MSC MANAGEMENT PROGRAMME UPDATE APRIL 2021 BY DR RADKA NEWTON

Dear alumni and friends,

We have been thinking about you, reaching out to you for help and support and reminding ourselves of the importance of the Lancaster connection. We have something special, would you agree?

In my role of MSc Management programme director, I have always felt a great sense of responsibility for the programme’s success and for the continuous improvement of the curriculum. The connections I have made during my time in Lancaster have accelerated our programme innovations and contributed to the advancement in our global recognition and in the Financial Times rankings. We are currently in the top 5 MSc Management programmes in the UK and 58th globally, with 86% of former students achieving their career aims within six months of completing the course. These rankings are very competitive and I am excited that this spring we are contacting my first MSc Management cohort, the class of 2017/18, who will be yet again contributing to our success.

The past year has been challenging for all of us and the global pandemic has accentuated the Lancaster connections for me in a new dimension. When I left the Lecture Theatre 2 on Friday 13th March 2020, I never imagined I would not see my class of 2019/20 back in their seats. I struggled with feelings of loss, sadness, fear and in the effort of keeping the programme going, I reached out to the alumni community to simply ask for a bit of encouragement. The warming video messages recorded in various corners of the world brought a happy tear to my eye and gave me such boost! The energy that radiated from these home-made videos, the authenticity, commitment and love was simply overwhelming. This is the special Lancaster connection, I thought. Many thanks to Rebecca Barrow (2019), Erik Hanel (2019) and Kiran Bora (2019) for lighting up our home offices.

The alumni kindness kept coming in abundance! The pandemic has enabled us to connect with many of you virtually and I never felt alone. When I was designing the consultancy challenge module and needed insights into current changes in consulting, Vassilis Mantogiannis (2018), Chantal Dennis-Soto (2018), and Tom Huggon (2010) were at hand to provide updates and share their experience. When we needed a bit of a boost and challenge, our fantastic alumni Naeem Hasan Desai (2016) and Aleena Ahmed (2018) in BAE Systems provided us with a special digital marketing challenge for the current cohort. We continued with our professional development sessions thanks to you, your generosity of sharing your insights from your career ups and downs and your recent successes. Seeing you all so resilient, positive and upbeat has been the most rewarding time of my own career! Special thanks go also to Jordan Fry (2018), Marie Thenon (2018), Anjani Sarin (2018), Florian Meyer (2018), Oscar Powell (2018) and Aparna Sankaran (2020) who came to share their career stories with us in the middle of the pandemic.

The class of 2019/20 needs to be mentioned for their special kindness that they have really showed during the pandemic towards one another and after graduation to the new cohort in many different and creative ways. Not only did they record a special message with advice on how to succeed in online learning Tips & Tricks for online learning (lancs.ac.uk), they went an extra mile to show how special our Lancaster MSc Management connection really is. They provided well-being support through online events connecting with global alumni who dedicated their time to simply say: “We can hear you! We are listening! We have been there before you and we guarantee you will come through!” Special thanks go to our student rep of 2019/20 Qixian (Sophia) Zheng, who led a virtual alumni event for this year’s cohort to boost their confidence and support their well-being.

You are all truly amazing and I wish we could mention all the names of everybody who has made that extra effort and created more super-activated connections that we have all needed so much in these times. We have kept a blog going to document these special memories for you.

Keep the connections alive and never stop believing in your Lancaster superpowers! We are here for you and we cannot wait to hear about your ongoing life journeys!

Take care of yourselves!

Radka