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Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Celebrating Sheffield’s relationship with NCUK

Monday, September 4th, 2017


2017 marks the 30th anniversary of the Northern Consortium Charity and NCUK, a collaboration of leading UK universities including the University of Sheffield, dedicated to giving international students guaranteed access to universities worldwide and helping them succeed when they get there.

To mark the occasion and celebrate continued success, the IEN Institute joined with NCUK on 3 August 2017 to hold their first alumni event recognising the success of students that have progressed through the partnership in Korea.

Dr David Littlewood, Divisional Director for Impact, Innovation and Engagement at the Management School (pictured above, left), attended the event held at the British Ambassador’s Residence, Seoul, South Korea, meeting with Sheffield alumni and delivering a speech.

David said: “The UK remains at the forefront of research and academic quality, with world-class facilities, industry leading academic staff and a tradition of excellence which dates back hundreds of years. The NCUK qualifications help students to contribute and succeed when they come to study with us.”

IEN has taught over 800 students and helped them to achieve their dream of studying in the UK. The centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with NCUK in 2018.

An extraordinary achievement – Dr Angela Carter awarded Lifetime Achievement Award

Thursday, June 8th, 2017


Angie Carter is not your average academic.

Her untraditional route to the top is a story of passion, tenacity and patience which has recently been acknowledged with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology (EAWOP).

As a long-standing member of the Institute of Work Psychology at the Management School, Angie’s career has been underpinned by a drive to develop learning in others. She said: “It’s a passion of mine to apply learning to practice. I’ve decided that the biggest success I’ve had isn’t just imparting learning to other people – it’s encouraging others to do so. Some of the people I have supervised (practitioners and PhD scholars) are supervising others now, and that’s extraordinarily nice to hear.”

Angie’s first foray into teaching was at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London – having trained in radiotherapy, she enjoyed developing people in a technical and a caring job. It was the 1980s and the hospital told her to ‘go out and get a degree’, which she embarked on part-time: “I really enjoyed the part of my work that was about communication with people – I’d been teaching ultrasonographers how to talk to their patients, so psychology appeared to be the most obvious thing for me to do.

“I caught the bug and knew I wanted to do more research after that.”

Her legacy in London continues, as she was one of the team who established a regional school of radiography which still exists in Charterhouse Square.

Redundancy from her job in the health service was a catalyst for change: “I started teaching leadership and management in the early 1990s. Twenty-plus years later, I’m still teaching leadership and management! So it’s interesting how things go around.

“Redundancy was a real schism in my career that took me into further study. I had an opportunity to do what I wanted to do – I met people from the Institute of Work Psychology and came up to Sheffield to apply for a research assistant role looking at the first big stress study in healthcare. Got that, and my PhD four years later. And here I still am!”

Volunteering for professional associations like EAWOP and the British Psychological Society (BPS) has shaped Angie’s career for decades. After time spent on the BPS’s international committee, she was invited to join EAWOP’s executive committee on which she spent six years, one of the driving factors behind this award: “I got to meet fantastic people but built an unhappy image of the continent. If you look at Europe from the Western side, we have strong educational pathways, well-formed practitioner-academic roles, and work psychology is buzzing. Go further East, and it’s much less so.  Not only is there more poverty, but there isn’t a defined academic core of study.

“They just don’t have the opportunities – academic salaries are so low that work psychologists have to practice, so they don’t have time to do much research. There’s a flattening of ability, and as I met people there through EAWOP, we formed a group called the Baltic Alliance. I brought them together, enabling better funding for educational and research projects. They all became EAWOP constituents and one of my roles in the executive committee was to expand these numbers – I started with about ten, and left with 34. I expanded the scope of EAWOP, and what it could achieve.”

