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Learn Your Way: Director of ULaw Business School Andres Perez

Here at ULaw, we understand the importance of flexibility in your education. Today, Director of ULaw Business School, Andres Perez, explains what makes our Business School so unique and why its exciting new programmes give online students the flexibility to learn their way.

Coming to ULaw was a unique opportunity to make a contribution to a business school in its early stages. At the time I joined, it was only recently launched, and so they were considering the portfolio. Normally when you enter an organisation everything is settled for you but this was an opportunity, like no other, to build things from scratch. I really like building things around me, and especially, building systems. So I didn’t hesitate. I came from a well-established business school with a very well-established MBA, but I still didn’t hesitate.

ULaw Business School is different to other business schools in that we are embedded into an old institution with law embedded in its name. So, it was a great challenge to be ‘the school that is not law.’ It opened a lot of opportunities to interact with managers, consultants and the law school. Law compliments business and business complements law. We can combine what the university brings to us within our teaching expertise and programmes. This university is top for student satisfaction so we, at the business school, can learn from that. We also bring the new. We have introduced hybrid learning and this will be adopted next year. So, this is an opportunity to combine both worlds.

With hybrid learning, we mean the possibility of having students in face-to-face classrooms and also having them connecting remotely so everyone can be part of the same conversation. We can have people interested in electives and merge them together across campuses. Importantly, we prioritize employability – all courses have an employability module. How to approach interviews and job searches fits alongside methodology. The employability module is called ‘Employagility’ allowing students to progress in skills as well as academic learning.

The second important aspect of the Business School is the professional approach to teaching and learning. There are universities with a strongly research-based approach but we are primarily a teaching-based business school. At the end of the day, we are preparing our students for the real world and we want our students to be work ready. Our methodology is based on real business situations. The process of that learning is as important as the final outcome. We always have groups of 20 maximum. We have workshops where students present to others in a persuasive way. We do employability and teaching based learning best. Focussing on the professional aspects of teaching and learning is certainly what we do like no other business school.

We also try to develop ethical leadership in our students. We believe that if you do what you do well from an ethical perspective, it is sustainable. If you do what you do well unethically, it is not sustainable. We believe ethics is one important element. Team work and development of critical thinking is important, and the very specific skills of negotiation and presentation. We encourage students to confront a real situation, apply critical thinking, be persuasive and combine thoughts with others’ thoughts. This way, they will be well equipped for the world of business.

The key is preparing students to be work ready. We have an advisory board comprising members of big companies who are employers. They are very honest in letting us know how we can prepare our students for working life. Excitingly, and on top of that, we are introducing internships and placement years into the programmes in which students will go to a company for one year before returning for their 4th and final year. People are interested in employees who can combine different knowledge areas, strategy is getting less conceptual and more analytical. Workplace experience will give students a sense of this. People are turning towards more technical skills related to the internet, digital, cyber security and entrepreneurship in those areas. Our MSC portfolio does particularly respond to that need. Interestingly, we give students possibilities to develop their careers as entrepreneurs, employees and employers.

The skills in our teaching team come from top universities and business schools like MAYS, CASS, UCL and the LSE. We recruit people who can move comfortably between academia and the professions. All the talent we bring to the Business School buy into that idea. This describes the kind of business school we are.  Our team includes Italian-British, Spanish, Icelandic, Polish, Portuguese, Pakistani professionals…such a wide variety of roles and people. That brings a wealth of approaches and cross-pollination of backgrounds to our work. Our students are international and so are we.

Everyone is here for a reason - because we have our own character as a business school – we have grown by 80% in the last two years. The engagement and interest in students is amazing. We need to walk the extra mile for our students and we do.

 

Don’t postpone your career dreams, discover how you can learn your way with ULaw.