BUSINESS MANAGEMENT UNDERGRADUATE PLACEMENT: EMPLOYABILITY IN PRACTICE

SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 100.00
ECTS Credit Points 50.00
Module Code M3N125571
Module Leader Declan Jones
School Glasgow School for Business and Society
Subject Management
Trimester
  • A (September start)-B (January start)-C (May start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Must have completed L2 Industrial Placement Preparation Classes- see Stage 1 in Learning Outcomes

Summary of Content

The importance of employability skills is greater than ever for graduates in challenging economic times with Laidlaw (2009) defining that work placements are an effective vehicle in the achievement of these skills. There also exists a growing body of knowledge providing linkage between placement activity and the achievement of 'better' degree classifications (Little, 2006; Green, 2010). This module constitutes a programme of study composed of two main stages (a) taking the student through the process of gaining and completing the period of industrial experience; and (b) the essential reflective process at the end to complete the learning cycle (Kolb, 1984). The placement involves full-time employment in the area of business management for the period of the placement and is subject to the normal terms and conditions of employment. At the start of the placment students require an element of training and familiarisation, but should very soon assume specific responsibilities for an agreed range of tasks and/or projects. The placement programme offers good opportunities for mutual benefit. Students develop their skills and education and organisations can utilise the flexibility, knowledge, capabilities and enthusiasm of the students. Some specific reasons used for employing students are; 1. To carry out routine tasks in sections such as accounts, HR, marketing and planning. 2. To undertake special projects which might be difficult to commence without extra staff 3. To fill temporary vacancies and ease peak workloads. 4. To help assess the need for additional staff. 5. To assess their prospects for later employment. The module culminates in the submission of a placement portfolio which includes an investigative placement report that demonstrates the links between theory and practice within the context of their placement plus a personal reflection on the learning experience along with evidence of regular participation in key activities in each stage of the placement journey. Each individual student's learning journey is supported by a supervisory model involving a named academic contact and their own line manager(s). PRME-related issues: This module is consistent with the GCU/GSBS approach to adopting the PRME Principles. In particular, students will be engaged with local, international and global "real world" commercial, public sector and/or social economy issues related to their employer's purpose, sustainability, mission and business. They will work, learn and participate in a learning environment conducive to developing graduate attributes consistent with a twenty-first century business school and will collaborate with partners using social learning principles that are ethical and sustainable. Reflection in and on Practice b7 Reflection in Practice, achieved via employer feedback on the job, maintenance of a learning diary and the support provided via sharing on the GCULearn Placement Discussion Board and the student's personal blog and vlog; b7 Relate, in consultation with experienced practitioners, the issues of Business Strategy, Entrepreneurship, HRM, Marketing and/or Risk Management to the real-life business environment they are employed in; b7 Acquire knowledge that will help planning and evaluation of future study and career development options. b7 Acquire cultural competence that would enable students to succeed in a cultural environment different from their own and better prepare them for the global borderless market of the future. b7 Reflection on Practice achieved via completion of a Reflective Report to consolidate learning.

Syllabus

The syllabus for Stage 1 (Level 2) is organised as follows: Lecture content What are Industrial Placements Undergraduate attributes The Curriculum Vitae The Cover Letter The Interview Psychometric Tests Communication Skills Teamwork Skills So tell me about yourself85 Guest Lectures - employers (6) Careers Service - online applications MPR (GCU) Social Media and Blogging Reflective Writing Placement Assessment Requirements Coaching One to one coaching session on securing a placement Trim A and B Stage 2: On Placement Syllabus is based on support for experiential learning requiring Reflection in and on Practice, as outlined below: b7 Reflection in Practice, achieved via employer feedback on job performance, - Maintenance of a learning diary and tutor/peer feedback provided via sharing on the GCULearn Placement Discussion Board and the student's personal blog and vlog; - Placement supervisor feedback on progress in relation to the module learning outcomes relating to (a) profesional skills development; (b) written assessments to demonstrate link between theory and practice: b7 Consultation with work supervisor/line manager and colleagues to gather organisational evidence to reltaing to relevant management issues, e.g., Business Strategy, (Social) Entrepreneurship, HRM, Marketing and/or Risk Management in order to demonstrate an abilty to make links between mangement theory, research and the real-life business environment they are employed in.b7 - Consultation with work supervisor/line manager to gain feedback on personal comptences, including strengths and weaknesses, and career development opportunties.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, the student should be able to:1. Reflect on the external and internal environment of a commercial, public sector or social economy organisation and demonstrate an appreciation of the mission (social mission, where appropriate), values, strategic objectives and operational priorities of the employer.2. Develop commercial awareness and business acumen, or in non-commercial settings (public and social economy sectors) an awarness of value-for-money consderations, and demonstrate an appreciation of how resources are managed in order to achieve strategic and operational objectives efficiently and effectively.3. Develop the ability to receive and execute instructions to the employer's satisfaction.4. Relate, in consultation with experienced practitioners, his/her academic studies of business management to the real-life business environment.5. Develop the interpersonal and soft skills skills necessary for effective work as a member of a team.6. Develop technical skills appropriate to the employment.7. Acquire knowledge that will help with the planning and evaluation of future study (e.g. dissertation) and career development options.8. Reflect on the cultural competence that is necessary to succeed in a multi-cultural environment.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning and teaching for the Stage 1 component will be facilitated by an innovative lecture programme and personal coaching sessions held in Level 2. Students will be required to develop a competitive attitude and familiarise themselves with the paperwork required to apply for industrial placements. Online material will be placed on GCU Learn and students will be required to register with placement related websites for information and advice. A number of guest lecturers from prestigious corporate employers will give guest presentations outlining the opportunities available, the application processes and how to prepare for assessment. Where practicable 4th year students who have been on placement will also speak of their placement experiences and this peer exchange will be a feature of the programme. The Careers Service GSBS Adviser will advise on effective online application techniques. Students will also receive a lecture on Social Media and Blogging skills/strategies/techniques - linked to online profile generation, networking and assessment criteria for the 3rd year. Membership of the GCU Business Club and attendance at club events will be "heavily encouraged" to stimulate networking and peer to peer information exchange skills. Lectures: Lectures are designed to offer current academic/practitioner thinking and approaches to placement identification, application processes, recruitment and selection strategies utilised by employers and the issues of candidate assessment. In addition, students will explore how to be competitive in this market. Coaching: All students will receive (minimum) 2 hours personal coaching on their identification of opportunities, applications, interview preparation, personal effectiveness, competitiveness and confidence. At Level 3, the second stage learning process is explicitly experiential, and individually oriented. Support and advice is offered by their work based, immediate supervisor on the basis of pre -agreement with the university and by their individual university based placement tutor. This involves a formal person to person contact during the placement period* and open access to the placement tutor via email and/or telephone. On-going support from the Placement Community via GCU Learn Discussion Board is provided to enable a student led experiential exchange on practical and theoretical issues arising from their placement. A Personal Blog and Vlog will be written/produced by students to aid development of a learning portfolio enabling them to share and detail their experiences and to enhance their (further) reflective commentary on how their experience has affected them, their views and their future prospects for employability and/or self-employment *May be facilitated via Skype if student undertakes a placement abroad or if resources or circumstances dictate. GSBS will continue to use the advancement of GCU Learn as a blended learning tool through its teaching and learning as well as through engagement with students. GSBS will ensure that all modules are GCU Learn enabled and with the support of the Learning Technologists at the cutting edge of development of online materials. Academic staff and the Learning Technologists will continue to work together to develop and operate all modules on GCULearn to ensure student support and information sharing. Students are provided with formative and summative feedback via a variety of mechanisms. Feedback on coursework is provided within 3 working weeks of submission. Reflection in and on Practice b7 Reflection in Practice, achieved via employer feedback on the job, maintenance of a learning diary and the support provided via sharing on the GCULearn Placement Discussion Board and the student's personal blog and vlog; b7 Relate, in consultation with experienced practitioners, the issues of Business Strategy, (Social) Entrepreneurship, HRM, Marketing and/or Risk Management to the real-life business environment they are employed in; b7 Acquire knowledge that will help planning and evaluation of future study and career development options. b7 Acquire cultural competence that would enable students to succeed in a cultural environment different from their own and better prepare them for the global borderless market of the future. b7 Reflection on Practice achieved via completion of a Reflective Report to consolidate learning.

