Monkey business for Lancaster MBA at London Zoo

Patrick Van Veen from Ape Management

18 May 2016

Students learned to apply the law of the jungle to the corporate jungle last week at an event at London Zoo.

The event was the culmination of a successful week which the MBA cohort spent in London. The students attended a series of events, including special guest lectures, as well as careers and networking events with alumni and corporate clients.

On one day, the MBA group completed a Mindful Walk around London with Programme Director Dr Peter Lenney. The Mindful Walk was a practical opportunity for the students to implement the theory they have been learning in the Mindful Manager module, as Peter guided them around some of London’s historical and cultural landmarks.

The group were based at The Royal College of Surgeons throughout the week, where they benefitted from special guest speakers including Lancaster MBA alumna, Caroline Whaley. Caroline graduated from Lancaster in 1995 and went on to spend 17 years travelling the world as Senior Brand Director and General Manager at Nike, where she contributed to building the successful Nike running brand we know today. She subsequently went on to set up her own coaching company ‘Tiger for a Day’, helping individuals and teams across the world to achieve their goals and make a real global impact.

There was also a guest lecture from Nigel Risner, author of ‘The Impact Code,’ on the topic of ‘Continuing Career Momentum: It’s a zoo out there!’ He discussed various career enhancing ideas to make the best use of the students’ potential in the business world, helping them identify their own character and those of colleagues who they will encounter in the boardroom. This was the finale to the MBA's Career Advancement Programme.

Finally, the MBA students got closer to nature with Dutch biologist and author Patrick Van Veen from Ape Management. He led a highly entertaining insight in to the relevance of his research on primates to behaviour in the boardroom. The first half of the event took place at The Royal College of Surgeons and was followed by a fantastic event at London Zoo, where Patrick presented his latest findings to the current cohort and alumni. They were joined by Lancaster corporate clients including EDF Energy, Saatchi and Saatchi, HSBC, Accenture, Grant Thornton, PwC, ERM, Portus, MSB Consultancy, Barclays Capital, Orbis Investments, UNUM, Barclays UK, CapGemini Consulting and SKY. It was a great opportunity for the current students to network with the wealth of Lancaster MBA alumni and corporate clients, several of whom they are working with on their Consultancy and Corporate Challenges.

Rob Davies from Grant Thornton said: "Sam, Abigail and I thoroughly enjoyed the event and found Patrick’s talk fascinating. It really was something different that will live long in our memories. It was great spending time with current student Maiko and hearing how much she is looking forward to working with us this summer."

Current MBA student Shaswati Panda said: "The event at London Zoo with the Lancaster MBA was a unique and fascinating opportunity for the current cohort to meet alumni and network with the wealth of corporate clients including KPMG who I am doing my Corporate Challenge with. It was a truly unforgettable evening and such good fun as well as incredibly informative."