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Universities Business Challenge

Nottingham Business School students make it to the final of the Universities Business Challenge. The UBC is the world’s longest established simulation-based business challenge which aims at developing undergraduate and postgraduate students’ employability and enterprise skills.

Student competitions and challenges updates

Each year in Employability we promote a number of student competitions and challenges, these range from individual essays to group business plans and from business simulations to community projects. Many are sponsored by employers and other international organisations, and give students a fantastic opportunity both to showcase their abilities and to develop many soft skills. Participation looks great on their CV and LinkedIn profile, and gives them examples to cite at interview. With these opportunities moving online, the chance for students to hone their virtual team working skills has been added to the list of competencies developed. These challenges are often linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), so participation builds on the exposure they receive in their NBS modules and the Sustainability in Practice certificate they can undertake at NTU.

This year, three of our six undergraduate teams have taken part in the finals of the Universities Business Challenge (an IT based simulation). Last year, an NBS team won the Global Masters Challenge (the PG equivalent of the UBC), so we’re proud to announce that all our three teams competed in the postgraduate final. Read about last year’s success here.

The GMC final involved a series of activities centred on running a social enterprise. Speakers provided inspiration during the day, with Louise Obi-Drake looking at ethical leadership and how to use innovative solutions to reduce barriers to engagement and establish positive, life-long learning skills and behaviours. Another speaker, Gerry Higgins, covered cross-cultural communications and the importance having intercultural awareness and being able to capitalise on this awareness in today’s “small” world.

UBC logo

One of our MSc Finance students commented on the experience:

“The main benefit was being able to implement some of the material from our courses into a practical challenge. When it came to the finals, we were all visibly much more effective at constructing financial statements and models, it helped us a lot particularly when we had stricter time constraints. The UBC provides another business-related talking point I can include on my CV.”

Another student commented that the GMC gave him the chance to understand how to lead a team under pressure with tight deadlines, and how to manage individual personalities and ensure cooperation and focus on the topic at hand.

The business challenges prove to be a great opportunity for our students to develop personally and professionally. A huge well done to all students who participated in the challenge..

Global Enterprise Experience opportunity

Students who are interested in participating in competitions and challenges that will improve their employability skills, have also been encouraged to apply to join the annual online Global Enterprise Experience (GeeBiz). In 2020, 15 NBS students participated over the three-week challenge, 11 of whom were asked to act as team leaders. This was a great reflection on the students’ applications, as NTU was the first university outside New Zealand where students acted as team leaders. Furthermore, one of their coaches was Eloise Thomas, a BAIB graduate, who participated in 2018; read about their project on the NTU SDG blog.

We promote these opportunities via the NBS Employability learning room (NOW) and via Twitter @NTUempNBS.

If you want to know more about these, or anything else related to employability support for your students, please contact the NBS Employability Managers: Fiona Winfield (PG & Exec Ed) or Sunny Jones (UG).