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IN THIS ISSUE: ALUMNI TRADE ON A GLOBAL SCALE//BACK TO THE FUTURE//PUTTING RESEARCH AT THE CENTRE

“International trade is not an exact science but requires a practised commercial instinct as well as a genuine interest in people from different cultures and countries.” see page 18

Alumni Magazine for Durham Business School

Spring 2012 Issue 21


THE DBS ALUMNI OFFER. 75% OFF. The Economist’s alumni subscription offer To ensure that The Economist remains affordable for new graduates, we have created an alumni subscription rate. This allows university alumni to benefit from The Economist’s award-winning journalism at a rate that is discounted against that of a regular subscription.

What is included in the alumni subscription offer š

Weekly print copy of The Economist delivered FREE to the subscriber’s door

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FREE access to The Economist in audio, with digital recordings of all print articles available in the apps or online

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FREE and unrestricted access to The Economist online including a daily diet of news, analysis, blogs, videos and a fully searchable archive of 100,000 articles

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FREE and full access to The Economist on iPhone, iPad and Android

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Plus, a FREE pair of Economist headphones

The alumni subscription offer costs just £12 for the first 12 weeks – a saving of 75% on the cover price of The Economist. The subscription can then be continued at the discounted price of just £26 per quarter for the remainder of the year, a saving of 49% on the cover price.

www.economistsubscriptions.com/alumni The alumni subscription offer comes with our money back guarantee. We will send a full refund on the unexpired part of a subscription should the recipient decide to cancel. Subscriptions can be temporarily suspended at any time – perfect for holidays. The alumni subscription offer is available to UK residents only.

Research proves that those with a professional qualification and membership stand to earn an additional £152,000 during their career. By completing your professional qualification, you’re already heading in the right direction - team it with CMI membership and give your career a real boost.

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CONTENTS IN THIS ISSUE‌ news news news news news news news news School News

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Dean’s Welcome

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS Winners of the annual DBS/Independent MBA Scholarship Competition have been selected. They are David Beeton, a consultant from Newcastle upon Tyne, who joined the Executive MBA programme in January, and David Makepeace, an Advisor for a specialist humanitarian supply chain and procurement service who joins the Global MBA Programme (blended learning delivery). This month (April) another round of the competition will be launched to select the full-time MBA recipient, who will join us in September.

Change is part of every aspect of life and Durham Business School is no exception. Recent months have seen a number of significant changes at the School, and I’d like to take this opportunity to inform you of some of them.

Professor Mark Learmonth has taken on the role of Deputy Dean (Research). The central focus of his tenure will be the development of the School’s submission for the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. One of the ways we have already moved forward on this has been to organise the School’s faculty into ten Research Centres/Groups. We believe this will encourage and enable individuals to better exchange and develop their ideas and, in doing so, increase the impact of their work. Read more on page 22 about some of these centres, and for more detailed information on work of the Centre for Behavioural Economics and Finance, read about Morten Lau’s work on ‘Risk Aversion in Game Shows’ on page 8. We are delighted to welcome back Professor Sue Miller who has returned to the School after a period of seven years. Sue, whose latest book ‘The Essential MBA’ has just been published, shares more about her background and return to Durham on page 26. The latest Financial Times Global MBA ranking has placed the School’s full-time programme 94th in the world.

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FACULTY NEWS Dr Mariann Hardey has been invited to present and be the keynote speaker at the Media Futures Conference in May, in Ireland. She is the first and only woman to be a keynote speaker in these circles.

The publication of these results comes at a time of increasing international competition and volatility in rankings. We recognise that our position has fluctuated considerably and in the future we would like to see more consistency. There has been a lot of movement in all directions, particularly for European schools. That, combined with the additional of several new players to the field, has created a rather turbulent picture. This year’s result raises both challenges and opportunities. As a business school dedicated to the quality of our teaching, research and student experience, we recognise that success in rankings is important to our stakeholders and our Rankings Steering Group has already been at work to strengthen key areas including our careers support function and alumni provision. We continue to invest in building on our academic strengths, and since 2009 have increased by 11 per cent the number of our faculty. Professor Mark Learmonth, Deputy Dean (Research), is currently reviewing and refining the School’s research strategy to ensure we also match this excellence with the requirements of the rankings.

Dr Ashar Aftab has successfully secured an award of ÂŁ234,610 from the ESRC for his research project ‘Spatially targeted and co-ordinated regulation of agricultural externalities: An economic perspective’. Dr Colin Ashurst’s latest book has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Titled ‘Benefits Realization from Information Technology’, the book provides a fresh perspective on the challenges of benefit realisation from IT. Professor Michael Humphreys has been appointed to a Chair in Management, joining the School from Nottingham University Business School. PROGRAMME NEWS Since our last issue, the 2011 cohort of full-time MBA students have settled in. They comprise 46 in total, with 25 nationalities represented.

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During the past four months, 39 new PhD students from around the world have joined the School. Some of the countries they represent are Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Syria, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the USA.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and commitment and I look forward to an exciting future for the School.

Professor Rob Dixon, Dean

Almost 700 members from over 70 different countries responded to the survey: 78 per cent alumni and 22 per cent students (full-time or blended learning). Seventy per cent of responses came from students and alumni of postgraduate programmes. The results reinforced much of what we already knew, however they have given us new focus and helped us get to the root of what you, our members, value in an alumni association. You told us we were doing well in areas including the personal service that we provide, and the business and social events we offer, such as the Durham Convention. The newsletter and magazine are also well-received. Opportunities cited for improvement included more clarity on the definition of alumni relations, access to more benefits, enhanced careers support, and improved functionality on our website. In response to the issue of the definition of alumni relations, we hope to make this clearer by sharing our mission statement:

University News NEW CHANCELLOR FOR DURHAM

GRANTS AND AWARDS

In January, Durham welcomed its 12th Chancellor, the celebrated opera star, Sir Thomas Allen. Sir Thomas took over this high profile role from award-winning author Bill Bryson. A County Durham local, he joins a distinguished list of Durham Chancellors that includes other artists and performers such as Sir Peter Ustinov and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

The University continues to attract major grants and awards. One such grant illustrates its diverse research contributions to energy and environmental sustainability – Jas Pal Badyal (Chemistry) has been awarded ÂŁ1.1 million from EPSRC for a programme ‘Eco-sustainable fog collection in arid climates’ to work with The United Nations Drylands Centre in Africa to source drinking water in developing countries by harvesting fog.

DURHAM UNIVERSITY HOSTS OLYMPIC TEAMS

Alumni and students were asked to state what they believed to be the most valuable benefits of an alumni association.