Indicative Reading

Arnold, J & Randall, R et al. (2010) Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behaviour in the Workplace. Prentice Hall. Essex CBI / Universities UK (2009) Future Fit - Preparing Graduates for the World of Work, London: CBI Cottrell, S (2010) Study Skills for Success. The Personal Development Planning Handbook. (2nd ed). Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Daft, R. L & Marcic, D (2014) Building Management Skills: An Action-First Approach. Centage Learning Canada Hind, D.W.G (2005) Employability Skills, Business Education Publishers HM, Treasury. (2003). 21st Century Skills Realising our Potential Individuals, Employers, Nation, Norwich, HM Treasury

Transferrable Skills

Students following this module will develop the following core transferable skillsets: COMMUNICATION AND PRESENTATIONAL SKILLS 1. Self-presentation (maturity, confidence, initiative, integrity etc.) 2. Oral communication (clarity, coherence etc.) 3. Report writing skills (medium, format, style, conventions etc.) 4. Presentation of a report (orally and written) 5. Presentation of research findings (orally and written) 6. Group presentations 7. Audio-visual presentations (OHP's, flip charts, power-point, video,) 8. General computing and digital skills 9. General communication skills (telephone, email, conference calls etc.) 10. Listening skills 11. Negotiating skills 12. Information: analysis, retrieval, evaluation, knowledge contextualisation and interpretation INTERPERSONAL SKILLS 1. Group work and team work skills (recognition of appropriateness, strengths and weaknesses, group dynamics etc.) 2. Integration skills (co-operation with superiors, colleagues or subordinates) 3. Leadership sills (delegation, co-ordination) 4. Supervisory skills 5. Counselling skills 6. General organisational and administrative skills 7. Peer and self-assessment skills 8. Interview skills (as interviewer or interviewee) 9. Collaboration: social capital, people management, project management SELF-MANAGEMENT AND PERSONAL SKILLS 1. Time management and task management 1. Prioritisation skills and objective setting 2. Self-awareness and self-appraisal 3. Assertiveness 4. Study skills 5. Effective use of available resources 6. Problem identification, analysis and problem solving 7. Initiative 8. Independence and critical faculties 9. Cognitive self: creativity, decision making, ethical responsibility, negotiation, intellectual capacity SPECIFIC WORK SKILLS (DEPENDANT ON NATURE OF PLACEMENT) 1. General numeracy and the application of numerical or statistical techniques 2. Accountancy skills (costing, budgeting) 3. Marketing skills 4. PR skills 5. Personnel management skills 6. Specialist computing skills 7. Foreign language skills (oral or written) 8. Health and Safety 9. Equal opportunities 10. Environmental management 11. Other placement specific skills

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 934.00
Lectures (FT) 24.00
Practicals (FT) 2.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 100.00 40% Placement Report 1 (2000 words)Strategic Analysis Report on Employing Organisation Placement Report 2 (5000 words)Part AThematic analysis of the IP and the achievement of associated learning objectivesPart BReflective Essay on the student's personal learning journey and developmentAppendix ASpreadsheet Analysis of Learning JourneyAppendix BPersonal Blogs and Vlogs