Alliance MBS students studying both MSc Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations and MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations took part in an inter-university debate with small teams of students from Manchester Metropolitan University and Salford University at the end of last year. For the second year in a row, our AMBS students triumphed!
Rebecca Harrington, MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations student, found the experience to be incredibly rewarding from start to finish, having been one of the debate winners. “Having the chance to prepare as a team with support from our academics really helped us to develop our interpersonal communication skills and pushed us to respond to new information quickly in the moment of the debate.”
Fellow International HRM MSc student Payal Mehta added that “to represent the organization and win was an unparalleled feeling. This won’t have been possible without a hardworking team and the constant support of our professors.”
The debate is organised each year by the Manchester Industrial Relations Society, a union made up of colleagues from each of the universities involved, including MSc HRM and International HRM Programme Director, Jenny Rodriguez.
External industry professionals judge participating students. This year, representatives from the trade union TUC presided, but in the past both CIPD and ACAS professionals have taken part. This offers not only insight from Human Resources industry stalwarts into the debate itself, but also is a great opportunity for networking!
The team, made up of master’s students, must debate both Salford and MMU, having prepared three questions related to Human Resources and Industrial relations. This gives the students a chance to apply their academic and theoretical learning, while drawing on wider real-life context – a great skill to hone for the working world. Rebecca added that “Human Resource Management is a fast-paced, constantly evolving profession and issues concerning employment and the changing job market go beyond theory.” The debaters must be prepared to tackle contentious questions, as well as coming up with critical, challenging retorts to the rival team.
According to Payal, the interactive and collaborative culture at AMBS gave them an opportunity to hone their public speaking and analytical skills, both being skills which are valuable for CVs, and have been evidenced by taking part in the debate. The winning team receive certificates, but all participants find the debate to be a great asset on their CV, showing public speaking, debate and communication skills. Schweta Santhosh also added that “participating in a debate helps us articulate their point in a precise manner and in a timely fashion. It also helps boost confidence!”