All you need to know about University of Cumbria’s Residency

It is 2020! First and foremost, on behalf of our entire team at Robert Kennedy College, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year. We wish you good health and a positive mindset, and success will follow!

All of our University of Cumbria’s online MBA programmes have six-course modules – four core modules, one elective and one residential. The mandatory one-week residential module is held in the UK at either the Ambleside, Lancaster or Carlisle campus. The module title is “Tackling Global-Local Challenges in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability“. There are several dates during the year which you can choose from to attend the residency that fits your busy schedule. 

Time flies and it is almost time for the first Residency in January 2020 for our University of Cumbria’s Master of Business Administration programme students. For those who are not our students yet and wondering what is a Residency, keep on reading to find out all about it. And those who are registered for this upcoming residency, pull up a diary and make notes of what to expect and how to prepare well for the residency, because here are some real insights, tips and advice from our current students about their own experience attending the residency last year. 

The topic: Tackling Global-Local Challenges in Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

All our MBA programmes focus on real-life problems and issues that enable you to think critically about your company and your own career. Corporate social responsibility (CSR), according to Visser, involves what is called the four ‘DNA responsibility bases’ of good governance, value creation, environmental integrity and societal contribution. There is a demand for the more global marketplace and more ethical managerial conduct to deal with the global-local challenges, and responsible leadership is an answer to such demand.

Our students are leaders or aspiring leaders in the business world who face this challenge in their companies every day. This residential module allows the students to gain insight into how the dimensions of corporate governance, sustainable development and ethics are affecting and shaping today’s organizational policies and practices. Students are guided and invigorated to unique ideas and solutions to issues faced by their current organization or local community. This is an enriching one-week that promotes experiential learning through contemporary case studies and teamwork.

Where and When to plan for residency?

We surveyed about 120 of our current MBA students with some of the frequently asked questions about the residency. We got 50 answers back (a response rate you should be very happy with for your dissertations, even though you would, of course, aim for higher numbers!). Here’s what they have to say about their experience at the residency, sharing some immensely useful tips learned the hard experiential way.

There was 50:50 split on the choice of location of residency between the Ambleside and Lancaster campus.

A vast majority of students (80%) had completed at least four modules before attending the residency and a little less than half of all respondents (46%) thought the right time to attend the residency was when they were about half-way through the course. So the takeaway here is to try and take the residency somewhere after the third or fourth module.

On the other hand, 24% of students would have rather attended the residency as soon as possible after completing the first module.

Attending the residency right after the first module allows one to have human interaction in the otherwise online programme, establish relationships that develop and last throughout the programme and beyond, and allow you to better relate to your peers and colleagues

Paul H.

Some students found that it can help with the rest of the modules too. Peter said that he found taking the residency early on gave additional value in the structuring of academic writing and formulation of assignments as well as how to use OneSearch.

For those who voted for attending residency either halfway through or as late as possible attributed it to the fact that having finished other modules equipped them with a better foundation and management tools to interact and respond in the group.

Thus depending on whether you are more a human interaction person or self-starter, you can choose the right time to attend your residency. 

MALIC Residency Nov 2012
Team Discussion during Residency

What else do you learn at the residency?

Many of our students ask “why is the residency important in an online programme?” and what does one actually gain from it.

It was a great experiential learning experience with an interdisciplinary and diverse group from around the world.

Luis C.

Many students gained an interest and understanding of the future focus of sustainability and climate change, the value of cross-sector collaboration, how to tackle ethical dilemmas and apply ethical theories in real-life.

Others learned about the concepts of Triple bottom line, SDGs 2015 and ERS, and yet others learned how to structure their dissertation. Maurice B., who came to the residency with over 35 years of experience of working, studying and interacting with multi-cultural groups, was nevertheless impressed by the high degree of professionalism, dedication and above all the feelings of warmth, the receptiveness of the residency.

Congratulations to all on a splendid display of academics, stewardship of facilitation, operational and executive excellence – the absolute best I have ever seen!

Maurice B.

A staggering 80% of the students surveyed agreed that the learning at residency was completely relevant and 92% said there was a definitive value-add in attending the residency.

The majority of the students found meeting the peers and professors a valuable experience and felt better prepared for the rest of the programme. So though the residency week can be pretty intensive and action-packed (as 44% of students agree), 62% of students admit it is a lot of fun as well!

It is the best experience of the MBA program, combining both theoretical and practical aspects of sustainability in business with a multicultural team. The group exercises are just great and the tour in nature is very inspiring. I’m convinced you will enjoy it!

