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Transcript: International Business and Management webinar

Read about what you can expect from the course.

The following is a transcript of the International Business and Management webinar recording

Dr Jenni Barrett: Hello, my name is Doctor Jenni Barrett, and I'm the Programme Leader for this MSC in international business and management.

I worked for a long time in the architecture and construction fields, working on large, complex projects, often with a global context dealing with global issues like sustainability. I then took a master's at the University of Cambridge.

I have a PhD from here at UCLan. My research area is in teams - how people collaborate across online, offline hybrid environments and also across cultural barriers. And I've been teaching this at UCLan for 13 years.

I am also, outside the University, global chair of an education section of an organisation that promotes and supports women working in digital construction. And I co-lead a management-related task group for the International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction.

It's a really interesting structure. There are five key modules - Sustainable Management and Ethics, International Business and Finance, Strategic Business Futures and Global People Management. And that's all followed and wrapped up by a big research project.

There are a mix of 40 and 20 credit modules and all the modules are very, very different from each other. And this is great because it gives you an oversight of all the key functions and factors that a manager in an international business context needs to know, whilst giving you the ability to make good judgments based on solid grounding of that contemporary knowledge.

The research project is your opportunity to take what you need to explore a particular issue in more depth. There you can choose your dissertation topic based on the fact that there was something that came up in the modules, in the lectures, in the content, that really interests you. But also because perhaps you want to choose a specific area to support your chosen career trajectory.

I think the online learning environment gives you a really good, accessible way to deal with this content, it means that you can do it in your own time, explore the things in more depth that you want to look at.

And each week you will be getting small packages of content of learning and discussion as well, which is really important for this to help you build week by week your knowledge and bring it all together at the end.

Because the key learning outcome for this is obviously an understanding of the business and management research methods and knowledge that you'll need to work in a dynamic and changing environment.

But more than that, the course will offer you the chance to really kind of develop your critical evaluation skills and your ability to communicate your understanding and deal with some of the wicked problems that present themselves in the international business environment.

You'll be able to understand and apply appropriate techniques, models and skills to allow detailed investigation into relevant business and management issues and exercise a really well-developed professional judgment by the end of the course so that you can really get to grips with very unique business scenarios in the international context.

And this is applied to the subject content in each module, in every module, so it relates to the components of international business, whether it's people sustainability, ethics, or finance management and you'll get an in-depth grounding in the knowledge relating to these subjects.

But you'll actually achieve a high degree of personal development, as well as each subject area will be taught in a way that develops your critical thinking, communication, professional judgment and solving really complex international problems.

This equips you with the knowledge you need to work in the international business environment, but also it will help you to lead and innovate in your chosen field.

So who the course is for? Well, the easy answer is anyone who wants to work at an international level and understand the global context.

The ideal student is someone who is just ready to learn, engage and has a keenness to explore new and exciting fields in this area.

So you don't have to come from a business discipline, although it's very welcome and traditional to have people coming from maybe finance, retail, property backgrounds.

But we're also really welcoming of people from alternative routes as well, people perhaps from the creative industries.

We want a really diverse mix of students because that's where when you have the discussions, the online discussions, that's where some really interesting learning happens when you actually peer to peer learn amongst yourselves, so that diversity is key.

So really, anyone who has an interest in a sector or industry that's represented on the international stage, whether it's fashion or banking, music or marketing, is very much welcome.

And if you're worried that you won't have those kind of business skills because you've come from a non-business background, you don't need to worry about that because the core functions are covered in the online learning content so that will really give you the grounding to go, then go on and work in that international business context later on.

Because the four taught modules that you'll do represent the four key components of international business. The International Business and Finance module deals with global financial institutions, markets and regulations that you need to be aware of when operating globally. And it will give you a really good grounding for understanding the international business and financial environment.

Then the Sustainable Management and Ethics module is really different to that one. It tackles some of the ethical challenges you're likely to face when working in the international arena and is going to tackle head on the tensions that can emerge between global politics and social equity and economic policy and practice. This module will help you develop your own position on those issues and help you develop really good solutions that you can employ when encountering those business challenges.

Then the Global People Management module will help you gain a critical awareness of different practices and complexities that encompass the management of people at a global scale. So you'll explore cultural contexts, different perspectives on the nature of employment and also in leadership strategies to ensure that you can get international business success.

The Strategic Business Futures module is, I think, is a really exciting one because it brings together the threads of those of the modules to enable you to critically analyse them in relation to each other and against future predictions and global trends. This is a module that helps you think really strategically in relation to your business and encourages you to think about how change happens in organisations, and how the global organisation needs to respond and adapt in a rapidly changing world.

So the modules deliver contemporary themes for the global economy going beyond what we would traditionally think about to be just business.

And then after those modules, you get to pick your area of expertise, and that's the research project, which results in the production of a dissertation. But don't worry, you will get supported in the supervision of that dissertation.

Here at UCLan there is an experienced and expert team of researchers who are all doing their own cutting-edge research in this field, and we will teach you the research methods that you need to help you come up with not only the research idea and the research questions, but also to develop a really robust way of gathering data and analysing it to produce findings that are useful to you, useful to your sector, and will help you with your own career progress.

A course in international business and management has always been relevant as long as businesses are globalised, which is for a long time now. But it's never been more relevant than today and will be in the coming years. COVID 19 has radically changed the way we work and interact, and we're undergoing a technological industry revolution where technology is changing how we exchange data ideas and collaborate.

