The University of Sheffield
Management School

Management School News

Archive for the ‘Alumni’ Category

Student entrepreneurs are inspired at SUMS

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Enterprise is embedded in the curriculum at Sheffield University Management School, so it’s no wonder that start-ups keep emerging from our module in New Venture Creation.

Overseen by Dr Dermot Breslin, the module (MGT380) is inspiring its students to set up new companies. It provides students with the opportunity to draw on knowledge learned throughout their degree as they develop a business idea, from inception to pre-start-up. Building on areas including strategy, finance and organisational behaviour, business ideas can include for-profit manufacturing and service organisations, based in the UK or overseas and social enterprises.

Recent successful start-ups include Go Fresh Café, started by Danielle Howarth. Danielle used the module to create the business, which started in Tickhill, near Doncaster, over the summer of 2014. You can see updates from Go Fresh Café on Facebook:

Another MGT380 start-up is blossoming in the hands of James Buckley. James’s care company, which you can find more information about at, is going from strength to strength. Friends Together offers support and guidance to people with learning difficulties, people on the autistic spectrum and those with difficult epilepsy.

James said: “We’re not a charity: we’re a business providing services that we believe add value to people’s lives. We respect the people who use our services enough to call them customers. We respect their autonomy and we’re grateful they chose us; our aim is to live up to their confidence with our commitment.

“Growing up with my sister Katie, who has profound learning difficulties and epilepsy, I’ve seen and taken part in the struggles that go with that. Back in 2008, I began working for a domiciliary care agency, and took on the role of my sister Katie’s Personal Assistant. I supported her in managing her budget and assisted her in activities, but the choices and ideas were Katie’s.

“That’s where my inspiration for what I do at Friends Together comes from: I saw what happened for my sister when she became a customer.  I saw first-hand how control of her own personal budget gave Katie a sense of her own life. As she settled into the driving seat, Katie began to achieve things we’d been told she’d never be able to do.”

We’re always delighted to hear about our students’ entrepreneurial endeavours, including those of Ollie Chappell and The Bear Socks Company (, which provides high quality sock garments aimed at reducing the impact of global warming, as well as contributing to charity supporting bear welfare.

So many of the organisations our students start-up are underpinned by the School’s mission and vision – socially responsible, ethical and sustainable.

£5,000 in the bag for SUMS’ student social enterprise

Friday, September 19th, 2014

RozDavies3  RozDavies5

EMBA student at Sheffield University Management School, Roz Davies, beat strong competition to win the Enterprising Ideas Competition’s Business Startup Award.

Presented to her at this year’s University of Sheffield Enterprise, Innovation & Impact Awards, organised by University of Sheffield Enterprise and sponsored by Santander, the award gives Roz £5000 to put into her business, We Love Life.

We Love Life is a community platform which supports people to better manage diabetes. It includes forums, information, a store, local living and motivational tools – it is designed to help people feel more knowledgeable, connected and in control so they live happier and healthier lives. It’s not only a business – We Love Life is also a social enterprise, so 50 per cent of profits go back into achieving the social aims of the company.

On winning her award, Roz said: “I have just completed my EMBA at the University. I started the course three years ago as a director in the NHS and I leave as a social enterprise founder, which really shows what a huge personal and professional impact the course can have!

“The course at Sheffield University Management School, combined with the support I have received from the University’s Enterprise Zone (USE), has given me all the tools, knowledge, networks and confidence I need to follow my dreams and build a sustainable business which I hope will make a big difference to people like me, who live with diabetes.

“I will be using the prize money to fund my software development partner to begin building a platform for the online self-care toolkit for people with diabetes. I believe the endorsement of this award and having an EMBA will help me to open new doors, build partnerships and access resources that will help me to make my dream a reality.”

Support from USE came from Enterprise Officers, Darren Chouings and Janet Grant. The pair said that it had been a pleasure working with Roz, seeing her digital self-care kit go from strength to strength: “Roz is a true professional, committed to her business and the outcomes it will achieve.  The judges of the competition voted her the clear winner which is truly deserved.  We wish Roz every success as grows her company.”

Applying for the competition isn’t easy. Each entrant presents a ten-page business plan detailing their business startup. After a number of submissions, a shortlist of five (including Roz) was put forward by a panel of external business professionals as possible winners of the award. In May 2014, the five pitched their startup to a judging panel.

