How the Business School uses company visits as a lesson in corporate analysis
When it comes to introducing students to real companies, Business School professors don’t believe in wasting time. Business School students visit leading firms as part of their first year undergraduate core module “Introduction to Management Enquiry”. The motivation behind this module is to help students improve key academic and employability skills as well as to ensure that they obtain the needed understanding of the fundamentals of business and management.
The company visits are organised yearly with the support of colleagues from the Professional Development Centre, Calli Amiras and Pritika Dabla, as well as seminar tutors of the module. First year students during this academic year (2015-2016) had the opportunity to visit companies such as: PwC, Fujitsu, Toshiba, Heathrow Airport, Linkedin, Sodexo, FDM and Netapp amongst others.
As part of the learning process, students are required to reflect on their company visits and complete an analytical business report on the company as soon as they get back which they are assessed on. Module Leader Dr Sankar Sivarajah said that: “The students really enjoyed the whole experience and were very appreciative of the opportunity. It is always fascinating to compare the differences between theory and practice, and to get a sense of what is special about a particular organisation.”
The companies hosting the visits were equally impressed with Brunel students, a manager from PwC said:
“…it was great to see so many keen students really embrace the opportunity – especially with the Dragons Den activity! Hopefully they are able to go away and give some further thought to looking into a career at PwC.”
Senior tutor of the “Introduction to Management Enquiry” module, Dr Stephen Smith, who accompanied students to the Fujitsu visit, stated: “It was the best company visit I had ever been on (and I have been tutoring since 1986!). The organisers put the students through the company's structured innovation process by way of a sequence of participative activities which I recognise as 'Socratic' (learning by doing). I cannot praise the event highly enough, and our students responded with enthusiasm and of course, innovative thinking.”