This course will empower you to understand and be part of that revolution and get you ready to be a change maker in a rapidly changing dynamic business context. The things that we're picking up on in the course content or the key issues that international businesses in all sectors are needing to come up with, they need to come up with new thinking and we are deliberately predicting that new thinking, learning from industry to inform the course content.

So this is an opportunity to explore the really relevant issues that are right on the front line of business thinkers, business thinking and not only just understand it, but become skilled and expert in it.

So these kinds of things are the new way that marketing has happened. The effect of social media and social influence, the future of work, how we work, where we work, new career structures, new financial structures and of course, never as relevant as it is right now.

The issue of sustainability, which is really on the global agenda politically and in a business sense.

So this course, really, we're not simply passing on the knowledge of yesterday's leaders. That's not what we're doing here. This course is designed to make you a leader of the future. So that you can adapt and respond to change and really think innovatively and creatively to the challenges of the world, but also in a way that drives your own business success.

We can talk about some of the key issues and challenges that are affecting our world right now and percolating within the business environment. Some of these are issues of gender inequality, geopolitics, creativity, the future economy and all these will be addressed on the course, not only in specific compartments in specific areas, but also as threads running through all the modules.

So that you can look at these issues from different perspectives and through different lenses. And that will help you really understand and get to grips with some of the challenges that international business has ahead of it.

But more than this, we hope you'll bring your own thoughts. We want you to reflect on your past experience, your understanding of the world, your cultural background. We want you to bring that to the course. We want you to bring your own observations and your own line of questions to set the agenda for discussion on issues you feel to be relevant to you.

We acknowledge that the world is changing. So we want to teach you the thinking skills and the ability to adapt to respond to that changing world and as future leaders, we want you to bring those questions to us and identify those key challenges.

Many international business and management courses focus on functional and key competencies that are needed in relation to the international business world. Understanding past learning from past experiences and past and older knowledge.

Those courses tend to base their approaches on a more transactional leadership and management approach, which as the world is changing, we're seeing that this is now outdated.

This course really kind of raises the benchmark of that and says those old approaches are no longer relevant, those old approaches are really not going to help give you competitive advantage. And they're really not going to drive success and good global solutions.

So this course is deliberately adopting new approaches, different approaches to dealing with leadership and management. So we will give you those key competencies. But we're giving you skills that will best prepare you for the future. We'll give you subject based knowledge based on good academic research research that's being done here at the University and elsewhere and internationally.

But we also have good contacts with industry, learning from them and what they need us to teach you. So this gives you a strong basis to sort of support you to learn from that academic and industry knowledge and learn the skills that will help you forge your own leadership style that is right for your sector in your career. But because it equips you with the crucial skills needed for business now and what's going to be needed in the future, which will continue to be different and change.

We're equipping you with those skills of adaptability and responsiveness and the knowledge that you need of future trends and global trends. And those are in really high demand right now as global business has to tackle increasingly challenging problems in increasingly competitive markets.

So we want to help you position yourself in that international arena. It might be that you want to work as a manager or a leader in a globalised company and an international company. Or perhaps you want to work sort of in a different way, but just understand the global context of the work that you're doing. There way, in whatever sector it is, we want, this course will help you not only get in the door, but also progress quickly up the career ladder because of the unique skills that you will have brought to that organisation.

Yes, if you're a leader and a manager already in a global company, but you want to bring more of that international knowledge into that organisation, this is an ideal source and a way to do that so that you can really kind of revitalize and reinvigorate the organisation and push it further in that global market.

To join the course, we ask that you have an honors degree at a level of  2:2, second division or equivalent. It's important to note that your degree does not have to be in business or management. You don't need to have had the business or management grounding to then come and do a master's in it.

So, you know, if you've got a 2:2 honors degree, then we are very happy to look at your application. But I'm aware that some of you are may not have gone to university, but have perhaps achieved a whole load of learning about business and management while working in a business environment.

So if you don't have the academic qualifications, but if you've been working in areas maybe for, say, five years, 10 years and it's equipped you with skills that are really comparable to what you'd learn on an undergraduate degree, then then we're really keen to look at that because you'll be bringing something really quite unique and special to the course.

We'll see if your work experience equates to that honors degree, and if so, your work experience might be the ideal basis for you doing the course. You might already have insights to some of these issues that we'll be tackling. So my recommendation there in those cases would be, if in doubt, speak to the course advisers and you know, they will help you build an application and we will certainly very enthusiastically look at those kinds of applications.

Yes, this is an academic qualification, but it requires real world solutions. And I think it would be a great thing to do for students who are keen to apply to not only reflect on their own experience but reflect deeply on it.

I know in the world of work, we move from one thing to another but actually reflect what you have learned through that process and what that's telling you. These are the critical skills that we're trying to draw out.

And if you kind of come to the course having already reflected on some of these that will really help you progress and achieve, you know, really high grades.

So if you can reflect on your own work and try and work out what you have learned through that process and what you would do differently, what that tells you about the global environment?

I would also say it's really important to open your awareness to that international business context. Listen to the news, read the news, listen to podcasts programs, whatever it is, it's available to you. Think about what the politicians are saying. Think about the climate change summit and what's coming out of that. And think about what that means for the international business and management context.

What does that mean for you and your future business? And that's getting to the rhythm of how we will be thinking on this course. Those conversations are going to prove vital because they're happening right now. They're cutting edge, and that means you'll start the course already advanced and really be able to enjoy it, get a lot more enjoyment out of it, and you'll really be ready to learn.

And once we've equipped you with the knowledge as well, you'll really be kind of sailing through your career after that.