Hannah McLennaghan, a recent graduate of our BA Business Management with Employment Experience, discusses her experience on our Rolls-Royce sponsored module. First published on our Undergraduate Blog.
“I’ve been looking back over everything I have learnt across my degree and all my best bits. For me, my most challenging yet rewarding module was my second-year Supply Chain Management module. This was a core module at the time and made up of a group project and a written exam at the end of the semester. The most amazing thing about this module was that it was sponsored by Rolls Royce! This meant that senior industry professionals from the company were involved in the creation/ structure of the module content and the assessment. The group project was our way of applying the theories we had learnt throughout the module, to a real life business.
“Our task was simple; generate a 10-year operations and supply chain plan for one of 4 companies in the aviation industry; Rolls-Royce, Pratt and Whitney, Airbus or Boeing. My group chose Pratt and Whitney, a major competitor of Rolls-Royce. Each group member was given a director role within the company: Director of Operational Design, Planning and Control, Enterprise Resource Planning, Manufacturing Operations, Supply Chain Management and my role which was Director of Quality Control and Total Quality Management. Working collaboratively, we analysed the company’s current situation and how the market was operating. Using the theories, we had developed during the lectures, some of which were given by Rolls-Royce executives, we applied it to Pratt and Whitney to generate a plan for their future operations. Although this may sound complicated, it was incredible to take on a task that felt so real! It was also the kind of thing I’ll have to do when I graduate and work for a real company so it was really great practice.
“Our plan was assessed through a written report, and a formal presentation to the module leaders from the University of Sheffield, and senior executives from Rolls-Royce. This was the starting point for me developing my presentation creation and delivery skills which I am now extremely confident in thanks to all the chances I have had to practice during my degree. My group’s hard work finally paid off when we were awarded second place for our 10 year plan out of the entire module! This meant we were presented with the Rolls-Royce Academic Award of Excellence, something that looks INCREDIBLE on my CV, and I have found that employers just love it in interviews. To have my academic work accredited by senior professionals such as Ian Shellard – Director, Global Physical Logistics, Rolls-Royce, is a great talking point that really makes me stand out.
“This is just one example of the way Sheffield University tries to link the theory of management studies to a real industry organisation. It was a strong turning point for me in becoming a more practical learner, which also gave me a greater confidence in my own academic and business operational ability.”
Note: After reviewing the programme in 2016, this is now a third year module which involves company visits and applied case work. Click here to read more about it.