Preparing the leaders of tomorrow, today

Published: 12 January 2017 at 14:16

Stephanie Russell

In a fast-paced business world, it's crucial students have the most up-to-date information and skills available

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How do you ensure the leaders of tomorrow have the expertise they need today?

When your mission is to train the next generation in the fast-paced world of international business, where innovation is developing quicker than ever before, it’s a constant challenge to stay ahead of the curve. That’s the task facing staff at Anglia Ruskin’s Lord Ashcroft International Business School, who are working to ensure their students here in Cambridge have the best possible head-start when they enter the world of work.

For Dr Stephanie Russell, acting head of department for human resource management and organisational behaviour, the international flavour of the department adds a constant churn of new ideas and debates. She told Cambridge News:

“We have students from a range of different locations with different experiences, and we’re all about looking at what they want to get out of the course. That international heart adds a real depth to discussions in class, and they bring so much dynamic argument into the classroom. For anyone involved in business in Britain or further afield, there’s only one topic on everyone’s mind, and the department has had to act quickly to reflect this."

Dr Russell added:

"One of the modules on our Masters course is looking at the debate surrounding Brexit and its challenges. Students have to be assessed on this, so we make it as up to date as possible.One of those questions is, using international or UK examples, to explain the impact Brexit may have on economic or political debate. Then any debate they have will be slightly different in terms of a variety of experiences they have had."

However spirited debates in the classroom can only ever go so far, which is why the department places a strong emphasis on student placements, with all undergraduates offered the option of an additional year working in industry. Dr Russell, who is a tutor for many students currently out on placement, said: 

“Some are in employment with companies where they can go back to them when they finish and get a job. I don’t think they can necessarily put everything they learn into practice until they are in the workplace, so that placement year has been really valuable.”

All the department’s courses, which are accredited by the Chartered Management Institute, are geared towards finding jobs for its students, both in the UK and abroad.

Dr Russell said: 

“We’re asking how can we add value to the students, and ensure in the future they are going to gain employment and leadership positions? It’s all about training these future leaders to become successful in their roles.”

This article was first produced by Cambridge News.