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The findings suggest that the degree of risk aversion is constant and independent of the size of the stakes. However, they knew almost nothing about the contestants’ personal characteristics, and how they were invited to take part in the game show. These factors may have affected how contestants made their choices. They also recognise that the sample (audience) might have been selected by some latent process correlated with the behaviour of interest to the analyst: the classic sample selection problem.

generally averse to risk, and that there is considerable heterogeneity in risk attitudes across particular groups. For example subjects older than 40 are significantly less risk averse than younger subjects; and people who study at higher education levels are more risk averse than those who don’t embark on higher education. They also found that risk attitudes generally are stable with no systematic bias towards higher or lower degrees of risk aversion over a two-year timespan in which subjects were interviewed twice and presented with the same experimental tasks.

AGE OF REASON To complement the data from game shows and traditional laboratory experiments, the research team have conducted field experiments with nationally representative samples of the adult population in Denmark. These studies rely on financially motivated tasks and trials to identify risk and time preferences. The prize money in the experiments on risk attitudes varied from between ÂŁ5 and ÂŁ450. What Dr Lau and his colleagues discovered was that people are

BATTLE THE BANKER While results of measuring risk attitudes are usually based on controlled experiments, these results are often questioned because they are based on small stakes bets and do not account for the extent to which the decision-maker integrates the prizes of the experimental tasks with personal wealth. The team exploited the existence of detailed information on the individual wealth of experimental subjects in Denmark, and directly

estimated risk attitudes and the degree of asset integration consistent with observed behaviour. The behaviour of the adult Danes in their experiments is consistent with partial asset integration, that is to say that they behaved as if some small fraction of personal wealth was combined with experimental prizes in a utility function, and that this combination entails less than perfect substitution. In other words, they do not perfectly asset integrate, nor do they completely isolate the experimental prizes from their personal wealth. The findings have questions on risk management and policy evaluation for all of us: raising many issues about how our behaviour could be directly influenced by economic uncertainty. Paradoxically, the findings also recognise that the “option value� of saying “No deal� to the banker has clear parallels to the financial literature on stock market pricing, as well as to many investment decisions that have future consequences – so-called “real options�. LOOKING AHEAD The next step for the research team is to further exploit the abundance of data at Statistics Denmark and map this with the behavioural data collected from the initial experiments. The team intend to use historic personal data from the periods before the experiments took place to ascertain if there is a direct link. Statistics Denmark grants researchers access to personal information on health, education, income, savings, investment, crime, etc. Analysing the data stored on individuals enables the sampling and examination of the preferences and beliefs of selected groups of interest. One key area of interest will be cases of bankruptcy to see if a link can be established with risk behaviour. For more information on this subject area please contact Morten Lau m.i.lau@durham.ac.uk

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A. Economics is a really good foundation for any business career. Economic theory trains the mind to think logically and commercially so I am proud of my degree from Durham. Q. What are your fondest memories of your time in Durham? A. I made some great friends at Durham and thoroughly enjoyed myself there. I ran the ski club and we had some hilarious trips to Aviemore in Scotland.

Alexandra Sedgwick Alumni Relations Manager

A UMN UPDA E SPO R CHARD REEBORN

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE AS LONDON 2012 PROGRAMME MANAGER FOR BP The first part of my job is to design and implement a ‘once in a life time’ secondment programme, placing BP graduate trainees in roles at the London 2012 Games this summer. We’re paying their salaries, accommodation and travel and really working hard to make the whole thing an amazing experience. Secondly I need to maximise the potential of this programme to enhance BP’s employer brand through PR and marketing. I started the role four days after submitting my MBA dissertation in mid-September, after BP came across my profile on LinkedIn (I can’t stress how useful that site is). The role itself is proving really interesting, with immensely tight timescales to turn everything around in time for the summer, which makes it both fun and challenging! WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE? I wouldn’t say there is any typical day, but generally I’m at work from 8.30 – 5.30 (the hours are pretty good at BP). Usually I spend most days running between meetings, both internal meetings and external ones, with our creative design agency, PR agency

or the LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games). Then there’s the less glamorous budget and procurement meetings (the less said about them the better!). I’d say I’m in the office at BP maybe three days a week, with at least one day in external meetings and one working from home, catching up on all those emails!

Q. Have you been back since graduating?

THIS SOUNDS LIKE AN AMAZING ROLE, WHAT ASPECT OF IT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? By far the most exciting aspect of the job is the autonomy I have been given. To set up something like this in less than a year is quite tight and as a result we’re having to move on ideas at 100 miles per hour which is quite exciting. Also the project is extremely high profile so I get great exposure internally with some of the company’s most senior managers. The highlight of the job has definitely been managing a PR launch with Kelly Holmes (double Olympic gold medal winner), although most of this was photos outside and it was very cold!

A. I have been back several times. The last time I was there, I gave a speech on entrepreneurship at the Business School’s Convention as part of the celebrations for the 25th Anniversary of the MBA programme. I keep in touch with many friends from Durham. My housemates at Durham are now godparents to my children.

ARE YOU PLANNING AHEAD FOR YOUR CAREER?

To read the full interview, visit the ‘News’ section on www.agora.co.uk

“By far the most exciting aspect of the job is the autonomy I have been given.�

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GH ON

Q. What do you do in your spare time? A. I like to play a lot of sport. I also enjoy mountain climbing and recently conquered Everest as I had some time off after selling the business and fancied a challenge. It was full of highs and lows. The lows were the terrible food (I survived on Snickers bars) and the very basic accommodation. I also got bad altitude sickness at one stage. The highs were the amazing views and the great sense of achievement when we reached the top.

EXPANDING THE NETWORK

COMMUNICATIONS

EVENTS

At DBS we run a virtual mentoring scheme whereby members of the alumni community volunteer to support current students. This is an invaluable way for alumni to impart their experience and knowledge and for students to expand their networks.

We currently have 30 alumni associations in over 27 countries worldwide. These groups meet on a regular basis with the support of the alumni team. You can participate in these events by joining your Local Association, or becoming a leader and setting up a group in your area.

Contributions from alumni are essential in keeping the network connected. If you have a story, a piece of research or wish to fill out an alumni profile for our e-newsletter, magazine or website, please email us. PR opportunities for the School, both nationally and internationally, are also welcomed.

We run a series of speaker, networking, social and charity events and ask our alumni to help make these a success. As well as attending these events, we require alumni to host events and help the School source venues around the world. We also invite alumni to speak to students on a range of business issues and share stories of their Durham experience.

CAREERS

A. On the strengths, I’m an ideas person and I’m good at uniting people behind a vision, but I’m also quite a relentless, obsessive person and that makes me a challenge to be with a lot of the time.

STUDENT RECRUITMENT As an Ambassador you can represent the School at student recruitment fairs across the world, providing insight to prospective students. We also hope that you will be open to contact requests from students who have queries about a particular programme or life in Durham in general.

KNOWLEDGE PORTAL

VISIT DURHAM OFFERS

The alumni library resources, academic journals and databases section is ever-expanding (some are also available on mobile apps).

Exclusive offers on accommodation and tourist attractions including a guided tour of Durham Cathedral.

Scheduled to be completed by September 2013, the redevelopment of the building at Mill Hill Lane will provide new teaching space for the growing number of postgraduate students. Whilst the footprint of the building will be enlarged, to provide modern lecture theatre facilities, an increased number of break-out spaces and more office accommodation, great care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the current structure wherever possible.

