A view of Glasgow

Strathclyde Business School

Immersing myself in ‘the place of useful learning’

By Michael Beckwith - Posted on 3 September 2015

Strathclyde Business School recently hosted three students from the Fulbright-Scotland Summer Institute.  This five-week placement is part of the US-UK Fulbright Commission, a treaty that aims to produce mutual cultural understanding through educational exchange between both countries.  The global programme operates in more than 150 countries and has produced more than 300,000 alumni.  It’s recognised as a prestigious programme with 28 alumni serving as head of state or government, 43 winning a Nobel Prize and 78 receiving a Pulitzer Prize.  Here, Michael Beckwith shares his experience of visiting Strathclyde Business School.

I had the excellent opportunity to study abroad as a part of the Fulbright Commission in the Scotland Summer Institute. I’m an American student currently attending The Ohio State University, working towards degrees in Accounting and Finance.

During summer, I travelled around the country and spent time at two universities - Dundee and Strathclyde. This trip was the first time I have been overseas and the experience broadened my thinking. From an American perspective, highland scenery and historic culture sprung to mind when I thought of Scotland. Immersing myself in the country, specifically within two thriving cities, showed me there was so much more to it.

One place that stood out for me, was the University of Strathclyde. Strathclyde reminded me quite a lot of my own university. Both have a strong focus on research and are set in large urban cities. I was surprised by how at home I felt. Strathclyde’s mission statement, “the place of useful learning,” was confirmed in the lectures I attended. I received a broad set of lectures that covered various topics, most not within my field of study. However, I was continually captivated by the professors who made the content engaging regardless of your knowledge background.

Two events ran during our time in Glasgow with Strathclyde Business School. The first was a lecture in the Technology and Innovation Centre held by Dr. Niall MacKenzie on Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. This lecture resonated with me because of how similar it was to my studies back home. I’m in a programme at Ohio State for innovation and entrepreneurship that teaches the same principles on idea generation we learned at Strathclyde. Our group created two socially responsible business ideas in just one hour. This proved to me entrepreneurship is open to every background.

The second event was an initiation to a real Scottish business, A.G. Barr. We met Commercial Director, Jonathan Kemp, and learned about the history and marketing techniques of Irn-Bru. We were given a tour of the factory and saw a live business in action.

My perception of business was changed by the marketing activities of A.G. Barr. Coming from an accounting and finance background, I mainly study numbers, but seeing branding and advertisement applied in a real company demonstrated its importance.

My experience in Scotland this summer could not have been any better. I was opened up to many new ideas and my perception of business broadened, while still learning about my own studies back home.

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