Florian Brueckner, Class of 2016 reviews this year’s summit – a one day conference organised by a team of MBA candidates
After two months of organisation, it was hard to picture how the Alliance MBS Summit would look on the day. The reality, however, was more than impressive. It was a great feeling to see everything come together as we walked through the entrance of Lancashire Cricket Ground in the morning: students being welcomed in the reception area; the summit logo on flat screens; participants having breakfast; and the main conference hall decked out with banners and logos. The organising team had been working hard to organise a day packed with high-calibre external speakers, intellectual stimuli, networking opportunities and student contributions. Describing the day here in words does not really do justice to all the great speakers and contributors!
An inspiring agenda
The day kicked off with Mike Ryan talking about the ‘brave new world’, running the audience through a mind-boggling summary of trends and innovations in technology, science and medicine. As a futurist, Mike spoke about the future and how it changes the way we all live and interact, inviting the audience to participate in this exciting vision.
Mike’s opening talk was followed by two panels in marketing and FinTech. After lunch, the audience attended various breakout sessions; Jonny Cadden, for instance, gave a vivid talk about his life and his career, which has included building businesses and putting Manchester on the map for tech-enthusiasts with the Business Rocks summit.
A new idea for this year was to let students co-create the agenda – an innovation that was taken up with enthusiasm. Five student-led workshops and discussions drew in participants: relationship building; consumer insights; digital payments; project management; and the state of the energy market. At the same time, students from the MBA Class of 2017 presented in the final of the first annual AMBS case competition. The competition looked for innovation solutions and was won by Team ColUSA.
The main hall was then filled again by Dil Sidhu, Chief External Officer of the University of Manchester. His engaging and humorous talk about the science of persuasion and influence was well attended and one of the highlights of the summit. The closing note was given by Martin Robert Hall who talked about how to take control of our minds to influence our actions. Following this, everyone was able to enjoy drinks and mingle after a successful and stimulating day.
Reflecting on our achievements
It was great to see what students can achieve on top of their busy schedules, dedicating a lot of effort and time to organising something truly extraordinary. This not only demonstrates great team spirit, it illustrates what an MBA is about: commitment inside and outside the class room; and collaboration to achieve great things.
Feedback from participants as well as speakers was overwhelmingly positive. Grace Kavanagh and a great team of volunteers ensured that the event ran smoothly. The objective of the summit was not only to give students a thrilling day away from the business school, but also to create enthusiasm and engagement for the continued running of the Alliance MBS Summit. It is without doubt that the 2016 Alliance Summit has provided a blueprint for coming years, to carry the six-year-old event into its future.