Bournemouth University welcomed more than 60 business leaders and prospective employers to its Lansdowne Campus last week to showcase the talent and expertise it has to offer the business community.
The University’s School of Tourism hosted a one-day ‘BU Talent’ event to launch its new Enterprise and Employer Engagement Network, which aims to establish and build links with industry. Such links will then create further opportunities for student placements, graduate employment and enterprise activities.
Students from the School were invited to meet employers and discuss the value of completing a 40-week work placement as part of their four-year degree at BU, as well as the skills and expertise they develop when completing student consultancy projects with national companies including Waitrose, the Club Managers Association of Europe, TUI Travel PLC and CH&Co. Business leaders and employers talked about benefits of consultancy packages on offer at BU, such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), which are Government-subsidised partnerships between a company, the University and a graduate. So far the School of Tourism has undertaken 17 successful schemes with leading companies such as Dorset Cereals, Olives et al and Strainstall.
Among the guests was PGA Golf Captain and golf consultant Eddie Bullock, who spoke about his involvement with the School to develop the opportunities for BA (Hons) Sports Management Golf students alongside Programme Leader Ian Jones.
Mr Bullock said: “It really is a breath of fresh air to be associated with innovative and enthusiastic people who are fully committed with energy to deliver the right product to the market. The Golf/Hospitality sector has been starving for this type of programme, it’s a pleasure to work with Ian, and we have certainly made many new pathways that others with similar programmes haven’t explored. It’s also been a huge pleasure also to work with the students and share my golf business experiences, ideas and contacts with them.”
Other special guest speakers were Josh Light, Learning and Development Manager at national corporate and commercial caterers CH&Co, and BU graduate Kris Gumbrell, who is now Chief Executive of chain Convivial London Pubs PLC. Mr Gumbrell is a keen champion of BU, having provided numerous work placement opportunities to BU students, as well as employing a number of graduates. Mr Gumbrell also discussed the benefits of the consultancy projects he and his team have undertaken with experts in the School of Tourism.
Hospitality student Rebecca Cupitt was also invited to speak to guests at the event, talking about the management and leadership skills she developed during her work placement with CH&Co. This year Rebecca was one of only five students in the UK to be crowned Young Guns winner – a national prize which recognises hospitality students across the country who have excelled in their work placements.
In closing the day’s events, Professor Alan Fyall, Deputy Dean Research & Enterprise, School of Tourism, thanked all delegates for attending and stressed that this initiative represented a step-change in the School’s commitment to its future engagement with employers. Professor Fyall commented: “In bringing together the School’s student placement, graduate employment, alumni and enterprise activity, it is hoped that the ‘BU Talent’ initiative will not only deliver benefits to employers but will enhance the student experience for all students in the School.”
More than 600 students in the School of Tourism complete a 40-week industry placement every year, of which 100 are overseas, across a range of sectors spanning retail, hospitality, tourism, leisure, sport and events. The next BU Talent day, sponsored by CH&Co, will be held in London on Thursday 24 November. For more information please contact Business Development Manager Claire Main via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling: 01202 961481.