experienced within an organisation and so this gave students an insight into the types of issues companies face and the process of problem solving.
The challenge also helped students to work through a difficult issue or something they think they might not be as interested in. This was mentioned to be a beneficial life lesson that will help them in their future career.
The benefit of being able to add this experience to their CVs was also mentioned, with many stating that it might be an important aspect of their CV which will set them apart and secure a role in the business sector after graduation. This is because the experience exemplifies, not only the skills they have and can utilise, but also the determination needed for competing in programmes and challenges such as this one.
WORKING WITHIN AN INTERNATIONAL TEAM
"We call ourselves a team because there was mutual respect for each other's opinions" - Funmilola Olaifa
"Some of my colleagues were from other time zones. When we have our meetings they were supposed to be sleeping at that time. It was literally a nine hours difference between the UK and the guys in Australia" - Kabir Olayiwola
"I don't want to be seen. I just want to do my job, but I found myself working with people and it was really interesting. I've made friends with most, if not all of them and we have formed a networking group, we did not disband our group. " - Akaninyene Iwatt
Another benefit of the challenge was that students gained experience in working with people all over the world, a common occurrence in modern business. The students gained skills in how to fairly negotiate meeting times with the issue of time zones, as well as an understanding in other culture's communications and ways of working.
SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE THROUGHOUT THE CHALLENGE
"It's totally different from school, it's coaching, not teaching. It is more like nudging you in the right direction" - Ese Olowofoyeku
"The coach was really there with us, guiding us instead of giving us the answer" - Kabir Olayiwola
Each group had a coach assigned to them to support them in the course of the challenge. The students agreed that the main role of the coach was to guide them when they were facing a problem, without giving them the answer. The coaches encouraged students to think for themselves whilst being there for support and guidance.
"I still feel so excited and happy that I was a part of that programme, like a lifetime dream come true." - Akaninyene Iwatt
"We were able to work as a team to work on a idea and solve a real life problem, I think that was the highlight for me." - Kabir Olayiwola
"For me, one of the biggest highlights was that I felt I had added value to the challenge and represented my school" - Akaninyene Iwatt
"One big highlight was that this was not a hypothetical problem. It was a real life business problem" - Ibrahim Gidado
Students had many highlights to mention. Most included the satisfaction of being able to solve a real business problem and presenting their findings to businesses. Students mentioned the fact they felt they had added value to the company and felt proud to represent Salford Business School.
ADVICE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS
"Keep an open mind for other activities that will boost your skills" - Akaninyene Iwatt
"My advice is to have an open mind, I think every experience is different. All of us have had very different experiences in this challenge, you will learn very different things because you are assigned randomly to different clients, different people from all over the world. You just have to have an open mind" - Jace Lee
"My advice to future students is to be open to opportunities and always pick up challenges" - Tobi Sunmonu
"If you hear about it, please do it." - Ese Olowofoyeku