Each year, students from MSc Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations and MSc International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations can participate in a two-day conference which offers them the chance to meet industry professionals and take part in a group case study competition. Here we take a look at the 2020 event.
On the first day of the conference, a Q&A panel was held with HRM professionals, giving the students a chance to interact with representatives from the industry and ask them pertinent questions. This was followed by a networking brunch and an introduction to the case study competition. The visiting industry professionals, our panel judges, included representatives from Shell, Fortnum & Mason, CIPD and Ernst & Young LLP.
The participants then had less than 24 hours to work in their groups acting as HR consultants on a fictional case study relating to common challenges faced in most organisations. The groups had to prepare a presentation and a poster to present on the second day of the conference before a ‘Board of Directors’, our panel judges, who picked a winning team. The groups celebrated with a drinks reception and awards ceremony to finish off the event, with another chance to discuss the challenge and their careers with the guest judges.
Case studies are becoming increasingly popular in assessment centres for a range of industries as they test the ability to digest large amounts of information and present it in a concise manner.
Rebecca Harrington, studying MSc Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations, said: “In the future, it will be really useful as an HR professional to have had experience with case study work and to feel like I’m not being thrown into the deep end with it – I think we’ll all benefit from it”.
The conference offers the chance for human resources students to apply the extensive theoretical knowledge they have gained in the classroom to a practical task It also provides the opportunity to test presentation, group-work and problem-solving skills and receive personal insight from industry professionals.