Some of the country’s biggest business names have met at Leicester Castle Business School (LCBS) to discuss how they can work closer with De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Directors, founders and talent spotters from dozens of local and national companies – including Jaguar Land Rover, Whirlpool and KFC – were invited to a huge networking session at the newly-restored Leicester Castle, headquarters of the LCBS.
After an introduction from Professor Dana Brown, LCBS Principal, the guests were given a tour of the premises, including the grade-I listed Great Hall, with its two former court rooms, the teaching and seminar spaces and the former holding cells in the basement.
Then they met and talked with DMU staff and academics, learning how new research being carried out across the university could benefit them and discussing how to expand opportunities offered to students and graduates.
Edoardo Volpe, talent acquisition specialist at Whirlpool, was at the event with colleagues from the multibillion-pound international home appliance firm.
He said: “DMU is a key university for us, being headquartered in Peterborough. We are keen to develop stronger links here.
“We have graduates from DMU working for us and we know how strong the accounting, finance and marketing courses are here – particularly the marketing side.”
As a key talent spotter for the firm, he said he looked for “resilience” in a prospective hire.
He said: “I want to see people who have an accountability for themselves, with a desire to progress and willingness to work hard and learn.”
He said the castle itself was an impressive venue and the courses offered at the LCBS challenged business traditions.
“This place is just fabulous,” he said. “One minute you’re in the city centre of Leicester and then you come here and you’re 500 years in the past.
“The courses are niche, they really look to the future and challenge the traditional courses you’d find at a business school.”
Professor Dana Brown, LCBS Principal, said in her introduction to the evening: “At LCBS we are willing to accept that the world is changing and that we need to be one another’s partner.
“We are willing to work with you to tap into all our graduate talent.”
Mark Beynon, commercial director of Leicester construction firm Measom Dryline, said the company had taken on a DMU Cyber Security graduate, Dipak Kanabar, after having taken part in a successful Knowledge Transfer Partnership with the university.
Mark said: “We initially started working with DMU because we needed to improve our IT systems, having grown from a £5m turnover firm to more than £45m.
“The main thing he has done is make us think differently. We were not very good at speccing and delivering for a job and the improvements Dipak introduced have helped us in our forward planning and thinking.
“We have a number of projects we wish to engage the university in and are looking forward to presenting these ideas later this year.”
Posted on Tuesday 11th July 2017