Serge
A reflection session in progress

Where to stay during the residency?

I must say it was a unanimous response from most of the students on the survey, that one must stay close to the university during the residency week. Make your travel plans in advance and book accommodation early to avoid any disappointments. Talk to our StudentCare team and they can provide a list of accommodation near campus for your stay during residency.

Book accommodations directly through university suggested facilities and arrive a day early to acclimate. Don’t forget to make daily summarizations  of activities and sessions.

Rosamunde C.

Many students also put a word of caution about the wet weather conditions in Cumbria, UK and recommend coming prepared for cold and rainy weather. 

To summarize the residency, I would like to quote John’s advice in his own words:

1. Plan for your UK visa in advance – it takes up to 3 months depending on the holiday season and country you are located in. ([editor’s note] and this was before Brexit!)

2. Book the hotel in advance – depending on the season, it is difficult to find accommodation especially in and around the University of Cumbria specially during the March season. 

3. Weather – when you want to play golf, it rains in the UK. Therefore, prepare yourself with winter-wear, umbrella (if possible), windcheater or raincoat and boots as there are outdoor activities and trekking involved. 

4. Time management – spend about an hour to revise the day’s work so you are prepared for the next day’s activity. When in groups, participate and lead the team as some peers may be in a holiday mood. Get them to work with you and research for the final day activity – prepare and participate. 

5. Cumbria – is the place of William Wordsworth – daffodils are everywhere, enjoy them and unwind in the midst of nature. This is the place to be if you are interested in Sustainability and Environment.

John M.

I hope reading through the blog you gained valuable insight into our residency module and how to best prepare yourself for it. And we could not agree more with this quote from Fatos:

It will be an experience you will have once in a lifetime. I assure you will not regret any day being in Ambleside!

Fatos A.

Finally, a big thanks to all our students who helped us provide you with these tips and tricks about the residency – they generously offered their time and advice – a sharing spirit we witness every day in our OnlineCampus.

See you in Cumbria!

Can you travel and study at the same time? Here are 6 ways to help you do it!

The popularity of online studies has been on the rise in recent years, and we have seen so much right here at Robert Kennedy College. With practically our whole student population being in full-time employment, we know the flexibility afforded by online delivery is amongst one of the highest-ranking reasons why people study online. 

I understand how critical it is to have the possibility of being able to access, learn and review course content anytime, from anywhere in the world. Working professionals like yourself have a demanding job and may be required to travel frequently for work.  

Now while it might look pretty simple and easy to study online on the surface, it is actually not quite so. I like to compare this to a duck’s swimming – when you see a duck advancing through water, you probably think calm and grace. Our eyes behold a view of effortless and smooth progression on water. However, under the surface, the duck is paddling frantically to propel itself forward.  

A duck seemingly advancing with no effort through the water 

I do not intend to scare you with this analogy. I want to focus on the duck’s efforts and skills that keep it advancing (keeping afloat is apparently the easy part, for biological reasons, ducks weighing less than the water they displace due to their uropygial gland and air-trapping feathers). Similarly, you can advance smoothly through your studies with the help of planning, foresight, prioritization skills and grit – especially when you are travelling.  

So, here are some tips that will help you stay afloat while planning your studies on the go: 

Plan ahead  

I personally can’t get enough of planning. I sometimes re-plan my plans (ha-ha) just to be sure of how my schedule and week/month looks like. Yes, planning is the key to be able to travel stress-free and balance the commitment of a university course module with the disruption caused by travelling. While you may not always be able to choose your travel times when travelling for work, do take your study calendar into account and redesign your plans accordingly. 

Plan travel around assignments 

Give yourself enough time at each step of your travel plan. To begin with, make sure you do not plan your 15-hour flight across continents a day before your assignment submission. Be wary and give yourself ample time to recover from jetlag. Reversely, if you have little control over your travel plans, advance your deadlines and submit earlier, or look into the administrative processes that may help you get an extension if done in time. 

Arrange your meetings in a way that you have some relaxing peaceful time segments during that day. This will allow you enough time to catch up with your course material and focus on the assignments due. There might be some occasions when you will have to prioritize studies and must skip that social evening with work associates and miss a drink. Reward yourself later when your work is done.  

You can download course material on RKC’s iOS and Android apps

Organize Internet access 

Most of your study materials normally require the internet to access them. You want to avoid situations where you have time to spare but no internet access nor offline materials. Know when you would be in limited connectivity zones and download the necessary course materials ahead of travel. RKC’s iOS and Android apps can help with that. 

