The Next War!

Environmental degradation has featured widely of late in the news channels.  

Following the scandal over auto-manufacturers ‘fixing’ of emission tests we have had widespread reporting on deterioration of air quality around our major cities associated with particulate concentrations associated with the large number of diesel powered vehicles we were all encouraged to purchase.  Although diesel vehicles have certainly taken the brunt of adverse publicity – resulting in a very significant drop in purchase of both new and second-hand diesel-powered vehicles we must take note that their petrol-powered cousins are no angels. They might not emit harmful particulates, but they are very capable of emitting a noxious cocktail of other harmful agents which accumulate in the atmosphere with potential for adverse impact to health.  Just this last week we have seen headlines posting the rise in incidence of lung cancer in non-smokers, overtaking other forms of the disease for the first time – where cigarette tobacco was always previously posted as a primary causal attribute.

More recently we have also been inundated with the threat of plastic contamination. We are advised that of the c.15bn tonnes produced, mostly used in such as disposable products and packaging that despite our attempts to reduce consumption of plastic bags and our increasing attempt to sort and therefore recycle – we in fact learn that very little, perhaps as little as 5% is actually recycled due to contamination.  Not all plastics are the same – there are over 50 different types.  Capacity to recycle is still wholly insufficient.  We still generate c.300 million tonnes/annum where most ends in land-fill and the oceans.  Plastic waste now appears to have infiltrated every corner of the planet from our beaches, where school children in the Scottish island are busily engaged in tidying up.  One pupil produced a crisp packet of a vintage not used for c.20 years!  We know the oceans have become increasingly contaminated with micro-size plastic fragments. They have infiltrated the food chain in which we place so much reliance as the world population increases.  The arctic region has now been highlighted as contaminated as has the deepest reaches of the oceans. 


Another consideration is that of shipping – a key facilitator of world-wide logistics and supply chain operations without which the global economy would slow or stall.  A vast quantity of waste products generated by the immense heavy oil powered engines in such vessels inevitably finds its way not to what often prove to be expensive collection and recycling facilities but inevitably into our oceans.  Slowly but surely the oceans around the world are showing signs of increased stress.

And so it goes on.  Intensive agricultural techniques & practice over many years has increasingly saturated soils with harmful nitrate compounds which then seep into the water table.  We even hear of the vast amount of debris floating in orbit around our planet which take centuries to degrade or at best plummet at some point back to earth.  

The challenge is inevitably complex and hence so are the potential solutions.  The relentless adoption of free market economic policy around the world is in direct conflict with efforts to protect and sustain our environment and planet.  New economies such as those of China & India seek to take their place at the top table and hence exacerbate the challenge.  In 2010 it was estimated that over 30bn tonnes of Co2 or greenhouse gas was added to the atmosphere.  By 2020 it is estimated that Co2 emissions since the start of the century will have surpassed those of the entire previous century and it is still increasing despite the rhetoric.  We have now reached Co2 emissions of c.40bn tonnes/annum.  In 2014 the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Change) stated that in order to reverse this trend our entire reliance on fossil fuels may need to cease by 2100 otherwise we could experience irreversible climate change such as sea-level rises of over 1m coupled with melting of the ice caps and ocean acidification affecting the food chain, crop failure affecting c.3 billion people, catastrophic extinction events and rising temperatures. The highest recorded temperature ever recorded was reported in Death Valley (appropriately named) – a staggering 57.6 degrees C on 10.07.13.  We are also witnessing a hitherto unprecedented increase in world population where having reached c. 1bn around 1800 – just over 200 years ago we have grown to a staggering 7.5bn today adding the last 1bn in just over 10 years.  We are on course for c.9-10bn by the middle of this century.

An EU survey conducted throughout member states recently was aimed at determining general awareness of what were perceived to be the top 10 global challenges.  The survey revealed that a significant proportion simply did not know or have a view.  What it did reveal however was that the top concerns were climate change, poverty and lack of food & water. 

Despite our knowledge, experience and advanced technology, evidence would suggest we have not advanced very far in addressing these challenges.   

The clock is ticking!  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andy Hirst, Senior Lecturer
Staffordshire Business School
Staffordshire University

Time to fix the broken windows…and other sexist stories

On the 100th anniversary of the Representation of the People Act, which gave women in the UK the right to vote for the first time, many questioned why women’s rights haven’t progressed further over the last century. Women still earn less than men across the board and are the subject of sexual discrimination and widespread industry assault – so is the key to equality ensuring more women are employed at the top?

