We caught up with some of the 2008-09 intake on the final day of their programme to find out what made their MBA experience so special.
Transcript of video
Workshop leader: Good morning everyone
Class: Good morning
Workshop leader: I am sure you must all have smiles from ear to ear; what you have achieved is absolutely fantastic.
Voice-over: On the final day of their intensive one-year MBA programme students at Durham Business School celebrate with a day of fun activities and reflect upon what made their Durham MBA experience so special.
Barb Karl-Hasty (MBA graduate): We have all handed in our dissertations and today is our chance to really celebrate everything that we have learned.
Liza Zaheed (MBA graduate): The Boardroom Simulation is something really different compared to all the other lectures and stuff that you do. It's taking a real life case study, they put you into groups and everyone has a role to make the project come through at the end.
Siddharth Kiron Tumur (MBA graduate): And there are a lot of advantages in the way they structure the groups; so we have a balance in our team. We have people who are experienced in finance, experienced in logistics, experienced in marketing etc.
Liza: I took the role as the secretary, so I had to take in other people's points of view without really putting mine in. And that's quite different for me because I had to stand back and just consolidate everything. And also we have a sort of non-exec in our board and that is someone from industry and it's really helpful to get feedback from them.
Sid: The other aspect of the boardroom was that it gave us a lot of other skills: not the hard-core technical skills, it was the softer skills. The boardroom simulation activity is one of the greatest features of the Durham MBA.
Voice-over: Career support is an integral element of the MBA programme and the School provides one to one advice with a dedicated careers consultant. And to complement your academic learning Durham's leading edge programme is designed specifically to ensure you acquire the key skills sought by employers, such as cross-cultural communication, presentation skills and personal effectiveness.
Barb: The Leading Edge Programme really does a lot to add to the education you receive as a student here. I had a lot of training in my previous work experience and even though a lot of the Leading Edge workshops and speakers were covering topics where I had some experience before, I really gained a lot of new knowledge: we had new exercises; new skills to help develop. The Leading Edge Programme has made me much more confident as an individual and professionally. What I have learned from the leadership perspective - the negotiation skills, the networking - all of those are really going to help me as I enter the professional world again.
Toyosi Olatunjui (MBA graduate): Another great thing about the course is that we get people who come to talk to us. We then have the chance to ask them questions which relate to their business, based on the theories that we have learned.
My main highlight from the MBA was being able to attend the Institute of Directors Conference in London. The IoD conference was a very good eye-opener for me because I was able to be in close contact with business people who came and gave their insights on what was happening in their businesses: about the recession; about employment opportunities; about developing entrepreneurial skills. We also got the chance to network with other MBA students and with prospective employers.
Marc Bell (MBA graduate): It has got a really good international reputation; there are a lot of international students, and that was something I was quite keen to engage with. There was a number of options to travel and do international study this year, and I chose South Africa. The content of the week that we had out in South Africa was a mix of cultural events, academic study at the University of Stellenbosch, and a number of social events that were arranged for us throughout the week. I think one of the highlights was the visit to the township and it gave us the opportunity to see some of the young entrepreneurs and how they were making the best of what they had within that situation. A number of these people had set up nurseries, kindergartens and bed and breakfasts in the middle of the township - which was fantastic. It inspires you. Having travelled to South Africa you realise there is so much more out there; and that one of the key things for me - is to get out, travel and see new experiences.
Trainer: On your marks, get set, go.
Adetomi Odufuye (MBA Graduate): My main reason for coming to Durham was to get international experience and exposure, and I think the Business Project actually provided that. It gave me the opportunity to work with a major financial institution and have an understanding of the key issues that they deal with and how they are able to solve these issues. Doing a business project as oppose to a dissertation gave me the opportunity to have actually more hands-on experience.
Siddharth: And I think the business project is like a stepping stone. For two reasons: one it gets you closer to the actual work that you want to do in life and secondly it also acts as an opportunity to get a job with them.
Adetomi: I feel it has increased my finance skills and also my softer skills like communication as well as presentation skills.
Sid: It is mutually beneficial: for the business project company, they get a fresh pair of eyes to look into their operations, and for me I get hands-on experience. So it is a mutual give and take.
Adetomi: The Business Project was an invaluable part of the MBA and I feel that I am ready for business now.
(Activities on the river; winners celebrating)
Barb: Although we are a close-knit group, we are also a very competitive group, so capping off the day with a race to the big finish will be something that I think all of us will remember.
Marc: Having done the MBA this year it has certainly opened up a lot of doors for me.
Siddharth: I really am happy I made this choice of coming and studying in Durham.
Liza: The most important thing is to make the most of it and to enjoy the experience.