As a student, you can also get internet access through the Eduroam network, something most Universities in the world are a part of. You use your home institution’s credentials to login to any “eduroam” WiFi you find (typically in and around University campuses, University and sometimes public libraries). Have a look at the eduroam map before travelling to know if you have this option.

Have reliable technology and back-ups 

While you are travelling you are completely reliant on your laptop, tablet, or phone. Always have your chargers, spare power banks and hard drives to backup data so that you do not lose your work. With the pervasiveness and ease of use of cloud back-ups today, “I lost my laptop/my disk died/etc.” is the equivalent of the “dog ate my homework” of yesteryear. 

Mind the zone 

While our online course materials can be accessed at all times, you may have to be careful of the different time-zones you are travelling to and how it will affect your deadlines (they don’t – your deadlines are always Zürich time!). What a different time zone will affect is when you must submit – so work that out in advance and anticipate the deadline rather than miss it. Another impact of travelling to a different time zone is that last minute questions may receive delayed responses with respect to when you were back home. 

Keep track of your progress 

It is easy to lose track of time when you are travelling and have so many things to manage. In order to make sure you do not fall back on coursework, keep close checks on your schedules and deadlines. While travelling breaks away from the 9 to 5 schedule (or 7 to 7 for the unlucky few) and could offer more flexibility in terms of the time of day you can study, it is helpful to chalk it out. 

Do not fret if you face any technical issues while travelling. Simply reach out to our student care team and they will be happy to help.  

It may feel overwhelming at times to balance work, study and travel. But with adequate preparation ahead of time you can enjoy smooth sailing; gracefully swimming like a duck towards your goals (with more or less frantic paddling). With these simple yet vital study tips, you can certainly ace study and travel together. Please share with us any tips or tricks that you might have up your sleeve from your personal experience.  

P.S: An easy way to connect with us on the go is to download our OnlineCampus Mobile App, which helps you prepare your “offline study packs”. Here are the links: 

For Android users: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=swiss.rkc.cumbria 
and for iPhone users: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/unicumbria/id1464904297?mt=8 

A step-by-step guide to the enrolment/admission process at Robert Kennedy College

So, after speaking with our education advisors, going through our programme catalogue and experiencing our OnlineCampus through the 14 day trial access we offer, you have decided to make a positive change in your life and join our online Master degree programme.

For your better understanding, what follows is the step-by-step breakdown of our admissions process. Please note, we welcome applications from students who may not meet the formal entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

  1. Putting the required documents together.
    • Copy of your Bachelor’s degree certificate. Please note, if your certificate is unavailable or if you have not completed your bachelor’s degree, please check with your Education Advisor for further guidance.
    • Your updated CV/ Resume with correct dates of employment and education (month and year).
    • Signed application form (Please download the application form, fill it, print it, sign it, scan and email it to your education advisor).
    • A reference letter from your present employer on the company letterhead. The letter should be current dated and addressed to The Dean, Robert Kennedy College, Zurich, Switzerland.
  2. Application Fee payment of 100 CHF (Swiss francs). A credit card payment link will be emailed to you once your online application has been created. You can also make the payment by a Bank Transfer, details will be provided once the application has been created.
  3. Statement of Purpose (SOP) of a minimum 300 words, in English, this statement allows the admission office to determine your suitability for the programme.
    • Points to cover in your SOP –
      • Why did you choose Robert Kennedy College and the University of Cumbria?
      • What is your ambition and motivation to study and graduate from this master programme?
      • Where do you see yourself, professionally, in 5 years’ time from now?
      • Please ensure that your SOP has no spelling, punctuation or grammar mistakes and no short forms is to be used and is to be written in your own words and is not to be copied.
      • You can write and email the SOP to your education advisor as a Word/ PDF document.

Alternatively you can directly create an online application digitally sign the application form, upload the reference letter, degree certificate and your CV, write the SOP and pay your application fees.

At Robert Kennedy College we have truly simplified, modernised and streamlined our admissions process but at every stage we recommend that you keep in touch with and take the advice of your Education Advisor who is there to be a guiding hand.

Organisational Behaviour and its Importance in Management

“There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it” – Simon Sinek, Author, Motivational Speaker and Marketing Consultant

Understanding why people behave the way they do and studying the complex nature of human being in an organisation is important to better manage and increase the value of the human capital in an organisation. Organisational Behaviour helps us understand this by studying the cause and effect of human behaviour within an organisation.