Building constituents was just the beginning of Angie’s EAWOP journey. While developing these links across Europe, she was working with practitioner Ute Schmidt-Brasse to develop a practice-based journal for the association – they’re now into their ninth year of publishing In-Journal, and it goes from strength to strength. Angie also established the Worklab, an annual meeting for work psychology practitioners with a minimum of two years’ experience, which again aims to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Back in Sheffield, Angie contributes to the Management School’s Masters in Occupational Psychology and Work Psychology, running a module called Applying Psychology to Work and Organisations. The module is assessed by a portfolio based on ten elements of practice that make a good work psychologist. She said: “The portfolio makes the applied learning more real for students and prepares them for their future work roles.”

“There are a number of challenges facing graduates – my advice would be not to just chase ‘any job’ – pursue an area of work that you’re passionate about. Use every opportunity you can to network and make contacts – we offer extraordinary opportunities for students that may mean a little bit of work outside the general curriculum, but you’ll get noticed.”

Angie considers ‘getting real’ as a concern for work psychology as a whole, particular post-recession when organisations are still keeping a close eye on the bottom line: “What worries me is that a lot of areas of research are too narrow and don’t look at the big picture facing business now, which is how to get the best performance from employees so organisations can achieve their goals in tough times.

“I think there’s a reality check that needs to happen – we need to research the big important questions, rather than things companies don’t want to know about. They’re interested in engaging, but they need to see that engagement relate to performance.”

The study of organisations is shaping Angie’s research now. She’s looking at youth employment – why businesses choose not to employ young people, what they don’t understand about the 18 to 24-year old demographic, and what they’re missing out on: “There are two sides, and until we start researching the work side of employability, we won’t get an answer to the big questions of getting young people into good work roles.”

The Lifetime Achievement Award from EAWOP is a wonderful summary of Angie’s career – recognising her voluntary work and contribution to the lives of work psychologists around the world. The Management School is incredibly proud of her exceptional contribution.

Welcome back! The Management School opens its doors with new alumni network

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Northern Alumni Network

Whether you graduated two or 20 years ago, if you’re still in or around Sheffield our new network offers the perfect opportunity to get to know the Management School again.

On 10 May we’re launching the Northern Alumni Network. Open to all Sheffield graduates in business in the north, it’s a chance to connect with other alumni, have a look around our fantastic Crookesmoor premises, and meet members of the School who can help you get more involved in the future.

Prof Andrew Simpson, who will welcome attendees on the day, is Associate Dean for External Business Advancement at the Management School. He said: “The School has connections all over the world but with this event we’re looking to engage people a little closer to home. We’re very proud of the impact Sheffield graduates have on the city region and hope to harness this enthusiasm via the Northern Alumni Network.

“Whether your priority is reconnecting over a glass of wine with your old cohort, scoping out collaborative research opportunities with our academic staff, or understanding how to contribute your expertise to our students, this launch event will showcase everything we can offer our alumni and give guests a point of contact at the School.”

This focus on our regional alumni is an exciting step forward for the School. Let us know that you want to be part of it by signing up here:

Venue: Sheffield University Management School, Conduit Road, Sheffield S10 1FL
Date and time: 10 May 2017, 6pm onwards
6pm – Welcome
6.30pm – Food and drink
7pm-8.30pm – Showcase and Networking

We look forward to seeing you again in Sheffield.

For more information about Alumni activity at Sheffield University Management School, visit the Management Gateway Alumni pages here.

Entrepreneurial recognition for alumna in Pakistan

Thursday, February 11th, 2016


Two Sheffield alumni in Pakistan have been recognised for their achievements at a ceremony held at the British Deputy High Commission in Karachi, with Dr Nousheen Zakaria (MSc Human Resource Management 2008) awarded first runner-up in the Entrepreneurial Award.

The Education UK Alumni Awards celebrate the achievements of alumni from UK universities who are now living in Pakistan and have gone on to achieve success in their professional careers.

After gaining her MSc in Management HRM at Sheffield University Management School, Nousheen (pictured above) earned her PhD in Strategic HRM at the University of Leeds. As Co-Founder and CEO of Out of the Box Ltd, U.K and The Code It Company, Pakistan, she is responsible for releasing some of the newest and most innovative apps and websites to support the local industry as well as global clients. She provides equal-employment opportunities to people with special needs. Nousheen’s UK study experience enhanced her critical thinking skills and has helped her be the entrepreneur that she is today.