Q. Where do you envisage your career going in the future? A. I’d like to stay in the chocolate business which I love. Let’s just say I have one or two ideas up my sleeve!

Built in 1975, the current building has welcomed thousands of enthusiastic and talented students through its doors during the past four decades.

A. Having a creative idea, the guts to back it and the energy and obsessive determination to make it successful

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AMBASSADOR SCHEME

Withresourcesincluding‌

Find that dream role fast. Gain detailed job hunting advice from hundreds of experienced employers giving you the inside story Improve your career. Visit our video library and learn the business skills needed to develop professionally to stand out in the increasingly competitive workplace

Alumni Trade on a Global Scale

CAREER GATEWAY

SUBSCRIPTIONS Alumni offers for the most respected business publications including The Economist and Financial Times.

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Wherecanyoufindit? Logontoyouralumnionline communityatwww.agora.org.uk and clickthelinkmarkedCareerPortal/ Resources/JobSearchtools onthe Alumnihomepage

CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

We’vehandpickedthiscontent especiallyforDBSAlumnito ensureyouhavethebestpackageof careerdevelopmenttoolsavailable soyoucanmaketheprofessional impactyouwant.

Alumni rates on DBS short courses and selected accredited programmes.

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura is an Economics Graduate from Uruguay, South America, who was offered a scholarship by the then Department of Economics and Finance (now part of the Durham Business School) in 1999 due to her outstanding score in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. She has now crystallised her passion for international trade by setting up Sunny Sky Solutions, which supports businesses at different stages of expansion into Latin America. Happily surprised to realise through her work that many of her contacts were in fact DBS alumni, she was keen to explore the links between DBS alumni and international trade. Here are her findings‌

DBS alumni lend themselves nicely to work in international trade. Even before we land in Durham, we are most likely to be attracted to it by its international dimension and its mix of cultures and perspectives (not only from other students but also from staff). While studying at DBS, we are constantly challenged on and exposed to the outside world. Durham is a global university and we become global alumni. The skills we develop at DBS are highly sought after in the ever more valued and professional world of international trade. More importantly, our experiences and our perspectives are now valued more than ever. What makes us different is that we don’t coast through our degrees, at whatever level; the nature of our School and our University give us key experiences that can be of enormous advantage in international trade. Whether it is meeting that first person from a specific country, sampling their food for the first time, listening to their language, sharing thoughts about education or business, the exposure will make you richer. Learning about the world of business, economics, finance and trade from and with people from around the world sitting in a classroom or sharing a course online, means that you will, even unknowingly, be part of international trade yourself – and be more likely to regard it as something completely normal and something to look forward to. After all, you know it is all about people!

The new design preserves many of the original features that are of architectural interest, including the front façade, and introduces a highly innovative glazed circulation corridor overlooking two newly created inner courtyards defined by the addition of two new wings. The creation of this new space will transform the building to meet the current and future needs of the staff and students.

These carefully planned enhancements will enable key elements of the School’s research and teaching to be undertaken in an environment that offers many new beneďŹ ts. The glazed circulation space will enable substantially more natural light to enter the building, and will provide a stimulating and spacious environment in which academics and students can engage with one another. The importance of this redevelopment cannot be understated. Competition among international business schools

is intense and we expect that it will only increase in the future. In an economy where austerity measures have reduced government funding for university places and economic pressures have negatively affected many businesses and industries, students demand the highest standards. The expectation for high quality service delivery within higher education has arguably never been greater.

Ushaw College will provide a selfcontained temporary home for the School’s MBA and research activities. Whilst remaining respectful of the purpose and heritage of the Ushaw site, significant investment is being made to enhance the facilities in this Grade 1 listed building, so that it will meet the needs of both students and staff, as well as leaving a positive legacy at the college.

Durham Business School prides itself on its triple-accreditation status and the vast majority of its research is classified as international standard, but it is essential to continually seek both innovative and proven ways to maintain a competitive edge.

Every consideration has been given to ensure that students will continue to benefit from dedicated support services, with a full complement of staff and facilities onsite as well as frequent and convenient transport links provided between the City centre and residential facilities. Additional study facilities for postgraduate students will be available within other University buildings in Durham, as well as at the major new extension of the main University library which is due for completion in April.

During the period of construction, which is due to commence in April this year, members of staff, students and some teaching activities will relocate, mostly to the historic and beautiful setting of Ushaw College on the outskirts of Durham, and others to University premises close to the City centre.

Ushaw College has a rich history of learning, having served as a Roman Catholic seminary since 1568 in Douai, France where the College was originally founded, before opening in Durham in 1808. The site comprises extensive landscaped grounds and several impressive buildings designed by architectural giants such as Augustus Welby Pugin and his son Peter Paul Pugin. News of the School’s plans for this temporary relocation has already attracted favourable media interest, with the Financial Times observing that “Durham is not the only business school to turn to the church in times of need. During the first few years of its life Insead was housed in a monastery in Fontainebleau‌â€? So that it appears that we are in good company!

USHAW COLLEGE HISTORY TIMELINE

1960s

The East Wing added

At the same time the Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) at Durham University is working with Durham University library staff to provide specialist resources to undertake the substantial task of cataloguing and archiving the Ushaw library, inventorying its collections to ensure their preservation and specialist conservation, and developing plans to open up the magnificent collections for full scholarly use and public benefit.

1968

Ushaw became a Licensed Hall of Durham University

1808 1859

The College was re-founded in Durham by Bishop William Gibson The ‘Junior House’ added

1884

St Cuthbert’s Chapel opened

1890

Ushaw College courses affiliated to Durham University

2011

The seminary was closed

2012

The College becomes the temporary home for Durham Business School whilst the University and the Trustees of the Ushaw Charity continue to jointly explore the feasibility of an education-based future for the site.

For queries related to the DBS building development, contact jason.coleman@durham.ac.uk For queries related to the future of Ushaw College (not related to DBS’ temporary relocation) contact andrew.harston@durham.ac.uk

BACK O HE U URE

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International trade can involve huge multinationals importing and exporting high volumes of products and services. It also applies to that neighbour who has set up an eBay shop and has shipped their first parcel abroad, or to the director of my local radio station who has just been to Jordan to give advice on commercial radio. International trade can be incredibly complex and extremely simple at the same time. We humans have a tendency to trade and so, for different reasons, we buy from other countries and we sell to other countries.

Understand the industry. Read relevant career news and analysis to ensure you are upͲtoͲdate with any sector developments

Your one-stop-shop for all career related activity provides for consultation with internal and external career advisors, workshops, webinars, e-books, resources, self-assessment tools and an international jobs board.

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At what is a pivotal stage in the School’s evolution, this redevelopment will bring the Durham-based staff together on one campus. The presence at Queen’s Campus is also expanding, with the creation of dedicated study space for its undergraduate and postgraduate activities, including a purpose built experimental science lab that will provide a new facility for research.

