This past academic year, MD of HR consultancy 4Box and LUMS Leader in Residence Carl Fitzsimons has been part of a pilot initiative to attach an industry leader to an academic module.
Managing Me is a first-year BSc Management and Human Resources module and part of the CIPD-accredited degree programme. It has involved interactive sessions developed by Course Director Dr Beth Suttill and Careers Coach Vicky Metcalf and has provided a strong platform for Carl to share his insights, collaborate with fellow professionals, and contribute to the development of future HR leaders. The module is linked to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) route through the programme, for which the Department of Organisation, Work and Technology pays for the students’ membership fees, something which Carl believes to be a key advantage:
"As a Fellow of the CIPD Institute myself ,- I was quick to encourage students to grab the opportunity in a heartbeat. The pathway to HR professional membership is a road, I can say from personal experience, worth taking"
The course module has included a talk with regional representatives from CIPD and other Lancaster HR alumni to discuss the many diverse pathways through HR. Using 4BOX's "Moving 4ward" model developed by Carl, students were supported to better understand their professional purpose by building a strengths-based personal development plan, encouraging them to set meaningful goals and create action plans aligned with their personal and professional aspirations.
Carl said: ‘A mantra for me and my company 4BOX in all our Executive Coaching work is “Hope is never a plan” so the opportunity here to encourage students at such an early stage in their careers to raise their thinking and consider what their “end in mind” might look like, really can help lifts eyes as well as planned horizons’
There was also the opportunity for students to engage in a practical piece of ‘live consulting’ around social sustainability, facilitated by knowledgeable expert Claire Chapman, founder and Managing Director of the Shared Value Business. The students engaged in thought-provoking discussions with the added advantage of applying these concepts in real life, as they were tasked with building a Social Sustainability Statement for Westminster Controls Ltd Director Adam Metcalf.
Reflecting on his involvement in this module, Carl said: ‘It was an energizing experience. And while it is always so much easier to refuse or defer giving pro-bono time to help University/ college students – as we all race with busy working commitments and life challenges – it’s important to try and give something back to those that follow you in your respective professional world. It genuinely does feel rewarding, in many ways like connecting an important personal loop.’
BSc Management and Human Resources student Emily Malin said: "This module has been extremely helpful in getting us to take a closer look at our personal career goals and also begin to engage with the industry under valuable supervision. As a first-year module, you don't expect to be thinking of post-graduation, but it has really put my mind at ease and pointed me in the right direction for a more goal-focused future. Thank you to all the mentors involved in this module for making it a safe environment to start exploring one's strengths and weaknesses."Back to News