During our first year of the Business Management course we undertook the Principles of Business Module. This module set the foundations of the business discipline to help us understand the facets of business and its impact on modern society. Week by week, we uncovered the layers of the business world in three stages; Stages One and Two surrounded the interconnected, core areas of business including marketing, strategy, finance, law and leadership.
This set us up for the final stage - running our own business enterprise - where we had the chance to apply the key concepts and techniques we had been learning and engaging with. This was an exciting element of the assessment and is a key example of how learning at our uni is designed to link the theory and academia to real world practice.
We were allocated groups within our seminar classes which mimicked the real world of business where teamwork is critical but you do not always choose who you will work with. Some highlights for me during this element of the module included:
Planning and Ideas
The initial ideation and brainstorming stage was a chance for the team to get to know each other and bounce ideas. We were mindmapping, getting creative and building on each others ideas. The course content in Stages One and Two of this module guided our early discussions so that we considered our mission, vision and team roles from the outset.
Setting up and trading
As part of the assessment we had to try and get as close to trading as possible, my team was able to start marketing and selling our product which was exciting and allowed us to really understand the mechanisms of turning ideas into business reality.
Some critical areas that we had to consider to succeed was our business plan and strategy, our marketing strategy such as the marketing mix, situational analysis, and our target market as well as legal and ethical implications.
Another interesting aspect of this stage of the module was that we were assessed on our ability to reflect on our experiences of working as a team. This was directly related to our learning on organisational behaviour during Stage Two, which covered the dimensions of working in an organisation, from conflict management to understanding motivation and exploring the types and significance of leadership.
Here, I was able to use the theories and tools we had studied to navigate my understanding of working with people and reflect on my personal style and attitude. For example I was able to identify the origins and types of workplace conflict and was able to reflect on conflict management tactics. Another major area of reflection for my group was the role of a leader as we had decided to not elect one, we were able to debate the pros and cons of this and view the theories we had studied previously in a new light.
I found the module to be valuable as it helped me gain a well-rounded perspective of business and helped mature my understanding of the foundations we were taught. It also pushed me to develop my ability to self-reflect and engage with academic debate in an interactive way.