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Strathclyde Business School Strathclyde Business School

Outward bound for Professional Management Practice

By Kathryn Thory - Posted on 3 August 2017

Management academic Dr Kathryn Thory reflects on some aspects of our Masters in Business and Management (MBM), Masters in International Management (MIM) and Masters in Project Management and Innovation (PMI) programmes and the benefits of their outward bound element.

Many years of research suggest that the most effective and successful people are those who understand their strengths, talents and behaviours. These people are highly capable of developing strategies to meet and exceed the many demands of career, work, academic studies, learning and relationships. A review of the knowledge and skills you have can offer a basic sense of your abilities, but an awareness and understanding of your natural talents will provide true insight into the core reasons for your current and future success.

Professional Management Practice starts from the premise that some behaviours are learnt but many are near impossible to learn. Unlike other professional skills courses, this class shows that individuals are able to gain far more when they expend effort to build on their greatest talents than when they spend a comparable amount of effort to improve their weaknesses. In effect, weaknesses prevent failure but talents breed success!

Using cutting-edge psychometric testing, experiential learning and tailored advice from our highly acclaimed careers service the class aims to identify our students' unique and most dominant themes of talent in leadership, relationship building, strategic thinking and self-management. Building their strengths through natural talents leads to consistent near-perfect performance, builds confidence and provides a basis for achievement and personal excellence.

At the beginning of the class students will use diagnostics to assess their unique talents then work on developing an action plan to harness these into management strengths. Throughout the year they will engage in real life activities and simulations to test, practice and refine these talents – to craft them into real strengths so that each student stands out from the crowd when they apply for jobs and start new careers.

Key to the class is a residential stay at the Scottish Sailing Centre. By recognising that learning is at its most intense when people are faced with unfamiliar situations we developed an innovative, challenging and many say life-changing experience where our students undertake activities that test out leadership skills and manage the dynamics of teams. This culminates in the ‘Cumbrae Challenge’, a complex group task involving detailed navigational planning that teams then execute in rigid inflatable boats. This two-day activity gives people an opportunity to reflect on what their course involves and what is required to get the most out of it, but it is also a fantastic opportunity to get to know their class peers and other Masters students.

Later in the year students will engage in a business simulation which will test their strengths in a complex real-life organisation. Pressure to deliver results, work in teams and execute tasks effectively will underpin successful completion of this assignment. Core to students' development in this class is ongoing reflection through diary writing. In addition, all students will receive assistance to match their strengths to a highly suited career. This job-talent mapping will be supported by encouragement to apply and stretch their talents through curricular and extra-curricular activities throughout the year. By the end of the course our students will have developed their self-awareness and honed their strengths into formidable and highly sought after business capabilities.

Students on our Masters in Business and Management (MBM), Masters in International Management (MIM) and Masters in Project Management and Innovation (PMI) all take part in the classes discussed above; for more information on these programmes click here.

Contact details

 Undergraduate admissions
 +44 (0)141 548 4114

 Postgraduate admissions
 +44(0)141 553 6118 / 6119


Strathclyde Business School
University of Strathclyde
199 Cathedral Street
G4 0QU

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