MBN Academy October Update

October has been another busy month in the MBN Academy. Here’s a brief update of what we’ve been up to.

The month began, as last month ended, with an internal focus on our recent Graduate hires – Jack Hunter and Gary Peebles. October is the second month of their initial 2 month Academy Bootcamp – and, as you would expect, they are learning new business skills on a constant and daily basis.

One of the massive advantages of our Academy programme is the ability it gives us to work closely with our new starts in order to develop their skills in an environment that is conducive to learning before they join their specialist teams to continue their learning in a more “hands-on” manner. Gary and Jack are progressing well, with only a final few modules left to be completed, and we expect big things from them moving forward!

Externally, the month started with an invitation to join speakers from Fanduel, NHS National Services Scotland and Mallzee in Edinburgh for The Data Lab’s MSc. Launch event. Robin Huggins of MBN took to the stage in a packed auditorium to present an overview of potential opportunities for Data talent in Scotland before joining Ali King, Jonathan Cameron and Martina Pugliese for a lively Q & A panel session around the hard and soft skills that employers look for in their Data graduates. It was a fantastic occasion, with a real energy being generated by the students and employers – a true example of the kind of collaborative community event that MBN Academy are proud of being part of.

Midway through the month, Rob was honoured to take up an invitation from the University of Hertfordshire’s Business School to visit their campus and participate in their Employability Conference Week events. Starting with attendance at the Dean’s Awards in the evening, Rob then shared a panel session with Rob Haslingden, Head of Product Marketing at Equifax and Jonathan Williams, ex-Head of Marketing for Autotrader. The panel discussed a biographical account of their careers to date, the qualities that they looked for when interviewing and hiring graduates and gave some practical advice on how students might gain the all-important commercial skills that today’s employers look for when selecting their next hires. Overall it was an inspiring trip, which brought together some of the best elements of academic practice with commercial acumen.

The month concluded with the publication of an interview between Rob and David Reed, Editor-in-Chief of Data IQ. Data IQ is “fast growing, cross-industry community of data and analytics leaders and professionals from FTSE 100 and large/mid-market organisations”. Rob and David discussed the work of the Academy within the Data community over the last couple of years, and the impact that we are having with organisations eager to build long-lasting relationships with academic individuals and organisations in the search for that ever-elusive “hidden talent pool”. We thank David for his interest in our work, and for the time he spent discussing the Academy.

As the month draws to a close our attention turns towards November. With the announcement of the award of the Data Lab’s MSc. Placement project to MBN Solutions, we anticipate a busy few months ahead of us. The Academy will be tasked with generating hands-on learning material for the students, in the form of Workshops on areas such as CV Writing and Interview Advice. Having already met a number of the participating students through previous presentations at individual Universities, Meet-Up Groups and through the Data Lab launch events, we are certain that the Workshops will be lively and informative sessions!

Robin Huggins