Business School students shines at university challenge

February 2016

Entrepreneurial students from UCB’s School of Business were challenged to revive the fortunes of a fictional chain of department stores in a national competition.

The seven-strong team took up the challenge at FLUX 500, a two-day event held at Lancaster University.

Thinking on their feet and pitting their skills against 11 other teams, the UCB students acted as newly-hired business analysts employed to explore ways of helping a retail chain take on online stores using strategies and new technologies. With store shareholders unwilling to invest more capital, the new ideas had to be cost effective.

The team’s proposals included updating the company’s website to improve its online presence, updating poor staff retention and turning shelf-stockers into trained sales people with the skill and knowledge to up-sell.

Other challenging scenarios were thrown at the competitors as the contest progressed.

The UCB team was handpicked to take part and included students studying business and marketing degrees. The hired@UCB department helped to gain the initial funding for the team to participate. 

FLUX 500 tests students’ communication skills, team work, conflict management and resolution, quick thinking and task delegation. Competitors also have the opportunity to meet top graduate employers at a careers fair.

Stevie Leigh Longmore

The UCB team comprised: Nethan Punj (Business Enterprise); Stevie-Leigh Longmore (Digital Marketing); Daniel Clarke (Marketing Management); Lauren Cryer (Marketing with Events Management); Pia Ariano (Business Enterprise); Affi Agbodo (the team’s Enterprise Champion); and Joe Margetts (Business Enterprise).

Stevie-Leigh said: “FLUX 2016 was a great experience and I worked alongside an amazing business-minded team. During the competition, I got the chance to meet some great industry experts from leading companies such as IBM and BAE Systems.

“To be a part of this experience was an honour and it has helped me to visualise my future in the professional business industry of digital marketing. It was an amazing experience and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.”

Joe Margetts said the team had a “realistic approach” to the business challenges and paid tribute to UCB’s lecturers who “teach us not only the text book academic answer but how issues would actually be solved in the real world.”

Joe added: “The teams from other universities really struggled and even failed to supply realistic approaches to the problems put before us. This was where UCB shined.

Pia Ariano said: “As a Business Enterprise student, Flux gave me an opportunity to work with students form other courses, who were all amazing, with our skills complementing each other.

“Our mentor Affi was supportive, constructive and so helpful. He enhanced the experience and alleviated any nerves we had.”