Some of the reasons why Organisational Behaviour is an integral part of most management programmes is as follows:

  1. Understanding the relationship between an organisation and its employees: The study of Organisational Behaviour helps in the better understanding of the relationship between an organisation and its employees thereby helping in the development of better Human Resource strategies in creating a better work environment, employee loyalty and increasing the overall value of the human capital for the organisation.
  2. Motivating employees: Studying Organisational Behaviour help managers to better understand their employees and motivate them, applying different motivational tools as per individual requirements resulting in the better performance of the organisation as a whole.
  3. Improving industrial/ labour relations: Organisational Behaviour help in understanding the cause of a problem, predict its future course and control its consequences. As a result, managers are able to maintain better relations with their employees by nipping any problem in the bud.
  4. Effective utilisation of Human Resource: Knowledge of Organisational Behaviour help managers to effectively and efficiently manage their employees, inspiring and motivating them to higher efficiency and productivity through a better understanding and analysis of human behaviour.
  5. Predicting human behaviour: This is probably the most important reason for studying Organisational Behaviour in management. Knowledge of Organisational Behaviour prepares students to become better managers by becoming a student of human behaviour from a management perspective and thereby contributing to organisational effectiveness and profitability.

Robert Kennedy College with almost 14,000 students from almost every county in the world offers one of the most diverse, accredited and globally recognised online master’s degree programmes in both Business Law, Leadership and Management through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download programme catalogue.

Doing a Masters without a Bachelor degree

Postgraduate study usually requires an undergraduate (Bachelor’s) degree as a prerequisite – but if you haven’t completed an undergraduate degree, earning a Master’s qualification isn’t out of the question.

There are a number of criteria that a university might take into consideration when evaluating an application for a Master’s degree programme. Some universities insist on a Bachelor’s degree from a recognised and accredited university. However this should not dissuade you from applying for a Master’s degree as the long term professional benefitswill stand you in good stead, and a large number of universities will take into account your professional experience and other certificates and diplomas in lieu of a Bachelor’s degree when considering your application.

Here’s how to get your Master’s without a previous undergraduate degree.

Leveraging your professional experience – The best way to learn is to do! There will be a number of concepts that you learn in your Master’s programme that you might have already executed in your professional life to great success and yet be unaware of the theories, best practice or the full practical potential of the concept. But having already executed the concept and seen it work (or fail), your knowledge of the concept will put you equal to if not steps ahead of a Bachelor’s graduate who has joined a Master’s programme directly after graduation. The knowledge you have gained through your time in employment or self-employment may prompt a university to consider you favourably for a Master’s degree in lieu of a Bachelors’ when considering your application.

Other Education/ Professional Certificates or Graduate Diploma – There are a number of reasons why a person might not have completed their Bachelor’s degree. Maybe at the time of your Bachelor’s programme you were only able to attain a graduate certificate or a diploma, or maybe you were unable to enrol for a Bachelor’s programme in the first place due to personal or financial commitments. But It is a fact that the only way to continuously and consistently grow in your professional life and have a successful career is to keep updating your knowledge and to this end you might have accumulated a number of professional certificates which testify to your knowledge and professional expertise. It is such knowledge coupled with your professional experience that a university might take into consideration when evaluating your application for a Master’s degree programme.

Robert Kennedy College with almost 14,000 students from almost every county in the world offers one of the most diverse, accredited and globally recognised online master’s degree programmes in both Business Law, Leadership and Management through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download programme catalogue.

Sustainable Leadership

” Good Leadership is a lifelong leadership process. The best leaders know the difference between a dream and                            a purpose  and they learn to follow their purpose” – Mama Jan Smith

Leadership is defined as the ‘action of leading a group of people or an organisation’.

In today’s complex business world where businesses are multifaceted and multicultural; leadership definition has taken a whole new level. Leaders are not only expected to ‘lead’ a group of people but also effectively manage and influence the group towards goals and values which are sustainable and contain a vision for the future.

YSJ - RKC - MALIC Signing

Earn your Leadership Everyday” – Michael Jordan

Leadership is not confined to the top levels, to people with a ‘C’ in their business designations. To be successful, organisations need leadership ‘at all levels’ of operation. Leaders at all levels critically convert ideas to reality through far-sightedness and actively engaging in their environment.

Leadership ‘remains the No. 1 talent issue facing organizations around the world.’  Finding good leaders has, of course, always been a crucial issue for all sorts of organizations. This is why the armed forces, for instance, put so much effort into training their officers and why business schools and other providers of executive development have thrived. But the ’21st century leadership is different’.  Companies face new leadership challenges, including developing Millenials and multiple generations of leaders, meeting the demand for leaders with global fluency and flexibility, building the ability to innovate and inspire others to perform, and acquiring new levels of understanding of rapidly changing technologies and new disciplines and fields. No wonder organizations are coming up short.

