As you may know, for each unit of the Masters degree, students are encouraged to participate actively during seminars. Divided into smaller groups and allocated into teams, students are required to do further readings on case studies and apply the theoretical knowledge provided during the course on practical and tangible issues that may occur or have occurred. All units have 4 seminars and consist of four teams, A, B, C and D. After the course ends two teams, A and B or C and D are asked to remain so that each of them has one seminar hour. Apart from preparing presentations based on these case studies and attempting to answer complex questions, this semester, we had the chance to debate during seminar hours as well.
On the HRM: Context and Organisation unit, two sub-teams (A1-A2) were asked to debate on the following position; ‘Money is the primary and only real factor that motivates employees to work’. The two teams, one for and one against the aforementioned proposition, were not allowed to include slides to their presentation and were required to collect empirical / real life data to use in order to form and support their argument and build solid speeches. The real life data involves asking people a series of questions about ‘what motivates them to work’ etc. The rest of the two sub-teams (A3-A4) were asked to raise questions, evaluate the strength of the arguments presented by the other teams and finally cast their vote on an individual basis taking into consideration the quality of the arguments as well as the evidence used to either support or oppose to the proposition.
During another seminar of the same course we were asked to vote on the best presentation. All sub-teams were required to present on complex questions such as ‘How can the use of strategies such as work-life balance and more managed working time approaches offset negative outcomes from restructuring?’ or ‘How can communication and social dialogue with employees (and trade unions for example) offset negative outcomes from restructuring?’. On this last seminar my team was presenting on the first question and we were appointed winners. As a result, we received a chocolate Easter egg! Quite a thematic prize, right?
Northern Area Partnership: Student Conference (CIPD)
On 18March, all students that attend the CIPD course were granted tickets from Alliance MBS in order to attend the CIPD student conference. With speakers considered experts in their profession, this conference was not only very informative but also enlightening. David D’ Souza, Head of London and Branch Engagement, referred to “the future of work: skills, automation and people” and touched on ethical issues companies face nowadays regarding that topic. Ryan Cheyne, People Director, mentioned the Trends in Performance Management and how performance appraisal could be ameliorated or even replaced while Gemma Dale suggested ways in which Social Media can contribute to Employee Engagement.
On a more personal note, during the breaks I had the chance to network with people currently working in the HR sector and HR master students from other universities. Moreover, attending the conference was a fun and productive activity that gave me one more chance to hang out with my course mates, while doing something constructive upon which we could discuss later and share our views and opinions.