Fellow University alumnus Jahanzeb Awan, who studied Law at Sheffield, won the Professional Achievement Award, recognising alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership and achievements in their professional industry.

The awards were presented by special guests including University of Sheffield alumna Dr Urooj Mumtaz, who plays for Pakistan’s national women’s cricket team.

IWP celebrates its award-winning cohort

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016


Congratulations to Kester Poon, MSc Occupational Psychology graduate who won both prizes associated with the Institute of Work Psychology’s programmes at winter graduation, held on 13 January 2016. He was awarded prizes Best Student and Best Dissertation, sponsored by Arup and Pearn Kandola respectively.

Dr Carolyn Axtell said: “It is unusual for a student to receive both prizes, but Kester’s outstanding performance across the course as a whole and within his dissertation made him a worthy winner for both. He has graduated with Distinction and achieved the highest overall programme score within his cohort. His dissertation examined the role of manager flexibility in the implementation of HRM practices.”

Kester (pictured above, left) was employed by the Ministry of Defence in Singapore prior to the MSc and has returned there since finishing the course. His role allows him to apply knowledge from different areas of Occupational Psychology – ranging from selection, to training analysis and evaluation, to organisational behaviour, statistics and employee satisfaction and wellbeing.

Kester said: “The MSc has been an invaluable experience in refreshing and updating my knowledge in these areas as well as in the forging of networks with peers, academics and practitioners alike”.

Another recent graduate, Joel Ockwell (pictured above, right), was invited to the Indigo Gold Innovation Awards in 2015 to present details of his dissertation project which looked at scoring methods for situational judgement tests. These awards look at how innovative the project is along with scoring based on academic credibility and how transferable the work is to current and future commercial environments. The judges were impressed with Joel’s thorough analysis and he was put through to the final round of discussions, before finally being named as runner-up.

Joel had worked with Pearn Kandola on developing alternative scoring systems after successfully applying for a Sheffield University Management School company-based dissertation project. Since graduating he has been putting his learning to good use after accepting a job offer from PriceWaterhouseCooper where he is working as a Business Psychologist on selection and assessment practices.

Business Management graduate scoops regional award

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015


“He will definitely be one of the reasons SleepCogni becomes a global brand”.

James Bird’s boss and mentor, Sheffield entrepreneur Richard Mills, is very pleased with the SUMS BA Business Management graduate, and it’s clear to see why. James certainly hasn’t rested on his laurels – joining SleepCogni straight after graduating as Business Manager, the service has made significant leaps in a short amount of time, achieving milestones it couldn’t have without James’s input.

Cementing his contribution and bright future, James won the Young Business Person of the Year Award at the Sheffield Business Awards 2015, celebrated with a large crowd of Yorkshire businesses in Ponds Forge at the start of December (pictured above, James collecting the award from Brenda Jordan, Operations Director at Sheffield Chamber of Commerce).

On his win, Richard commented: “James’s success demonstrates the mutual benefits of the Management School working with SMEs in Sheffield – we are all proud of his major achievement. He is a shining example to many young business people being produced by Sheffield University and should be commended for his ability and attitude. He has been invaluable to the business and it’s a pleasure for me to mentor such a young talent.”

SleepCogni also won the Best Use of Technology to Improve Business Performance Award on the night, so there was plenty to celebrate for Richard and his team.

Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching, Professor Paul Latreille, said: “The School is delighted to pass on its congratulations to James on this fantastic achievement, and thanks to Richard for his part in James’s success! It’s great to hear that our graduates are really making a difference and we’re very proud.”

The King of SPIN – Neil Rackham returns to ‘shake things up’

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Neil Rackham

Two decades on, his 1995 text, SPIN Selling, is still lauded as the most influential sales book of all time, and more than half the US Fortune 500 use models from that research to train their sales teams. Professor Neil Rackham’s studies have stood the test of time, but as he makes clear in this interview – it’s important to evolve. In his own words: “It’s a Darwinian world out there. Adapt or die.”