The Representation of the People Act added 8.5 million women to the electoral roll but only those over 30 who owned property or were graduates were included. The Act also gave the vote to 5.6 million more men after their voting age was lowered to 21, and the property qualification abolished resulting in the general election in December 1918 consulting an electorate three times the size of the one before it.

Yet progress for women has often felt painfully slow. When a 32-year-old, pregnant Harriet Harman was elected in 1982 there were still only 19 female MPs. The 2017 election was the first time more than 200 women were elected, 208 out of 650 seats.

Beyond the UK, there are female leaders dotted across the globe, and ‘dotted’ remains exactly what they are. There are currently only 28 female heads of state out of 146 world nations, most of which have never had a female leader. And while having a woman in charge doesn’t necessarily make a party’s policies more feminist, it sends a hugely important message to the next generation of women.

The issue of equal pay was brought to our attention by the media in October last year when it was revealed that men working for the BBC earn an average of 9.3% more than women. According to Director General Tony Hall this is more favourable than many organisations which average 18%.

What followed was a widespread campaign, promoting the fact that male presenters were willing to take a pay cut to bring them in line with their female colleagues.

In January, the boss of Luton-based airline EasyJet announced he is taking a pay cut to match the salary of his female predecessor. His salary of £740,000 will now be reduced to £706,000. Furthermore, it was recently revealed women’s hourly pay rates are 52% lower than the men at the airline.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-42859853

In the latest research from The Chartered Management Institute more than four in five (85%) of women report that they have witnessed gender-discriminatory acts at work.

The Blueprint for Balance: time to fix the broken windows report, which surveyed 856 managers, found that the majority of organisations are still struggling to make a meaningful difference to achieving a gender-balanced workplace.

Worryingly, according to CMI’s new report, only 19% of junior and middle managers believe their senior leaders are committed to the target of gender balance in their organisations – this despite a recent study by management consultants McKinsey showing that the most gender-diverse businesses are 21% more likely to financially outperform their peers.

The new CMI research also found that, despite the introduction of new pay transparency reporting regulations in April 2017, only 8% of managers know the size of their organisation’s gender pay gap.

Furthermore, more than two in five surveyed claim that their organisation does not have a gender pay gap, even though the research found the average difference in pay between male and female managers to be 27%.

Yes, female leaders have worked hard to smash many a glass ceiling and indeed fix the broken windows, but there still appears to be a long way to go.  Here’s hoping the next 100 years address the balance.

Rachel Gowers
Business Leadership and Economics
Staffordshire University

Using Digital to Build Your CV

If you’re anything like me, you would have read enough tips on CV building to write your own novel. But what do we really learn? How do we know that the document we’ve just spent four hours putting together is even going to get a second look from our dream company? We don’t. But if we do know what tools are available to build a great CV, maybe we’d one step closer to the dream.

Example of Canva Free Resume Template

Gone are the days that a CV format consists of a black and white document with Times New Roman font and maybe the odd line of bold. Employers want to get a glimpse of you from the first few seconds. So, my first tip, do not be afraid to be yourself and make the use of digital tools that are available.

Firstly, ask yourself which industry you are trying to enter, this is key to choosing the type of design for your CV as it has to be relevant. If you’re looking to build something a little more interesting that gives you the freedom to show some of your personality through colour and images, try Canva, a free online design tool. This has a range of templates with suggestions of content and layout, but also allows you to amend any settings to your personal taste.

On the other hand, you may be looking for a professional CV with a moving edge. Video CV’s are increasingly common particularly in the creative and also sporting sectors due to the nature of the roles. Software such as Windows Movie Maker, Apple iMovie or something more sophisticated like Adobe Premier Pro are great for editing your own footage.

Credit: powtoon.com

Finally, and this is exciting, how about creating your own animated video of a day in the life of you? Powtoon is a free online tool that allows you to create a cartoon character and tell a story of your education, experiences and skills through video. Powtoon is YouTube certified and has recently become partnered with HubSpot, meaning it’s great not only for personal development but for work related projects too. It is a simple to use, flexible tool that allows you to create approachable content and particularly for a CV, include a visualisation of a persons skills and knowledge.

A CV doesn’t have to be a chore, take the opportunity that digital has given us to explore creative ways to present yourself as a professional.

Author: Kathryn Taylor, MSc Digital Marketing Management Student

Digital Marketing Assessor at Total People Ltd

Find out what over 1,000 employers want from graduates

On Wednesday 21 Feb the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) revealed the outcome of their research with employers about what makes a 21st Century leader, and it makes great reading.