This year’s Enterprising Ideas Competition engaged an impressing panel of judges, all of whom are members of the local business community. They read and scored each business plan and watched the final shortlisted pitches.

Roz impressed the judges at every stage, and on the evening of the Enterprise, Innovation & Impact Awards spoke with passion and dedication about We Love Life.

Congratulations to Roz from all at Sheffield University Management School.

SUMS brings in the numbers

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

F-D_LectureTheatre   DO_AF-D   Networking2

Keeping a room of the region’s most prominent accountants and financers entertained after work is a tall order – but Sheffield University Management School’s lecture rose to the challenge on Wednesday 12 March.

A lively programme of speakers, headed up by Lloyds Bank’s Head of Macroeconomics Adam Chester, followed networking in the School’s new business engagement space.

As the first public lecture held since the refurbished Management School building, on Conduit Road, opened its doors, Professor Anthony Fretwell-Downing officially cut the ribbon to his namesake lecture theatre and spoke to the audience about businesses adjusting to change in a challenging economy.

Dean of Sheffield University Management School, Professor David Oglethorpe (pictured above, centre with Prof Fretwell-Dowling), also spoke on the evening. He said of the event: “It was a privilege to host such a highly regarded assembly of guests at the School. Complemented by a number of our students who chose to attend, the evening’s networking had a fantastic buzz, and the speakers were very well received.

“As the inaugural lecture in our Fretwell-Downing Lecture Theatre, we were delighted with the turnout and welcome others to attend our future events, such as Graham Honeyman’s approaching lecture on the ups and downs of building Forgemasters.”

“Adam Chester’s talk, discussing whether the economic recovery is sustainable, was extremely current and provided a fascinating insight into where Lloyds Bank see the country’s future in economic terms. A lively question and answer session was a fitting conclusion.”

Over 100 guests attended the lecture, 20 of whom went on to a roundtable event at the University of Sheffield’s Inox Dine restaurant.

Head of External Relations, Ian Proctor, said: “This was the first of many exciting events that we have planned at the School. We were delighted to hear Professor Fretwell-Downing speak in the theatre made possible by his generous donation.”

Visit the Management Gateway ( for information on up-coming events.

Young professionals make links in London

Monday, March 10th, 2014

Launch event of the Sheffield Alumni in London Networking Group

The successful launch event of an exciting new initiative between the Department of Economics, the Management School, and the School of Law at the University of Sheffield took place on 6 March.  Kindly hosted by the Chancellor himself, Sir Peter Middleton GCB, the first event in this series saw the formation of the ‘Sheffield Alumni in London Networking Group’ with over 70 alumni and staff from across the three departments attending the launch held at Marsh & McLennan Companies at Tower Place in London.

(Click photos below for more)
Sheffield Alumni in London: 6 March 2014Sheffield Alumni in London: 6 March 2014Sheffield Alumni in London: 6 March 2014

As part of the developing programme of Alumni Engagement at departmental levels across the university, we are continuing to strengthen our relations with specific alumni groups in the UK. By doing this we hope to establish active professional networking groups led by alumni, that are well connected with local business, and further encourage alumni involvement in future departmental activities. The launch event of the ‘Sheffield Alumni in London Networking Group’ is the first of three events that will take place this year.

Invited to attend the event last week at the fantastic venue overlooking Tower Bridge, were alumni from across the three departments of Economics, Law and Management who graduated in or after the year 2000, and are currently living or working in and around London.  The venue proved extremely fitting for the young London based professionals who were welcomed to the Marsh & McLennan Companies by Chairman and University Chancellor Sir Peter Middleton GCB, himself a Sheffield alumnus (BA Economics 1955). Attendees also heard from departmental representatives Peter Odell, Senior University Teacher School of Law, Prof Lenny Koh, Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs Management School and Simon Tebbutt, Lecturer in Economics. The rest of the evening was left for guests to networking whilst enjoying the wonderful view.

Speaking after the event, Prof Koh said: ‘We hope such events and initiatives as this continue to help our alumni to develop both their professional and personal contacts. It can be very hard starting out in your career, especially as a young professional living in London. There are crucial links to be made across these three sectors that can make business easier, and we saw the potential in providing alumni with this ready-made contact base of Economics, Law and Management graduates with professional skills right across the board of these three industry sectors.’