In March we welcome US-based Neil back to these shores as Visiting Professor to Sheffield University Management School. Ahead of his return, we spoke to him about the sales and marketing sector where he has such legacy, his current research and any advice he may have for our students.

On the state of the sector, Neil identifies a number of key shifts in sales and marketing, albeit in the USA: “The integration of sales and marketing or, at least, a major shift in how they work together is finally underway. It’s curious that the only two functions in the organisation with an identical mission – the generation of profitable revenue – should so rarely work well together. A few years ago, Professor Philip Kotler and I wrote an article in Harvard Business Review called ‘Ending the war between sales and marketing’. It created a lot of interest; less because of the article itself, more because many senior executives thought that they had big problems in this area.

“The internet has forced new thinking and has taken over the selling of simple products. In many companies, marketing now does the selling, using the website, social media and telesales. Sales, meanwhile, has focused on high level, complex business-to-business selling. This change has altered the way companies think the roles of sales and marketing.”

As a University of Sheffield alumnus, Neil remembers the city fondly and has some advice for students considering a career in the sales and marketing arena: “As little as five years ago, if a student asked me if they should make a career in sales or marketing, I would tell them, ‘It’s a great place to start, but don’t stay there too long unless your sole objective is to make money: you’ll die of boredom’. Not so today. A background in both marketing and sales is an invaluable springboard to senior management success. Selling, in particular, has become complex, strategic and professional – it’s about creativity; nothing to do with the old stereotypes of persuasion and pushiness. It’s about creating new value.

“However, the days are long gone when you could succeed in either sales or marketing by seat-of-the-pants methods. Just like a doctor, lawyer, architect or any other profession, there’s a need for certification, standards and continuing professional development. The field is moving incredibly fast: the knowledge you had three years ago is already nearing the end of its shelf life. Bodies like the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) have an increasingly important role in keeping us up-to-date and providing an assurance to potential employers that we are competent professionals.

As well as speaking at the Management School on 12 March, Neil is looking forward to developing his research network and working with students: “What I hope to do at Sheffield University Management School is to inspire some smart and talented students to enter this exciting and fast-moving area. I always learn from working with students – much more than I learn from working in boardrooms. I get out of it a whole lot of ideas. I’m fed up with explaining social media to geriatric senior managers. I love it when a student tells me things I didn’t know about, say, trending bloggers.”

As this article noted earlier, Neil’s popular texts are still influencing sales teams worldwide and his research career hasn’t slowed down – though it has a slightly different focus: “I’ve lost interest in the large corporations like IBM, Oracle or Citicorp who funded my early research. Most of the new wealth today isn’t being generated by these dinosaurs. It’s coming from small nimble companies that are creative and fun to work with. That’s where I like to be.

“The methods I pioneered in the 1980s, by all rights, should be long extinct in 2015. But they are not. There’s a wide perception in business that the methods still work. Of course they have to adapt to new times and I can see a lot of possible changes I’d like to explore, but the fundamentals are still alive and well.

“My present research concerns ‘pipelines’. In sales, a pipeline is the amount of business a company has where the sale has been started but may not result in a final contract for a year or more. I’m interested in things like how do you speed the rate of flow in this pipe and how do you increase its yield. I’m also working on sales and marketing integration and I find myself fascinated with how really big sales are made; where there may be a team of 50 people working on one billion dollar sale. That’s exciting stuff. It really gets your adrenaline going to know that tomorrow you’re going to hear if you’ve won or lost one of these giant contacts.”

Neil’s research is still hugely popular, but it’s how this has influenced his practice that also interests us. As founder of Huthwaite International, a global research and consulting firm based close to Sheffield, he has always been concerned with the role of sales and marketing practitioners in an organisational context. We asked Neil to elaborate on how important it is that this sector is represented on a company board: “The big contribution that sales and marketing make to corporate boards is to bring the voice of the customer. That’s often sorely missing – even today – in traditional companies. I confidently predict that both sales and marketing will have an increasing presence, and an increasing impact, at board level in the future.”