The report highlights five abilities employers want in new managers:

  • Taking responsibility (60%)
  • People management skills (55%)
  • Honest & ethical (55%)
  • Problem solving & critical analysis (52%)
  • Collaboration & team-working (48%)

62% OF THE MANAGERS SURVEYED EXPECT NEW GRADUATE RECRUITS TO HAVE PROFESSIONAL MANAGEMENT SKILLS (CMI 2018)

This is great news for Staffordshire Business School that is launching all new courses for 2018. The focus is moving away from knowledge towards skills; skills that are learnt from industry experts, developed in the classroom and practiced through active learning. By the time you are ‘let-loose’ on work placements in your second year, you can feel confident in your abilities to be an effective manager.

The new modules can be found in all of our courses:
BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance
BA (Hons) Business Management
BA (Hons) Event Management
BA (Hons) Marketing Management

Look out for the new modules that you’ll be studying on all courses:

Professional Toolkit
You will learn how to create your own personal brand and develop the skills you need for successful study and prepare you for the jobs of the future. From giving you the digital skills you need to be the next generation of manager to developing your social media presence this module has everything you need to be an effective professional that everyone would want on their team.

Business Creation and Innovation
Entrepreneurship and innovation are the life blood of any business, whether a start-up or a well-established organisation. This module combines the practical requirements and theoretical constructs to inspire enterprising, entrepreneurial and innovative thinking, equipping you with the tools to develop and initiate a new business.

To find out more about our new courses visit us for an open day or if you’ve already applied (wise choice) come to our next offer holder day – you’ll be getting an invite soon.

Keep an eye out for the follow up article coming soon on the Business Blog and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube.

Rachel Gowers MBA
Associate Dean

 

 

How to Set ‘SMART’ Digital Marketing Objectives

Setting an objective is listed as the first step to a powerful digital campaign by the Digital Marketing Institute. It sounds simple, you know what your marketing campaign goals are right? In reality, the process can challenging, and without proper consideration, businesses often end up with a campaign that lacks direction and doesn’t link together   HiveDigitalStrategy go as far as claiming that goal-setting is one of the most difficult tasks digital marketers must complete. Despite this difficulty, the benefits are significant and justify the effort require to define clear objectives that are the foundation of a successful campaign. I have listed some of these benefits below:-

 

 

Given the importance of objectives, it should become clear that to effectively analyse your strategy, your objectives should be effective, or ‘SMART’. by creating objectives using the framework, you are keeping up with many of the best businesses in the world, as they all are driven by focussed objectives. MindTools defines the individual letters of the ‘SMART’ acronym as; Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Below is a breakdown of the five letters involved.

At the forefront of business knowledge:

The ‘SMART’ framework is widely accepted to have been introduced in 1981, by George T. Duran. However, it is still at the very forefront of business knowledge, with the only development coming recently in the form of ‘SMARTER’ goals (The E and R stand for evaluated and revisited). The last two letters of this acronym are letters that usually come at the end of the campaign and so they are not actually necessary when first setting the objectives.

Now lets examine each letter of ‘SMART’ and how it can be used to create an objective.

Specific

To make your objective specific, you need to avoid ambiguous terms and ensure that there is an outcome that you desire from your digital marketing strategy. Your objective should answer the following question: What do I want to achieve?

Example: I want to increase traffic to my website.

By giving a specific outcome, you are able to centre your strategy around achieving your goal.

Measurable

To make your objective measurable you must be able to answer the following two questions:

  • How many/how much?
  • How will I know I have achieved my objective?

Example: I want to increase traffic to my website by 20%.

By giving a tangible number, you can determine when your goal is reached and track it along the way.

Achievable

Making your goal achievable means identifying the overarching method you will use to achieve your goal. Can you answer the following questions?

  • Is it possible to achieve my goal?
  • How will I achieve my goal?

Example: I want to increase traffic to my website by 20% using Search engine Optimisation (SEO).

By giving the method of SEO, you are ensuring that you have a path to follow, and can plan a strategy based around this.

Realistic

Determining whether your goal is realistic often involves a combination of research and estimation. You should answer the following questions.

  • What resources am I able to allocate to this plan?
  • Are the resources available enough to achieve this plan?

Example: I want to increase traffic to my website by 20% using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), with an allocated budget of £2,500.

The number of resources you will need to allocate is highly individual and depends on a lot of variables such as your level of competition, market saturation, and your financial situation.