At University of Cumbria, we offer MBA in Leadership and Sustainability and MBA Media Leadership programmes that cater to the increasing demand of distinctive managers with the aim of developing a unique leadership-oriented career opportunity.

Click here to know more about our programmes.

Advantages of an Online Education

An on-campus education offers a number of traditional benefits – from access to the infrastructure of the university, face-to-face interaction with the faculty, and better networking opportunities with your peers, to on-campus placements and career opportunities.

However, with the access given us by technology these “traditional benefits” are no longer unique to an on-campus education.

Most universities that offer an online programme usually give their students access to their online libraries. These online libraries usually come better stocked with a wide range of reference papers and ebooks as there is no physical space required for the library and these online libraries can be accessed by students at any time and from anywhere in the world.

A number of online education institutions have also adapted video communication tools like Skype, Facetime, etc., to give a virtual classroom experience to their students. Through these virtual classrooms students can interact live with the faculty and fellow students, discussing subjects, answering questions and experiencing a classroom environment from the comforts of their homes.

Through social media, students and institutions have created a more extensive and robust network than anytime before in history, creating platforms for not only the sharing of ideas and discovering partnerships but also creating and broadcasting job opportunities that might have otherwise have gone unnoticed.

Another advantage of an online education is that most of the students who enrol in a programme also have a full-time career and are pursuing their education parallel to career and life commitments in order to enhance their career prospects. Having to effectively manage work, life and education has the added benefit of making a student learn to manage time better and become more self-disciplined.

In today’s global village, organisations are truly multinational and technology plays a vital part in the decision-making and communication process of an organisation. Having completed an online programme, students are prepared for this modern business environment, with familiarity in online communication and information platforms and learnt skills in online research, data mining and appropriate writing etiquette.

Robert Kennedy College with almost 14,000 students from almost every county in the world offers one of the most diverse online master’s degree programmes in both Law and Business through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download programme catalogue.

Advantage in having Student Diversity

The world has become a smaller place, a global village and organisations have truly become multinational. Today’s managers must not only know how to manage business at a global level but also understand the nuances of doing business at local level.

Diversity in your college in terms of race, gender, religion and other factors has a positive impact on all students. Diversity enriches your experience by exposing you to a non-homogenous composition of students as an introduction to the cultures of the world and so to a richer learning experience.

This exposure will also create a diverse learning experience providing:

Greater Self-Awareness – Joining a college that has a diverse student base exposes students to a wide spectrum of cultural and life experiences, shattering preconceptions and prejudice and enhancing the overall learning experience.

Knowledge and Critical Thinking – The course curriculum is not the only source of knowledge in college. The opportunity to interact with diverse peers, leads to greater active thinking, intellectual engagement and motivation.

Global Perspective – In today’s global business environment with clients, suppliers and employees from all over the world and different backgrounds, an exposure to a diverse college environment lays the foundation for a global perspective and builds the social abilities needed to interact productively with individuals of various nationalities and backgrounds. The experience will enhance your career prospects because you are prepared to face opportunities you may not otherwise consider.

Social Development – Interacting with students and faculty from different national and social backgrounds will not only create a global network but will be enriched with diversity. This diverse exposure will also create a diverse learning experience providing the socialisation skills and knowledge which would otherwise have been out of your comfort zone.

Collaboration – A study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that ideas generated by diverse teams were of better quality in terms of feasibility and effectiveness with input from individuals of diverse backgrounds and perspectives that otherwise would not have been raised.

Robert Kennedy College with almost 14000 students from almost every county in the world offers one of the most diverse online Master’s degree programmes both in Law and in Business through exclusive partnerships with British universities. For more information download programme catalogue.

Student Testimonials – Hear the success stories of our LLM Graduates

Online education is fast becoming one of the key gateways through which people are able to realise their educational and professional aspirations. It does not matter whether you are at the pinnacle of your professional career or just starting out; you are maybe looking for a change in career path or enhance subjective knowledge. Online education can just help you achieve this & more; all at your own pace.

Watch the motivating testimonials of Ms. Sofia Maria Gadain and Mr. Basil Abuhamdieh, two individuals from different walks of life and from different countries and different motivations in doing the Masters; but have one thing in common – They both graduated from the University of Cumbria Online Master of Laws (LL.M) programme! 

Click here for more information on the online programmes offered by Robert Kennedy College through exclusive partnerships with British Universities.