In many sectors, this is a controversial proposition indeed. Then again, Neil’s never been afraid to cause a stir: “In my student days at Sheffield, when I was Secretary of the Union [my membership is still up to date] I was a loud and enthusiastic troublemaker. Today I’m less loud and a little more subtle about it but, once a troublemaker, always a troublemaker. I hope to shake a few things up – in a professional and professorial way, of course.”

We’re confident that the world of sales and marketing will be eternally grateful for Neil’s troublemaking ways. We look forward to welcoming them back to Sheffield University Management School in March.

Book your place for Neil’s talk on 12 March on our Management Gateway – click here.

IWP student success at national conference

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Image credit: Alex Pilsworth / BPS Division of Occupational Psychology

Beatrice Redfern, MSc Occupational Psychology graduate at Sheffield University Management School (pictured above), has received an award for her MSc research project.

Members of the Management School’s Institute of Work Psychology (IWP) were present at the British Psychological Society’s Division of Occupational Psychology (DOP) conference to celebrate Bea’s achievement, which was presented at a ceremony in London on 17 November. The DOP awards celebrate achievement and excellence in practice and research in the field of occupational psychology.

Student awards are given to individuals at undergraduate and postgraduate level who have submitted projects that make the most valuable contribution to the field of occupational psychology in the 21st century. Bea’s joint second-place in the Student Prize for Excellence was for her project titled ‘Putting innovation into context: Exploring the impact of contextual factors on the relationship between individual factors and innovative behaviour’.

The student prizes at the DOP conference are sponsored by Pearn Kandola, one of the UK’s leading business psychology consultancies, specialising in assessment, development and diversity.

Well done Bea! Congratulations from all at the Management School.

Image credit: Alex Pilsworth / BPS Division of Occupational Psychology

SUMS takes a trip…and meets up with past students along the way

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Throughout October this year, colleagues from the Management School welcomed the opportunity to meet up with just some of our international alumni population, as part of their research and recruitment trips around Asia. 

 Hannah and Maddie with SUMS alumni in Taipei in October 2014Mr Mohammad Rajjaque with SUMS alumni in Singapore October 2014

The first stop was Singapore, for Mr Mohammad Rajjaque, a member of the School’s Accounting & Finance division. Mohammad invited local alumni to come along to an informal evening to meet up with other alumni members who are also living or working in Singapore, and to catch up with news from the School and University back in Sheffield. Amongst those who were delighted to attend were recent graduates from our collaborative programme with the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and members of the alumni community, old and new, including Mr Wong Peng Wai, a graduate from the School’s first first MBA batch back in 1979. He was happy to hear that the School had moved back to the premises up at Crookesmoor where he remembers studying, and was interested to see just how much the building has changed since then.

Then it was on to Taiwan with the School’s Marketing and Recruitment Officer, Mrs Madddie Stewart, along with Ms Hannah Stelman from the University’s International Office. In between their busy schedule of recruitment activities, Maddie and Hannah were pleased to be able to spend an evening with local alumni whilst in Taipei, and enjoyed getting to know old and new members of the community over drinks and an evening meal.  Guests included Mr Sam Shen, a 2008 graduate from the MSc Management programme, who is enjoying a successful career in banking since leaving Sheffield, and Ms Evelyn Chung, a recent graduate  0f 2013 from the MSc Marketing Management Practice programme who is now working in the cosmetic and health care industry.  These guests and others enjoyed chatting to each other during the evening, and comparing stories of their time at Sheffield. One guest, Mr Tse-Ho Fang, told how is memories of Sheffield will always be particularly special to him, as it is where he met is now wife, who was studying Music Management in Sheffield at the same time.