Time-bound

It isn’t enough to say you want a certain outcome. Give yourself a deadline. if your objective is to increase visits to your blogging site by 1000, then set a time-frame. Within a month, within a year?

Example: I want to increase traffic to my website by 20% using Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) within 6 months of campaign implementation, with an allocated budget of £2,500.

Using your SMART Objectives:

If your objective fits in with all five of criteria, then you have a ‘SMART’ objective and are ready to plan and implement a clear, defined digital marketing strategy, something that over half of businesses are failing to do. Get Ahead of them!

A REAL WORLD EXAMPLE:

TOMS, in the spirit of social entrepreneurship, launched a campaign that successfully implemented SMART objectives. ‘One day without shoes’ is a campaign that was launched by the company, with them encouraging the public to go barefoot for a day, and a donation of shoes being made by the organisation for each person that participates. Heres how their campaign followed the ‘SMART’ framework.

  • Specific – Persuade people to go barefoot for a day.
  • Measurable – Receive proof via Instagram of people participating.
  • Achievable – Post persuasive content (Stories) on social media.
  • Realistic – Ensuring they have the resources to manufacture and deliver the donated shoes.
  • Time-bound – Host the ‘One day without shoes’ on one day in May (May 10th in 2017) annually.

TOMS ‘One Day Without Shoes’ Campaign – Source: http://www.toms.co.uk/one-day-without-shoes

SMART objectives will have a positive effect on any digital marketing campaign. Why not have a go at creating your own examples and posting them below?

Thanks for reading!

Learn how to make your ‘SMART’ objectives ‘SMARTER’.

 


by Rory Tarplee

LinkedIn

MSc Digital Marketing Student (Full-time)

A New Year Tribute to Hard Workers

Dr. Jenny Gale
Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour

Balancing work and family life can be hard.  In the run up to Christmas this is more pronounced. However, there is also the general concern that the workplace is becoming an increasingly pressurised environment as organisations struggle to remain competitive in uncertain economic and political conditions, including the uncertainties of Brexit.  The beginning of the New Year offers an opportunity to reflect on the cost of the increasing intensification of work, in other words having too much to do, in too little time, and sometimes with fewer staff and other resources.

Hard work is nothing new of course, and jobs today are cleaner and safer, while technological advances and the digital age have removed some of the arduous aspects of work.  However, employers also demand higher levels of commitment and loyalty from employees, even to the extent that they identify emotionally with business needs, embodying the organisational brand.  This too contributes to work intensification as it requires employees to give more of themselves, often going ‘the extra mile’.  Coupled with the pressure on organisations to continually ‘do more with less’, it is feasible to expect rising workloads and work pressure.  Left unchecked, these can contribute to human resource management issues such as sickness absence and/or ‘presenteeism’.  Presenteeism is the term used for when employees present for work, despite not being well enough, or when the workplace culture suggests that non-attendance, even when ill, may have negative implications for one’s career or job security.  Under such regimes, employees may contribute to their own work intensification as they seek to demonstrate commitment while also worrying about burdening colleagues with additional work.  However, ‘doing more with less’, while reflecting the harsh economic realities confronting private and public sector organisations, is not only bad for employees, it is not good for business or for service delivery.There is only so much that employees can do.  We are not machines, neither are we simply ‘human resources’. We are people and people can ‘break’ with adverse implications for health and the ability to meet expectations not only of managers and colleagues, but customers too.  As a customer, I have often felt the urgency and speed of being served by employees under pressure – telephone enquiries ending prematurely when they seemed anxious to move on to the next call; leaving queues in banks, department stores, and coffee shops (because I ran out of time more often than patience). Fleeting conversations with fellow customers have included utterances of ‘not enough staff’ and ‘they should open another till’ along with a degree of sympathy for employees trying to do too much at once.  Of course, under-staffing can be a consequence of recruitment and retention problems (the NHS being a clear example), rather than decisions designed specifically to reduce labour costs.

However, those employees who take the trouble to ‘go the extra mile’, though already busy, do so at a cost to themselves.  They need to intensify their own effort and this increases pressure on the rest of their working day.  It can mean extending their working hours and involve giving up precious time with their families or other important aspects of themselves that are nothing to do with work. Some employers pay high rewards for this but many do not.  To champion the hard work of those employees who are doing their best to help their customers, patients, and clients, I extend my thanks to them.  For employers, while there are no easy answers to the imperative to control costs, they should reflect on the consequences of work intensification both for their employees and their business.