As well as being invited to attend such networking events, members are also encouraged to utilise their new contacts and to begin thinking about the possibility of setting up their own professional events in the future, to support the programme of events delivered by the departments. Members are also urged to utilise the professional and developmental resources available to alumni via the central alumni services or at departmental levels such as the online Management Gateway.

After the success of this first event, alumni and staff are looking forward to the next event in this joint venture between the departments of Economics, Law and Management planned for July this year.

For more information about alumni activity at the University and in the departments of Economics, Law and Management visit:


You can also contact each department’s alumni team on:

PhD alumnus ‘cleans up’ in industry publication

Monday, February 24th, 2014

IMAG0653 (2)(1)  IMAG0654 (1)(1)

Dr Anna Scott, who completed her PhD at Sheffield University Management School, has been acknowledged as one of the leaders in her field in a popular sector publication.

Dr Scott appeared as number 14 in Resource Magazine’s ‘Hot 100 List’ of the most influential people in the waste and resources industry. She was also the highest new entry, so the writers hope to do a career profile on her in future issues.

Her PhD, focusing on sustainable behaviour in households, was supervised by Sheffield University Management School’s Dr Caroline Oates and Professor Will Young at Leeds University. Dr Scott was a White Rose scholarship student.

Keep an eye on future publications for more on her fantastic achievements working for the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

Management Alumna Makes First Female President of the HK Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Susanna Chiu is the first woman in almost 40 years to secure the senior position of president of the Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants (HKICPA).
Management Alumna Susanna Chiu

Delighted with winning the election, Susanna, director of Li & Fung Development (China) says that more women are now entering the accountancy profession and taking on senior positions such as partners or directors of  companies.

Set up in 1973, the HKICPA issues accounting standards and regulates the city’s 35,000 accountants: a regulatory body as well as a membership body.

Looking forward to the challenges ahead, Susanna’s role will continue to play an important part in the regulatory field and she will also work with the government and other parties on the reform proposal.

Susanna graduated with a BA in Economics in 1982 (when Economics was part of the Management School) and went on to work at Grant Thornton accountancy firm in Sheffield. Having moved back to HK over 20 years ago, Susanna has worked in several positions related to China until joining Li & Fung Development (China) as a director in 2006.

Most recently, Susanna was awarded a ‘Medal of Honour’ by the HKSAR Government for her contribution to the community as well as achievement in the accountancy profession.

Related links:


Sheffield University Management School alumni receive further honours

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Graduation-PiazzaTwo of Sheffield University Management School’s alumni were conferred with their honorary degrees at the graduation ceremonies last week:

Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe awarded LLD (Doctor of Laws)
Alumnus of the Executive MBA programme 1999, Sir Bernard received his honorary degree on behalf of the School of Law in recognition of his services to the Metropolitan Police. He took the position of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in September 2011 and was previously the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police.  Born in Sheffield, Sir Bernard began his career in the forces with South Yorkshire Police when he was 22 and also received his Knighthood early this year.

Simon Moran awarded DMus (Doctor of Music) in recognition of his achievements in the music industry
A Business Studies graduate of the Management School 1987, Simon Moran is the owner and managing director of SJM Concerts, one of the largest UK-based concert promotion companies. He produced his first live music events in the Students’ Union over 25 years ago and now works with such acts as Take That, The Stone Roses and Beyoncé. His company now operates over 2,000 shows per year.

You can see all of the most recent Honorary degree graduates at

Management School alumnus and Residential Mentor rewarded for engagement work in the student community

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The Management School was delighted to hear of Richard Bruce’s commendation for his role as Residential Mentor in winning this year’s ACS People´s Award for Services to the Student Community.Richard-Bruce.2

The Management School was delighted to hear of Richard Bruce’s commendation for his role as Residential Mentor in winning this year’s ACS People´s Award for Services to the Student Community.This annual event recognises staff from the University’s Accommodation & Commercial Services department who go the extra mile in their roles to help customers and colleagues.

Management School Alumnus (MBA 1991) and Advanced Visiting Fellow, Richard has recently taken up the challenge of becoming a Residential Mentor to 155 families and couples living in University accommodation.On receiving his award, Richard commented: “I feel greatly honoured to be given this award, particularly as the role is such an intrinsically rewarding one anyway. I’m able to help student families and couples with a wide range of issues, from visa problems, schooling for their children and Council Tax to helping them overcome cultural differences and adapt to living in the UK.”

The new role of Residential Mentor for couples and families was created within the Accommodation & Commercial Services department this year as a result of feedback indicating that more could be done to further engage with this particular group of residents.