Finally, the third international Management Alumni reunion of October 2014 took place in Tokyo, Japan, hosted by the School’s newly appointed Associate Dean for External Business Advancement, Prof Andrew Simpson. Andrew was delighted to be able to re-engage with our alumni during his time in Japan, and was extremely pleased at the turn out for the evening and the efforts that people had gone to in order to meet him and other alumni. Those that were able to make the evening enjoyed making new contacts with fellow alumni, and hearing updates from Andrew about the recent developments at the School back in Sheffield.

Mr Ian Proctor, Head of External Relations at the Management School said: ‘The School feels extremely privileged to have such a strong and loyal international alumni community, which continues not only to grow each year as it welcomes in new graduates, but strengthens in its mutual connections with the School and its internal  relationships that have developed amongst its many members with each other.’ Ian continued, ‘Reunions such as these are just one of the ways in which the School and alumni both enjoy staying in touch, and I know from meeting many of our alumni overseas, that they always look forward to appreciate it when we get the chance to come over to their home countries to see how they are getting on after leaving Sheffield. And we greatly appreciate the time that alumni take out of their own busy working and personal lives to come and meet us too. It’s always nice to see a familiar face back in Sheffield too, as we sometimes get paid visits from past students who have made a special trip to see us whilst on business or travelling through the UK, which is always welcomed!  Staying in touch with alumni all over the world is much easier now with our social media networks and the online Management Gateway, which has tools such as the ‘Search Alumni Map’ to help alumni re-connect with each other, and is updated daily with news and the School’s events programme,’ added Ian.

More international events are planned for next year and in the mean time the School remains in touch with our overseas friends over email and social media. If you are interested in hosting your own alumni reunion, please let us know! Email with a few words about who attended, where and what you did, and send us a few photos.

Visit the Management Gateway at and click on ‘For Alumni.’

Join the Management School Alumni Group on LinkedIn

Susanna Chiu Receives Distinguished Alumni Award

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Susanna Chiu

During a recent visit to Hong Kong, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, honoured Susanna Chiu (BA Economics, 1982) with the Professor Robert Boucher Distinguished Alumni Award. Named in honour of the University’s 12th Vice-Chancellor, Susanna was presented with the award as part of an alumni celebration event in Hong Kong.

Although Susanna is a graduate of Economics, the department, along with the Management School, were in fact one of the same when Susanna studied here. Susanna has since been involved with Management School alumni activities as well as University wide activities, and we at the Management School are extremely proud to have such close associations with Susanna.

Susanna is the Director at Li & Fung Development, China Limited, but started her career at accountancy firm Grant Thornton in Sheffield, following her first class economics degree, which included winning the Tassie Medal for academic achievements in Economics.

Before moving back to Hong Kong over twenty years ago, Susanna started making an impact on Sheffield’s Chinese community, setting up the UK’s first independent Chinese Women self-support group, the Lai Yin Association, helping Chinese women to integrate into the community. She was also founder, producer and presenter of the first Chinese radio programme, Mui-Fa, meaning “cherry blossom”, on BBC Radio Sheffield. These efforts to improve communities and society continued through her career.

Susanna now lives and works in Hong Kong, a computer auditor by profession with over twenty years of professional experience in information systems audit and controls review, software consulting, system implementation and business management. She is the President (and a founding member) of the University of Sheffield’s Hong Kong Alumni group, as well serving on the University’s Management School Advisory Board. She has been a passionate supporter of the University and the city of Sheffield which she came to love as a student.

Her professional achievements too, are worthy of note. In 2013, Susanna was the first woman in almost 40 years to secure the senior position of President of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA). This statutory licensing body of accountants is responsible for the professional training, development and regulation of over 35,000 accountancy professionals in Hong Kong.

Also during 2013, Susanna was awarded a ‘Medal of Honour’ by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government for both her contribution to the community and her achievements in the accountancy profession. And just earlier this year, she featured in “Women of our Times” in the South ChinaMorning Post in recognition of her achievements to society.

Susanna has been a dedicated role model promoting the University of Sheffield and its alumni activities in Hong Kong and throughout the world. It is for this, along with her outstanding contribution to business, and her professional achievements, that she has been recognised.