To view our postgraduate courses such as Human Resource Management click here

Happy New Two-Year! Best kept secret? Degrees that save you time and money…

Now, the thing about two-year degrees is that they are arguably the best kept secret of all time, excluding of course that exquisite and neatly wrapped Christmas gift you received from your loved one. What’s more, like Christmas, two-year degrees have been around for some time – well, not quite 2000+ years but certainly on and off since the Second World War when they were made available to armed forces personnel to assist with their transition to civilian life. So why is it that two-year degrees continue to fall under the radar of prospective students of higher education? Well, the real issue stems from the fact that few universities have risen to the challenge of providing alternative flexible pathways, such as two-year degrees, preferring the status quo of their inflexible semesterised academic calendar which for years has been the traditional means by which students have engaged in higher education.

In the good old days, before tuition fees, or even today if you are lucky enough to have sufficient financial means, the traditional semesterised academic calendar offers the luxury of three summer months of hedonism. At this point, many of you will have the words of Kylie Minogue ringing in your ears – for those who don’t, here they are…‘I should be so lucky, lucky, lucky, lucky….’ OK, so it seems like me, there are others out there who think that studying over the summer months (bar a couple of weeks of well-earned rest) is a good idea, yet there are few universities willing to offer them. The issue is that for a university to deliver two-year degrees, and other accelerated courses for that matter, requires a period of institutional transition and change management to change the out-dated and entrenched semesterised academic calendar, academic culture and supporting infrastructure. Effectively, the resistance to such change by many well-known established universities has meant that two-year degrees are offered by only a handful of forward thinking and progressive universities.

Staffordshire University is proud to have pioneered two-year degrees back in 2006 and to have continued investing in their provision ever since to accommodate the needs of students looking for something other than a traditional three-year degree, whatever their reasons. As a member of Staffordshire University’s academic team responsible for the delivery of our two-year BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance degree I have witnessed students from many different walks of life who have each graduated with excellent results. For example, there have been mature students that enrol on the degree with great trepidation but then relish the experience of studying and redirecting their career. Then there are the more traditionally aged students including those who are motivated to complete their degree quickly and to progress to their chosen professional accountancy qualification – believe me, the thought of becoming a professionally qualified accountant by the age of twenty-four can unlock significant amounts of drive and motivation! Employers also recognise that two-year degree students are always motivated and ambitious too. But there is a common thread that runs through all the conversations I’ve had with two-year students about why they chose a two-year degree and that is, at the end of the day studying a two-year degree saves them an immense amount of money – according to Jo Johnson, the ex-universities minister (aka brother of Boris), approximately £25,000.

Staffordshire University is of course an established leader and expert in two-year degrees and degree apprenticeships, with student satisfaction and employability being our key drivers. So when I read the criticisms contained within the Government’s 2016 White Paper that many universities still provide courses that are inflexible, based on the traditional three-year undergraduate model, with insufficient innovation and provision of two-year degrees and degree apprenticeships, I was confident that my university was in fact one of the few universities, very much at the forefront of delivering exactly the type of alternative ways of engaging in higher education that today’s society needs. I am also immensely proud of my Two-Year BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance team who achieved 100% student satisfaction in the National Student Survey of 2017 and also the university as a whole for being ranked No. 1 for employability in the Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey of 2017. Reflecting on these successes, I wonder what 2018 will bring – will the best kept secret now be unwrapped? For further details of Staffordshire University’s Two-Year Accelerated Degrees please visit:- www.staffs.ac.uk/accelerated-degrees

Wishing You a Very Happy New Two-Year!

Alison Maguire MBA (Ed), ACMA, CGMA, Cert.Ed., SFHEA.
Head of Department – Accounting, Finance and Economics

School of Business, Leadership and Economics
Staffordshire University Business School
B336 Brindley Building
Leek Road
Stoke on Trent
ST4 2DF
United Kingdom
Tel: 01782 294155
www.staffs.ac.uk

13 great events from January to June in 2018

Here’s a good mix of events – comedy, music, opera, baking, jazz and festivals all happening within our local region

January

25th to 27th – Moscow City Ballet presents the Nutcracker, Regent Theatre

26th Circus of Horrors at the Victoria Hall 

February

6th Banff Mountain Film Festival at Victoria Hall

7th and 8th Bill Bailey – Larks in Transit Victoria Hall 

28th England Legends Live! – Peter Shilton and Sir Geoff Hurst presented by Pat Murphy of BBC Five LiveVictoria Hall