A. When you’re making a decision between two things, toss a coin and catch it in mid-air but don’t look at it. You already know in your gut what you want to do, just do it.

AndcheckoutourNEWonlineprofessionaldevelopmentservice

Special alumni discounts to professional bodies including the Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Institute of Marketing, and the Institute of Leadership and Management.

This work is part of a wider research project on individual risk attitudes and preferences over delayed outcomes. And now, in recognition, Dr Lau, Professor Steffen Andersen from Copenhagen Business School, Professor Glenn W. Harrison from Georgia State University and Assistant Professor Kasper M. Nielsen from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, have been awarded

PLAY OR PASS?

Risk Aversion in Game Shows reviewed the use of behaviour from television game shows including Card Sharks, Jeopardy! and Lingoto to infer risk attitudes. Game shows would seem to be the ideal benchmark for estimating risk due to the large amount of prize money that’s usually up for grabs. Previous research, however, highlighted that most of these shows put the contestant into a unique, and consequently unreal, decision-making environment. The paper explains that the Deal or No Deal paradigm is important for several reasons: it incorporates many of the dynamic, forward-looking decision processes that most people encounter day to day when faced with making a wide range of fundamental economic decisions.

A GAME O R SK

Following a period of sustained growth, Durham Business School will shortly embark upon a significant redevelopment programme to expand and enhance its main site in Durham.

Q. If you had one piece of advice for current students, what would it be?

AccelerateyourcareerwithavisittotheDBSCareerPortal

MEMBERSHIPS

GAME ON Dr Morten Lau, Professor of Behavioural Finance at Durham Business School, supervised a study of every Deal or No

Deal game show broadcast in Britain since it began in October 2005. The purpose was to analyse risk behaviour under more natural circumstances than a laboratory experiment could provide. Together with his fellow researchers, Dr Lau went on to publish Risk Aversion in Game Shows, a paper that reviewed the use of behaviour from television game shows to infer risk attitudes.

a research grant of £900,000 from the Danish Social Science Research Council to further study individual risk attitudes and decisions over delayed outcomes. The plan is to observe financial choices in controlled experiments with field subjects, and link this information to registerbased data at the government agency – Statistics Denmark – either before or after the experiments, depending on the sample design.

Back to the future

Q. Taking into consideration the success you had with GĂź, what do you think are the key ingredients to being a successful entrepreneur?

Learnhowto‌

The Deal or No Deal game show provides a fascinating opportunity to examine how we make decisions during periods of uncertainty and when substantial amounts of money are at stake. The show is also an example of a natural experiment where contestants are presented with welldefined choices where the financial stakes are real and quite considerable in terms of money.

Dr Morten Lau, Professor of Behavioural Finance at Durham Business School

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BECOMING A DBS AMBASSADOR If you would like to become a DBS Ambassador, please contact the Alumni Relations Team by email at dbs.alumni@durham.ac.uk. To view Ambassador profiles, visit www.agora.org.uk and go to the DBS Ambassador tab.

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On offer are a host of careers support and resources which will be particularly useful for those recent graduates and alumni who are currently job searching or changing career paths. For more experienced alumni, our special rates for CPD and access to academic journals and business databases will be invaluable.

A GAME OF RISK

My career could take a number of routes next, but I definitely want to stay within the HR/Recruitment space‌ hopefully one day becoming a Head of Resourcing for a large company. Immediately however I’d like to stay within BP and try my hand at other roles. A global role is something I would be really keen on in the near future, and there are definitely opportunities for that within BP.

MENTORING

Careers support is a fundamental aspect of our students’ development. Whether you can provide job opportunities or work shadowing days, source internships or business projects, or arrange mock interviews, current students would be grateful for your valuable support.

Q. What do you consider to be your main strengths and weaknesses?

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Being a member of any group, network, or cohort should not be without its advantages, the DBS Alumni Network is no exception. Taking on board feedback from the 2011 alumni survey, DBS has launched a new alumni benefits package which, we are sure you will agree, has something for everyone.

Imagine that you have a lottery ticket that will pay you a guaranteed amount of money. The payout will be either ÂŁ3,000 or ÂŁ250,000 and there is an equal probability of receiving either amount. Then, imagine that you are offered ÂŁ45,000 for that ticket. Would you exchange the ticket that might only pay out ÂŁ3,000, or would you risk it and hold on to your ticket in the hope of getting the ÂŁ250,000? For one contestant in the British game show Deal or No Deal the risk paid off. She declined the offer of ÂŁ45,000 and went on be the first winner of the ÂŁ250,000 top prize. But just how typical was her behaviour when faced with taking a risk?

My main strengths are dealing with people (be that line management or simply building relationships with stakeholders) and coming in to projects thinking strategically to give them direction. I struggle with attention to detail however – I’m too easily distracted!

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In the 2011 alumni survey, many of you indicated that you felt a responsibility to positively represent the School and ‘give back’ but wanted a clearer understanding of just how to do that. Taking those comments on board, we have revised our volunteer scheme and present here six important ways in which alumni and other friends of DBS can play a valuable role as DBS Ambassadors.

are the main attributes every entrepreneur needs.

A GAME O R SK Q&A

Alumni BeneďŹ ts Package

Members of the Centre for Behavioural Economics and Finance research team have been studying our attitude to risk and what influences our decisions in taking a chance when it comes to our finances.

WHAT DO YOU FIND COMES EASILY TO YOU, AND DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR?

Having encountered the Durham experience first-hand, who better to help promote and advance the School’s profile on a global platform than our alumni?

James Averdieck is the founder of GĂź Chocolate Puds, a globally recognised product that generated an annual turnover of ÂŁ22.5 million the year it was sold. James studied Economics at Durham from 1985 to 1988 where he attended the college of St Hild and St Bede.

Q. Do you feel your economics degree helped you obtain the success you’ve had to date?

Throughout 2012 and 2013, D8 will provide alumni, Global Learning (distance) students and prospective DBS students, the opportunity to benefit from the School’s commitment to promoting lifelong learning. We hope that you will support, and benefit from, this initiative. Destinations include Moscow, Dubai and India. Visit page 31 ‘Dates for the Diary’ for topics, dates and venues.

We all want a guaranteed profit on our investments, but what if we are offered the chance to take a gamble in order to get an even greater return?

Here Richard Freeborn, full-time MBA 2010–11, talks about his involvement in this year’s Olympic Games and his current role as London 2012 Programme Manager for BP.

Ambassador Scheme

DBS alumnus James Averdieck talks about life as a successful entrepreneur and looks back at his time at Durham.

A. The idea for GĂź came from living in Brussels where I was inspired by patisseries and chocolate shops. I formed a joint venture with a patisserie company back in London and we developed our first three products, two chocolate mousses and a chocolate soufflĂŠ in glass ramekins. My proudest moment was when we launched in France and started selling soufflĂŠs to the French. We sold the business in 2010 because we thought that it was better to sell when the brand was still hot and got a very good price for it (circa ÂŁ30 million).