Pat McGrath, Director of Accommodation & Commercial Services said: “Richard has done a fantastic job of supporting the couples and families who live in our accommodation. He really goes out of his way to look after the residents and resolve any issues they might have. He’s been an invaluable addition to the Resident Support team and I’m thrilled that we were able to recognise his commitment with the Services to the Student Community Award.”

The role of a Residential Mentor involves the organisation of three activities throughout the year designed to reach out and engage with residents. Last term, Richard arranged for a coach trip to Derbyshire which was a great success in bringing the families’ community together.

Pat continued: “Although Richard is only required to organise three activities per year, his dedication to his residents and his job has seen him organise regular events and activities to engage with the couples and families and develop a real sense of community.”

Vice Chancellor, Professor Sir Keith Burnett, attended the ceremony held on 1st March and presented awards to deserving staff from the departments of Accommodation & Commercial Services and Finance.

You can find out more about the Accommodation & Commercial Services at .

Satisfied students rank University’s Students’ Union best in the UK

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

The University of Sheffield’s Students’ Union has been voted the best in the UK by the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey.

Results published today (Thursday 25 April 2013) rank the University of Sheffield third out of 102 institutions and the first in the Yorkshire and Humber region for the best all-round student experience.

More than 14,000 students from universities across the country took part in the survey, which assesses 21 different attributes of their institutions including teaching, good community atmosphere, good support and extra-curricular activities.

As well as scoring highly for good accommodation and high quality facilities, the University outshone other institutions, including Oxford and Cambridge, with the highest score for social life and the Students’ Union.

Students’ Union President Abdi Suleiman, said: “It is genuinely terrific to know how well regarded our Students’ Union is. Being ranked first for satisfaction when the Union is currently undergoing a major investment project and some of our facilities are not functioning as normal is phenomenal.

“This just goes to show that once the project is completed we will indisputably have the best Students’ Union in the country.

“Students here benefit from the best of many things – Sheffield is the best city to live in, the University has enthusiastic and world-renowned researchers and academics and this satisfaction survey shows we have the best social life and Students’ Union as well!”

Topping the Times Higher Student Experience Survey is the latest in a number of accolades for the Students’ Union after coming first in the Student Barometer in March for the second year running and being crowned number one in the UK by the National Student Survey 2012.

Professor Sir Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are delighted to be ranked so highly for student experience. Choosing to go to a particular university is more than an investment in a future career. It also provides you with a life changing opportunity to broaden your horizons and develop socially and academically. Our excellent student facilities are home to a vibrant community and provide a student experience that is enriching. We believe university life at Sheffield inspires students for the rest of their lives and we are delighted that our students agree.”

Sheffield shines again in student barometer survey

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

Students on campusAn independent student survey has given outstanding results for the numbers of students saying that they are satisfied with services at The University of Sheffield, for the second year in a row.

The University was ranked first in the prestigious Russell Group of universities on average for its support provision, with its Student Services Information Desk (SSID), Corporate Information and Computing Services (CiCS), Disability & Dyslexia Support Service, University Health Service, Career Service, and Students’ Union (including clubs and societies) all ranked as Russell Group leaders.

Students were also very satisfied with their learning and living experience, placing the University of Sheffield second in the Russell Group.

The University was ranked number one in the Russell Group for living and accommodation cost, the availability of financial support and the opportunity to earn money while studying. It was also seen as the University with most eco-friendly attitude to the environment.

The study also showed that the University of Sheffield is ranked second in the Russell Group as the university that most students would recommend to their friends, with 90.9 per cent of students willing to recommend the institution to others thinking of applying to university.

This independent study, which incorporated both domestic and international students, surveyed over 97,000 students from 28 higher education institutions in the UK.

Students’ Union President, Abdi Suleiman, said: “Coming top in the Russell group for student satisfaction for the second year in a row is pleasing in itself but when you realise it equates to tens of thousands of experiences that some students will cherish for life, it really makes us all proud to be involved in the Students’ union.”

Director of Student Services, Dr Andrew West, said: “At the University of Sheffield we place a strong emphasis on the quality and effectiveness of our support services, in the context of an all-round excellent student experience. It is great to have such positive feedback from students.”

The Student Barometer survey is independently administered by the International Graduate Insight Group (

The University has taken part in the International component of the survey since 2007, and joined the Domestic Barometer in 2011.