On Wednesday 9 March, as part of the International Women’s Day Celebrations, Alliance Manchester Business School hosted a conference that brought together a group of young women to get their creativity flowing.
The conference saw Alliance MBS host students from Levenshulme High School for Girls and Whalley Range High School for Girls, as part of an ongoing Business Class partnership with Business in the Community. The students were invited to take part in interactive workshops with academics and representatives from the business school, whilst gaining invaluable advice and insight through inspirational life stories from influential local business women.
Guest speakers – Shalni Arora, CEO of Savannah Wisdom; Gayle Morgan from Laing O’Rouke; Professor Kay Marshall, Head of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester; Syreeta Spence from Accenture and Sonia Ginty from QBag – kick-started the day by imparting knowledge gained from their life experiences, providing take-away advice to the young women. The panel was facilitated by Alliance MBS alumna Clarie-Marie Boggiano.
Students spent the remainder of the afternoon in interactive employability workshops with Alliance Manchester Business School staff and Women in Business Club members, covering themes including creative problem solving, influence and persuasion, and personal branding and communications. The sessions provided practical advice in an engaging setting and judging by the energy and enthusiasm in each workshop, there was no doubt a spark of aspiration ignited in the students.
Students were given the platform to truly think outside the box, alongside the opportunity to look forward to what they can achieve in the future through ideas cultivated in the creative problem solving and influence and persuasion workshops. The personal branding and communications workshop then allowed the students to put these ideas into action, providing the young women with the opportunity to practice how they would present ideas in all situations.
The day was drawn to a close with reflections from Professor Fiona Devine, Head of Alliance Manchester Business School and Sandra Cox, a partner from the event sponsor, KPMG LLP. Fiona noted the value of the advice which the guest speakers shared and highlighting the part it had played in inspiring the students throughout the day. She also commended the strong partnerships that were encouraged and formed throughout the day between the students, Alliance MBS staff and women in business.
The conference was concluded by Sandra Cox with a true-to-life story from her days as a student of a similar age to the girls in attendance. She shared an experience which would later drive her forward in her success as a woman in business, outlining that the key to success is to have confidence in your actions and determination in following what inspires you.