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Richard Freeborn

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Q&A Q. Tell us a bit about your time at GĂź

To establish, build and maintain The survey also revealed that the positive relationships between ‘Agora’ brand (used to represent the students, alumni and DBS, in order to DBS alumni association for almost generate good will, enhance the DBS nine years) confuses some members. reputation, and encourage all alumni Members told us that they felt our to become ambassadors and ‘give back’ alumni association competed with the through a number of different means. School and University brands and that they would rather it be more closely We worked hard on assessing the identified with both. For that reason, design and functionality of our online Agora will now be known as the community (still currently known as DBS Alumni Network and our Agoraweb) and, whilst recommended communications and social networks changes to this community may take have been renamed to reflect this. longer to implement, we have invested However, changes to our website will significantly in improving the content take a while longer to implement. and user experience. We particularly encourage you to visit the Newsroom, Through the survey we learned that, Knowledge Portal, and DBS amongst some members residing Ambassador Scheme sections. outside the UK, there is a perception Enhanced benefits include more that we focus our activities careers support, Continuing predominately in Durham and London. Professional Development (CPD) Whilst many of our alumni are UKopportunities (see page 16), and based, we recognise that we have the information on a number of ‘trusted same responsibilities to all our alumni, colleagues’ who specialise in career wherever they are based. With this and executive coaching – visit the in mind, and with renewed vigour in Careers Gateway for details. our Local Association support, we are expanding our international activities to include a series of CPD workshops, delivered by DBS faculty, in eight locations around the world – D8.

Durham University will be host to the Sri Lankan Olympic team for training and acclimatisation prior to the 2012 London Olympics. The team will take advantage of our world-class training and sporting facilities and accommodation.

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SPOTLIGHT ON‌

Welcome to the spring edition of your alumni magazine. Did you notice the absence of ‘Agora’ on the front cover? This comes as a direct consequence of the survey conducted last year, more outcomes of which we share with you here. Several changes have already been implemented, the most visible of which being the change from Agora to DBS Alumni Network.

Fourteen new students joined the DBS Programme in Fudan, Shanghai. Forming an extremely diverse group, they have representatives from: The People’s Republic of China, Singapore, USA, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Austria.

The imminent expansion and enhancement of the Durham site clearly demonstrates our commitment to the future and is integral to the School’s continued development and success. Beginning this month (April), staff and students will be temporarily relocating to a number of different sites around Durham in order for the Mill Hill Lane building to undergo a significant redevelopment. Scheduled to be completed by September 2013, this enhancement and expansion will enable the School’s Durham-based staff to be together on one campus as well as provide additional teaching space for its growing number of postgraduate students. Whilst the building will be enlarged, great care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the current structure wherever possible. To read more about the redevelopment plans, please visit page 14.

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Alumni – Update

DEAN S WE COME NEWS

â€œâ€Śsubjects older than 40 are signiďŹ cantly less risk averse than younger subjects; and people who study at higher education levels are more risk averse than those who don’t embark on higher education.â€?

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The 2012 cohort of the DBS Executive MBA began their studies in January; we were delighted to welcome 34 new students to the programme.

Chris de Jong, who undertook his MBA at DBS in 1998, is what I would call a meta-international trader. Based in the UK, he exports his services himself but also helps others to succeed internationally. Chris leads DJI Consulting, an associated network of multilingual management consultants who specialise in helping businesses grow profitably in international markets. They offer support with business planning, strategic marketing, mentoring and training. Despite being an experienced consultant, Chris summarises the many lessons learnt during his MBA: ‘International trade is not an exact science but requires a practised commercial instinct as well as a genuine interest in people from different cultures and countries. My MBA taught me how to analyse business situations in a structured, effective way so I can quickly see if there is any commercial opportunity that could be developed in the future.’

Diane has a similar view: ‘Without the experience and knowledge gained during my MBA, I would not have the strategic framework and breadth of knowledge to run a complex, fast growing business.’ Sometimes, the key lessons from a DBS degree are not only in the content, in the curriculum, but even in the way that content is delivered. Denis explains the benefits he gained from doing a distance learning MBA: ‘It was quite challenging because I had to combine my study with my career and private life. I would say that such qualities as time management and persistence have been developed a lot.’ This flexibility to adapt to new situations is key for those working in international trade. When asked about the major changes they have witnessed in the last few years in international trade, Diane, Chris and Denis mentioned social media, the reduction on export credit, protectionism, and the improvement in travel and communications.

I would add that many times it is not the content or the delivery mode, but the people that you meet that will make the difference. Not just the people you meet during your degree, but also those fellow alumni you meet over time, with whom you feel a fascinating bond. I was in the car last week with my client’s Export Product Manager on our way to meeting the Sales Director to go through my final report. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. However, the small talk quickly changed to a big smile and a fraternal chat when we discovered that we had both attended DBS. And it is not the first time I have had such an experience. That is why I personally believe in alumni networks so strongly – how can we help? and how can you help others?

April – September 2012

It doesn’t matter what you do or where you are – you are part of the global DBS community. Trading internationally might just mean chatting to a fellow DBS graduate!

NEW three-day three-day,, residential courses. Rapid upskilling for business leaders and entrepreneurs. Designed for immediate real-world application. s#HANGEMANAGEMENT s#HANGEMANAGEMENT

TOP TIPS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE

“Durham is a global university and we become global alumni. The skills we develop at DBS are now highly sought after in the ever more valued and professional world of international trade.�

s#RISISMANAGEMENT s#RISISMANAGEMENT s$ELIVERINGSERVICEEXCELLENCE s$ELIVERINGSERVICEEXCELLENCE s'LOBALISINGSTRATEGICMANAGEMENT s'LOBALISINGSTRATEGICMANAGEMENT s3CENARIOTHINKING s3CENARIOTHINKING s3TRATEGICMARKETING s3TRATEGICMARKETING

I have asked alumni about their experiences in international trade, and the impact of their DBS experience on their careers. International trade was a no-brainer for Diane Sharp, Managing Director of UK-based SCM Pharma: ‘To ensure continuous growth you must look at the global market, especially in manufacturing,’ she says. The company now focuses on the US, Japan and Europe. Diane undertook a part-time MBA at DBS between 1999 and 2001.

Denis Savoshchenko did his MBA at DBS between 1998 and 2000 and is now a true international entrepreneur. He is a Partner in ExtremeTravelJunkie.com – a fascinating website aggregating more than 11,000 extreme, adventure, sightseeing and volunteering tours. Clearly, team work is key for Denis, something emphasised so much at DBS: ‘I am based in Moscow, my business partner lives in Toronto, our IT head is from Wales and our development team includes people of several nationalities, including Indian, Ukrainian and Canadian.’

