Seize the day

Jackie Mathers

Jackie Mathers

First published in Business columnists by

As many people prepare to head for the sun and escape yet another “glorious” British summer, the Business School team is returning from an overseas trip.

Not your average beach holiday, our visit was to South-East Asia, with the aim of strengthening our links with Hanoi University of Industry and developing the opportunity to offer our Business Management degree programme to Vietnamese students.

The trip was a great success, with foundations now in place for the Hanoi University of Industry to start delivering our Business Management degree programme in 2013.

Our week-long visit highlighted some of the dramatic differences between our two countries, and led me to reflect on many things. Two in particular stand out.

The first is just how strong the demand is overseas for UK teaching, and how much our role as a business school extends beyond our immediate local area into making knowledge available at a global level.

Equipping the next generation of business leaders with the skills they need to succeed isn't just a local job. The UK has a global reputation for the quality of its teaching and research, and students all over the world are keen to tap into that knowledge and expertise. Making it accessible, whatever students' location, is something that many UK universities have embraced in recent years, and something we are very keen to develop.

The second was a real reinforcement of the calibre of resources we have here on our doorstep.

The fact that there are people 8,000 miles away who are so keen to tap into them really puts into perspective those businesses in the UK – and here in York itself – who have access to those resources on a daily basis and yet do little or nothing about it.

We are so lucky to have a wealth of business expertise in the city, the region and the country, along with an incredible willingness to share it – be that at networking events, via social networks or through more formal channels. That is something no business owner should take for granted.

I would urge business owners to make the time to look up from the day-to-day, look around and grab with both hands the information and support that is readily available to them from a variety of sources to help drive their businesses forward. Not everyone is as lucky.

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