Students Speed Networking with clients

HRM company sponsored dissertations

In the second (and final) semester of the MSc Human Resources Management, there are two conundrums for students: “what will my dissertation title be?” and “what career will I pursue”.

Regarding the former, the main concern is how to involve an organisation as the subject of your research. Since the MSc Human Resources Management research is closely related to the concept of the organisation, it is tremendously important to find access to an organisation that the research can focus on.

Most of my colleagues have an idea of the topics that suit their interests, but because many of us are international students, we have little contacts in Edinburgh companies.

The second thing that students are thinking about just now is pursuing a career upon finishing the semester. While it’s still a half year away, it’s a good time for us to start meeting with practitioners in the professional world and building our networks.

With this in mind, I was really pleased to learn that the School facilitates Company Sponsored Dissertations. This basically provides the opportunity for students to do research with a company that already works in partnership with the Business School.

Each company has their own HR-related issues that could become a research title. Students are asked to determine their preferred company so the school could match students with organisations.

Speed networking

To kick things off, the Student Development Team held a speed-networking event, This was designed to give students the opportunity to meet the clients and find out more about the company and the research.

This was a great event and very unconventional. It went something like this:

  • Students were divided into groups at the start of the session.
  • Each group had 7 minutes to talk with each client company, to ask questions and find out more about the organisations and the research topic.
  • At the end of 7 minutes the students moved on to the next table to meet the next client company.

10 companies came into the school, giving students a range of interesting topics to choose from.   A networking lunch afterwards meant that you could then approach the client you were interested in partnering with.

Although I haven’t planned to do my dissertation with one of these companies, the session was still useful.  It was good to learn about the story of each company. And each company was very different, from a start-up in the education sector to a non-profit taking care of people with dementia.

Overall, I really appreciated the initiative of the school, especially the Student Development Team, assisting us not only with the academic related stuff (dissertations) but also helping us to expand our networks.

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Dedi Wijaya

Dedi is a student on the MSc Human Resource Management programme.