!CCESSWORLD CLASSMANAGEMENTTHINKING !CCESSWORLD CLASSMANAGEMENTTHINKING WITHOUTCOMPROMISINGYOURSCHEDULE WITHOUTCOMPROMISINGYOURSCHEDULE Chris De Jong at DJI Consulting

Denis Savoshchenko at ExtremeTravelJunkie.com

Diane Sharpe at SCM Pharma

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura at Sunny Sky Solutions

(www.dji-consulting.com)

(www.extremetraveljunkie.com)

(www.scmpharma.com)

(www.sunnyskysolutions.co.uk)

‘Be genuinely interested in other people and always remember that you are a “foreigner� to them too.’

‘Be open minded and be ready to learn a lot from different nationalities.’

‘Ultimately people do business with people, whether that is in the same street or across continents, so anyone can make an international business work if they focus on building relationships.’

‘Do not underestimate what you know and what you have achieved. International trade is not all about knowing customs, exchange rates and foreign languages. It is about knowing how to deal with people.’

!PROGRESSIVEMIXOFACADEMICRIGOUR !PROGRESSIVEMIXOFACADEMICRIGOUR ANDAPRACTICALAPPROACH ANDAPRACTICALAPPROACH

Lost?Wouldlikemoreinformation?GetintouchwiththeDBSAlumniTeam on+44(0)1913345277orbyemailingdbs.alumni@durham.ac.uk

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THE CENTRE FOR BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS AND FINANCE DIRECTED BY PROFESSOR MORTEN LAU The Centre aims to improve understanding of the way that individuals and businesses make economic and financial decisions. It employs a combination of data from public and private registers, surveys and experiments to study empirical problems in economics and finance. The Centre has also developed a portable experimental laboratory to enable them to study behaviour in the field, enabling them to design solutions for complex policy issues and thereby provide insights to ongoing debates on economic, monetary and social policy in the UK. In the past, the Centre received financial support from the Carlsberg Foundation to characterise and evaluate how widespread social trust is in the adult Danish population. A simple example of deep policy significance, is the trust that individual Danes place in the government to provide pensions. Uncertainty about the size and the timing of pension payments is likely to affect the general level of support by Danes for the public provision of pensions. The Centre investigated how trust was influenced by the uncertainty and timing of the reciprocal action. Below is a fascinating insight into another recent research project that Professor Lau and his colleagues have undertaken.

PUTTING RESEARCH AT THE CENTRE

Durham Business School is home to more than 90 full-time academic staff engaged in cutting-edge research of national and international significance. They are world-leaders in the fields of Economics, Finance and Management and the strength of their research underpins the first class reputation of the School. Faculty are arranged into research centres and groups that encourage and enable individuals to exchange and develop ideas. Here, three Directors provide a brief overview of their Centre’s work and the types of activities in which they are engaged.

Individual Decision Making under Risk – Using experiments to understand investment behaviour The Centre received a research grant of £900,000 from the Danish equivalent of the ESRC to study individual risk attitudes over time, with the aim of testing if people behave consistently over time by making a long-term plan in one period and sticking to this plan in later periods.

The intention is to interview people at several points in time and elicit attitudes to risk and cost of waiting over this period so that they might better understand this complex issue. It is hoped that the findings might help to explain why people take or avoid risks in situations as diverse as gambling, choosing energy suppliers or using toll roads on their way to work. To read more about one of the Centre’s specific research projects that touches on both behavioural economics and the TV show Deal or no Deal, turn to page 8. THE CRITICAL STUDIES GROUP LED BY PROFESSOR MARK LEARMONTH This Centre was launched last September. Members share a common interest in developing research that uses a variety of critical theories to challenge conventional business thinking. Traditional accounts of business life tend to play down issues like power, control, cultural representations of business, environmentalism, identity, gender, agency and voice. These are issues which this group seeks to emphasise in order to equip students and practitioners to make better sense of the work situations in which they find themselves. Their work ranges across all management-related disciplines, including HRM, finance, accounting and marketing as well as covering public, private and voluntary sectors, and while the group is titled ‘critical’, it is a friendly forum to air ideas, bring together research conversations and connect with people across departments and disciplines.

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP DIRECTED BY DR BIRGIT SCHYNS Research undertaken by the Centre aims to go beyond traditional leadership approaches that focused on the leader as a person.

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Friday 13th may be unlucky for some, but certainly not for our postgraduate students who graduated in the annual winter congregation ceremonies at Durham Cathedral. The graduates saw Durham University’s 12th Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, preside for the first time since his appointment.

While there certainly is a merit to investigating leaders themselves, these approaches to leadership ignore the critical role of the follower in the leadership processes. However, leadership has to be understood as necessarily shaped by the characteristics of followers. Followers have needs and expectations that influence both how they view and evaluate their leader but also how far they willingly follow the leader and engage with organisational goals. At the same time, followers contribute to and shape the leadership process as they respond to the leader’s perceived behaviour and shape how the leader then responds. This is where the International Centre for Leadership and Followership see its main contribution.

After congregation, graduates along with their families and friends, made their way up to the School to celebrate this joyous occasion. Revellers enjoyed food and drink whilst saying farewell to their cohort members and Business School staff.

An example of research currently being undertaken by members of the Centre is their work on ‘Implicit Leadership’ which focuses on a new drawing method to assess implicit leadership theories and how we all hold slightly different images of leaders. One of the types of leadership images they are looking at is football managers.

What is your current role? I’m MBA Director, with responsibility for the full-time and Executive MBA.

This was the last celebration at the Business School’s building at Mill Hill Lane before major regeneration works begin there.

What are the most challenging parts of your job? I’ve yet to find out‌ so far so good, but I’m sure that could change!

A great day was had by all and we share some happy memories with you below‌

What drives you? My strong belief in education as a means of opening up new perspectives on the world. What was the best career advice you were given? I didn’t really have much career advice at school – and what I was given I ignored! What advice would you offer to students and alumni thinking of an academic career? Talk to a variety of academics to find out what it is really like and whether it’s for you.

If you would like to take part in any of their projects, visit www.durham.ac.uk/ dbs/faculty/centres/leadership

Who are your business influences/heroes? I think heroes is probably an over-used word in this context but Si

Visit the Research and Faculty pages of the DBS website for more information.

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Dean’s Welcome Change is part of every aspect of life and Durham Business School is no exception. Recent months have seen a number of significant changes at the School, and I’d like to take this opportunity to inform you of some of them.

Professor Mark Learmonth has taken on the role of Deputy Dean (Research). The central focus of his tenure will be the development of the School’s submission for the forthcoming Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise. One of the ways we have already moved forward on this has been to organise the School’s faculty into ten Research Centres/Groups. We believe this will encourage and enable individuals to better exchange and develop their ideas and, in doing so, increase the impact of their work. Read more on page 22 about some of these centres, and for more detailed information on work of the Centre for Behavioural Economics and Finance, read about Morten Lau’s work on ‘Risk Aversion in Game Shows’ on page 8. We are delighted to welcome back Professor Sue Miller who has returned to the School after a period of seven years. Sue, whose latest book ‘The Essential MBA’ has just been published, shares more about her background and return to Durham on page 26. The latest Financial Times Global MBA ranking has placed the School’s full-time programme 94th in the world.

