‘LaunchPad’ is Lancashire Business School’s ground-breaking programme that allows our most committed students to take part in a fast-track project, to hone their personal and professional skills, providing them with enhanced opportunities for work experience, business mentoring and networking, which will ultimately mean they can compete for the best graduate jobs in the UK and around the world.
Since September 2011, when the first group of LaunchPad (LP1) arrived in LBS, students on the programme have been working hard on planning and preparing for their future careers.
To date, LP1 have met leading employers from the North West who have engaged the students with interactive workshops and seminars and provided first-hand knowledge on how to become successful and skilled leaders of the future.
Representatives from Futures, the University career development service, and 3ManFactory, a creative design and communications company, trained students in how to build their personal brand online and developed their networking skills which were then applied at the numerous events throughout the programme. Successful people in their own right such as Paul Heathcote MBE, a chef, restaurateur and food consultant, worked with students and passed on his secret formula for being successful.
LaunchPad members were not only recognised by the employers, but also by the professional bodies. They became the first students in the UK to be invited to join the Institute of Directors (IoD) newly established student membership.
Students on the programme also squared the circle with the three-day long Business Simulation Game that challenged them to run a company over a period of seven years, make a profit and work effectively as leaders and managers. Working in different teams, making real-life decisions they grew personally and professionally. This culminated in members of LP1 receiving their Level 5 CMI certificates in Leadership and Management from Ann Francke, the CEO of the CMI.
The cohort did a little bit of travelling including their first tour to Tyn Dwr Outdoor Centre in Wales for a team-building weekend that challenged them with personal boundary stretching activities. Recently they came back from an eight day long visit in Guangzhou, China where students met with high calibre employers from McCormick, Bloomberg and British Chamber of Commerce. The trip provided students with the international business taste and the ability to network for graduate jobs.
Where to next? The first group of LP1 are now just about to graduate and will be moving into various graduate schemes or staying and doing Master’s degrees. As we say ‘Goodbye’ to our first graduates of LaunchPad we are also looking forward to welcoming back the group of LP1 who are currently on placements based at companies both at home and across the world.
LaunchPad lead Francesca Walker said: “The last two years have simply flown by – we have watched LP1 develop and grow and are confident that they are now ready to become the ‘leaders of the future’.”