March

1st to 4th Lichfield Literature Festival 

3rd French Bread and Croissants with Phillippe Toquin at the Dorothy Clive Gardens

7th Ellen Kent – La Traviata March Regent Theatre

26th Russell Brand Re-birth Victoria Hall

29th to April 2nd Nantwich Jazz Festival 

April

7th An introduction to bee keeping with Alison Wakeman at Dorothy Clive Garden

May

4th top 7th Lymelight Music Festival Newcastle under Lyme (follow @newcastleBID  for more details as they come)

June 

8th to 10th Dovedale Arts Festival 

 

Keep up to date with events and tourism by following our twitter account @tourismsu 

If you are interested in studying tourism or events with us then have a look at our courses

rock concert

Our quest to improve the lives of refugees through the Hult Prize 2016/2017 and why YOU should compete in the Hult Prize

This is a blog post about the Hult Prize, written by Sarah Vitorino, a student. The Hult Prize has become the world’s largest student competition, as well as the most prestigious award on the planet for the creation of new social enterprises.

 

I first found out about the Hult Prize through a lecturer at the university. As a part-time student I wasn’t sure if I would be able to compete, but after finding 2 other members for a team, Dan, Dani and I signed up together. The challenge set by the competition was to help 10 million refugees by 2022. With the help and support from the university, our team (which we named “Team Reach”) finally decided that we would build a fashion company in Colombia, in which factory seconds and discarded materials would be used to create our own fashion line, working with up and coming designers. Since 1985, over 4 million Colombians have been displaced by the armed conflict, both within the country and crossing the border into surrounding countries. This was our chance to make a difference.

Team Reach with other International Students at Hult Prize 2017 (Sarah Vitorino is 4th from right).

After pitching to judges within Staffordshire University, we were put through to the continental finals in London. Before we went to London, we spent many hours perfecting our business plan with Tolu (our lecturer and mentor) and got support from other lecturers within the School of Business, Leadership and Economics. We were put in contact with experienced entrepreneurs who also gave us sound business advice and we also got to pitch to the university’s senior management team which included the Vice Chancellor. With the presentation and the pitch ready for London, the weekend of the finals quickly came around.  Once in London, we were introduced to, and listened to speakers including Cesar Del Valle who were so passionate about the Hult Prize and everything it stands for that straight away it wasn’t just a competition.  Yes, we wanted to win in London and go through to the next round, to eventually win, but that was secondary. What mattered was that we were stood in a room filled with students from across the world and we were all fighting for the same thing, to help refugees and to make the world a better place.

Eventually it came our time to pitch our idea. Before the competition, I would avoid public speaking at all costs. My heart was racing as we walked into the room, set up our boards and looked across the room at the judges and students.  It felt like the longest pause as we stood there at the front, then Dan started to speak. Everything fell into place.  We had run through this so many times we had it to near perfection.  We believed in what we were saying. We could see the future in the idea. I don’t remember many details from the presentation other than my constant reminders to myself of ‘make eye contact’.  We left the room relieved. It had gone as well as we could have hoped. The timing was perfect, we communicated all the information we had wanted to and the questions from the judges sounded promising.  We were called back to answer a few more questions,,, further elaborations on wages, why we had chosen Colombia? We took them in our stride…

Staffordshire University’s “Team Reach” at Hult Prize 2017

The winning team from London was a Canadian team wanting to connect refugees with locals to exchange skills. Nonetheless, our time in London was amazing. We heard ideas and pitches for things we would never have considered, we met people and made friends from all over the world, we took part in an experience that most people could only dream of. The memories of that weekend will always be with me; the atmosphere of the weekend will be something I could never forget and I became much more confident. I still get nervous at public speaking but I know now that I can do it. The biggest change in myself, however, is that I caught something that weekend. From the atmosphere, the passion of the speakers and the insights of our new friends, I want to change my life. I want my future to be about helping people and making a difference to the world because there are so many other people out there who have so much less than I do. I changed because I realised that I really can make that difference we set out to.

The Hult Prize is a fantastic event and I would advise all students to compete. It not only gives you practical skills, you get to interact with university students from around the world for a good cause. It is one of the best things that I have ever done and I am grateful for the opportunity. Go ahead and give it a try. You will not regret it.

If you would like to get involved or would like more information click here or contact:

Sarah
e: sarah.andrade.vitorino@gmail.com
t: 07496151612

Tolu
e: Tolulope.Olarewaju@staffs.ac.uk
t: 07808836580