The publication of these results comes at a time of increasing international competition and volatility in rankings. We recognise that our position has fluctuated considerably and in the future we would like to see more consistency. There has been a lot of movement in all directions, particularly for European schools. That, combined with the additional of several new players to the field, has created a rather turbulent picture. This year’s result raises both challenges and opportunities. As a business school dedicated to the quality of our teaching, research and student experience, we recognise that success in rankings is important to our stakeholders and our Rankings Steering Group has already been at work to strengthen key areas including our careers support function and alumni provision. We continue to invest in building on our academic strengths, and since 2009 have increased by 11 per cent the number of our faculty. Professor Mark Learmonth, Deputy Dean (Research), is currently reviewing and refining the School’s research strategy to ensure we also match this excellence with the requirements of the rankings.

The imminent expansion and enhancement of the Durham site clearly demonstrates our commitment to the future and is integral to the School’s continued development and success. Beginning this month (April), staff and students will be temporarily relocating to a number of different sites around Durham in order for the Mill Hill Lane building to undergo a significant redevelopment. Scheduled to be completed by September 2013, this enhancement and expansion will enable the School’s Durham-based staff to be together on one campus as well as provide additional teaching space for its growing number of postgraduate students. Whilst the building will be enlarged, great care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the current structure wherever possible. To read more about the redevelopment plans, please visit page 14. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and commitment and I look forward to an exciting future for the School.

Professor Rob Dixon, Dean


news news news news news news news news School News SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS Winners of the annual DBS/Independent MBA Scholarship Competition have been selected. They are David Beeton, a consultant from Newcastle upon Tyne, who joined the Executive MBA programme in January, and David Makepeace, an Advisor for a specialist humanitarian supply chain and procurement service who joins the Global MBA Programme (blended learning delivery). This month (April) another round of the competition will be launched to select the full-time MBA recipient, who will join us in September. FACULTY NEWS Dr Mariann Hardey has been invited to present and be the keynote speaker at the Media Futures Conference in May, in Ireland. She is the first and only woman to be a keynote speaker in these circles.

Dr Ashar Aftab has successfully secured an award of £234,610 from the ESRC for his research project ‘Spatially targeted and co-ordinated regulation of agricultural externalities: An economic perspective’. Dr Colin Ashurst’s latest book has been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Titled ‘Benefits Realization from Information Technology’, the book provides a fresh perspective on the challenges of benefit realisation from IT. Professor Michael Humphreys has been appointed to a Chair in Management, joining the School from Nottingham University Business School. PROGRAMME NEWS Since our last issue, the 2011 cohort of full-time MBA students have settled in. They comprise 46 in total, with 25 nationalities represented.

The 2012 cohort of the DBS Executive MBA began their studies in January; we were delighted to welcome 34 new students to the programme. During the past four months, 39 new PhD students from around the world have joined the School. Some of the countries they represent are Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Malta, Malaysia, Nigeria, South Africa, Syria, Taiwan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the USA. Fourteen new students joined the DBS Programme in Fudan, Shanghai. Forming an extremely diverse group, they have representatives from: The People’s Republic of China, Singapore, USA, Hong Kong, Bahrain and Austria.

University News NEW CHANCELLOR FOR DURHAM

GRANTS AND AWARDS

In January, Durham welcomed its 12th Chancellor, the celebrated opera star, Sir Thomas Allen. Sir Thomas took over this high profile role from award-winning author Bill Bryson. A County Durham local, he joins a distinguished list of Durham Chancellors that includes other artists and performers such as Sir Peter Ustinov and Dame Margot Fonteyn.

The University continues to attract major grants and awards. One such grant illustrates its diverse research contributions to energy and environmental sustainability – Jas Pal Badyal (Chemistry) has been awarded £1.1 million from EPSRC for a programme ‘Eco-sustainable fog collection in arid climates’ to work with The United Nations Drylands Centre in Africa to source drinking water in developing countries by harvesting fog.

DURHAM UNIVERSITY HOSTS OLYMPIC TEAMS Durham University will be host to the Sri Lankan Olympic team for training and acclimatisation prior to the 2012 London Olympics. The team will take advantage of our world-class training and sporting facilities and accommodation.

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Alumni – Update Welcome to the spring edition of your alumni magazine. Did you notice the absence of ‘Agora’ on the front cover? This comes as a direct consequence of the survey conducted last year, more outcomes of which we share with you here. Several changes have already been implemented, the most visible of which being the change from Agora to DBS Alumni Network.

Almost 700 members from over 70 different countries responded to the survey: 78 per cent alumni and 22 per cent students (full-time or blended learning). Seventy per cent of responses came from students and alumni of postgraduate programmes. The results reinforced much of what we already knew, however they have given us new focus and helped us get to the root of what you, our members, value in an alumni association. You told us we were doing well in areas including the personal service that we provide, and the business and social events we offer, such as the Durham Convention. The newsletter and magazine are also well-received. Opportunities cited for improvement included more clarity on the definition of alumni relations, access to more benefits, enhanced careers support, and improved functionality on our website. In response to the issue of the definition of alumni relations, we hope to make this clearer by sharing our mission statement:

To establish, build and maintain The survey also revealed that the positive relationships between ‘Agora’ brand (used to represent the students, alumni and DBS, in order to DBS alumni association for almost generate good will, enhance the DBS nine years) confuses some members. reputation, and encourage all alumni Members told us that they felt our to become ambassadors and ‘give back’ alumni association competed with the through a number of different means. School and University brands and that they would rather it be more closely We worked hard on assessing the identified with both. For that reason, design and functionality of our online Agora will now be known as the community (still currently known as DBS Alumni Network and our Agoraweb) and, whilst recommended communications and social networks changes to this community may take have been renamed to reflect this. longer to implement, we have invested However, changes to our website will significantly in improving the content take a while longer to implement. and user experience. We particularly encourage you to visit the Newsroom, Through the survey we learned that, Knowledge Portal, and DBS amongst some members residing Ambassador Scheme sections. outside the UK, there is a perception Enhanced benefits include more that we focus our activities careers support, Continuing predominately in Durham and London. Professional Development (CPD) Whilst many of our alumni are UKopportunities (see page 16), and based, we recognise that we have the information on a number of ‘trusted same responsibilities to all our alumni, colleagues’ who specialise in career wherever they are based. With this and executive coaching – visit the in mind, and with renewed vigour in Careers Gateway for details. our Local Association support, we are expanding our international activities to include a series of CPD workshops, delivered by DBS faculty, in eight locations around the world – D8.

Alumni and students were asked to state what they believed to be the most valuable benefits of an alumni association.

Throughout 2012 and 2013, D8 will provide alumni, Global Learning (distance) students and prospective DBS students, the opportunity to benefit from the School’s commitment to promoting lifelong learning. We hope that you will support, and benefit from, this initiative. Destinations include Moscow, Dubai and India. Visit page 31 ‘Dates for the Diary’ for topics, dates and venues. Alexandra Sedgwick Alumni Relations Manager


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SPOTLIGHT ON…

Richard Freeborn Here Richard Freeborn, full-time MBA 2010–11, talks about his involvement in this year’s Olympic Games and his current role as London 2012 Programme Manager for BP.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE AS LONDON 2012 PROGRAMME MANAGER FOR BP The first part of my job is to design and implement a ‘once in a life time’ secondment programme, placing BP graduate trainees in roles at the London 2012 Games this summer. We’re paying their salaries, accommodation and travel and really working hard to make the whole thing an amazing experience. Secondly I need to maximise the potential of this programme to enhance BP’s employer brand through PR and marketing. I started the role four days after submitting my MBA dissertation in mid-September, after BP came across my profile on LinkedIn (I can’t stress how useful that site is). The role itself is proving really interesting, with immensely tight timescales to turn everything around in time for the summer, which makes it both fun and challenging! WHAT’S YOUR TYPICAL DAY LIKE? I wouldn’t say there is any typical day, but generally I’m at work from 8.30 – 5.30 (the hours are pretty good at BP). Usually I spend most days running between meetings, both internal meetings and external ones, with our creative design agency, PR agency

or the LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games). Then there’s the less glamorous budget and procurement meetings (the less said about them the better!). I’d say I’m in the office at BP maybe three days a week, with at least one day in external meetings and one working from home, catching up on all those emails! THIS SOUNDS LIKE AN AMAZING ROLE, WHAT ASPECT OF IT DO YOU ENJOY MOST? By far the most exciting aspect of the job is the autonomy I have been given. To set up something like this in less than a year is quite tight and as a result we’re having to move on ideas at 100 miles per hour which is quite exciting. Also the project is extremely high profile so I get great exposure internally with some of the company’s most senior managers. The highlight of the job has definitely been managing a PR launch with Kelly Holmes (double Olympic gold medal winner), although most of this was photos outside and it was very cold!

WHAT DO YOU FIND COMES EASILY TO YOU, AND DO YOU STRUGGLE WITH ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR? My main strengths are dealing with people (be that line management or simply building relationships with stakeholders) and coming in to projects thinking strategically to give them direction. I struggle with attention to detail however – I’m too easily distracted! ARE YOU PLANNING AHEAD FOR YOUR CAREER? My career could take a number of routes next, but I definitely want to stay within the HR/Recruitment space… hopefully one day becoming a Head of Resourcing for a large company. Immediately however I’d like to stay within BP and try my hand at other roles. A global role is something I would be really keen on in the near future, and there are definitely opportunities for that within BP. To read the full interview, visit the ‘News’ section on www.agora.co.uk

“By far the most exciting aspect of the job is the autonomy I have been given.”


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A GAME OF RISK


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We all want a guaranteed profit on our investments, but what if we are offered the chance to take a gamble in order to get an even greater return? Members of the Centre for Behavioural Economics and Finance research team have been studying our attitude to risk and what influences our decisions in taking a chance when it comes to our finances. Imagine that you have a lottery ticket that will pay you a guaranteed amount of money. The payout will be either £3,000 or £250,000 and there is an equal probability of receiving either amount. Then, imagine that you are offered £45,000 for that ticket. Would you exchange the ticket that might only pay out £3,000, or would you risk it and hold on to your ticket in the hope of getting the £250,000? For one contestant in the British game show Deal or No Deal the risk paid off. She declined the offer of £45,000 and went on be the first winner of the £250,000 top prize. But just how typical was her behaviour when faced with taking a risk? The Deal or No Deal game show provides a fascinating opportunity to examine how we make decisions during periods of uncertainty and when substantial amounts of money are at stake. The show is also an example of a natural experiment where contestants are presented with welldefined choices where the financial stakes are real and quite considerable in terms of money. GAME ON Dr Morten Lau, Professor of Behavioural Finance at Durham Business School, supervised a study of every Deal or No

Dr Morten Lau, Professor of Behavioural Finance at Durham Business School

Deal game show broadcast in Britain since it began in October 2005. The purpose was to analyse risk behaviour under more natural circumstances than a laboratory experiment could provide. Together with his fellow researchers, Dr Lau went on to publish Risk Aversion in Game Shows, a paper that reviewed the use of behaviour from television game shows to infer risk attitudes. This work is part of a wider research project on individual risk attitudes and preferences over delayed outcomes. And now, in recognition, Dr Lau, Professor Steffen Andersen from Copenhagen Business School, Professor Glenn W. Harrison from Georgia State University and Assistant Professor Kasper M. Nielsen from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, have been awarded

a research grant of £900,000 from the Danish Social Science Research Council to further study individual risk attitudes and decisions over delayed outcomes. The plan is to observe financial choices in controlled experiments with field subjects, and link this information to registerbased data at the government agency – Statistics Denmark – either before or after the experiments, depending on the sample design. PLAY OR PASS?

Risk Aversion in Game Shows reviewed the use of behaviour from television game shows including Card Sharks, Jeopardy! and Lingoto to infer risk attitudes. Game shows would seem to be the ideal benchmark for estimating risk due to the large amount of prize money that’s usually up for grabs. Previous research, however, highlighted that most of these shows put the contestant into a unique, and consequently unreal, decision-making environment. The paper explains that the Deal or No Deal paradigm is important for several reasons: it incorporates many of the dynamic, forward-looking decision processes that most people encounter day to day when faced with making a wide range of fundamental economic decisions.


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“…subjects older than 40 are significantly less risk averse than younger subjects; and people who study at higher education levels are more risk averse than those who don’t embark on higher education.” The findings suggest that the degree of risk aversion is constant and independent of the size of the stakes. However, they knew almost nothing about the contestants’ personal characteristics, and how they were invited to take part in the game show. These factors may have affected how contestants made their choices. They also recognise that the sample (audience) might have been selected by some latent process correlated with the behaviour of interest to the analyst: the classic sample selection problem.

generally averse to risk, and that there is considerable heterogeneity in risk attitudes across particular groups. For example subjects older than 40 are significantly less risk averse than younger subjects; and people who study at higher education levels are more risk averse than those who don’t embark on higher education. They also found that risk attitudes generally are stable with no systematic bias towards higher or lower degrees of risk aversion over a two-year timespan in which subjects were interviewed twice and presented with the same experimental tasks.

AGE OF REASON To complement the data from game shows and traditional laboratory experiments, the research team have conducted field experiments with nationally representative samples of the adult population in Denmark. These studies rely on financially motivated tasks and trials to identify risk and time preferences. The prize money in the experiments on risk attitudes varied from between £5 and £450. What Dr Lau and his colleagues discovered was that people are

BATTLE THE BANKER While results of measuring risk attitudes are usually based on controlled experiments, these results are often questioned because they are based on small stakes bets and do not account for the extent to which the decision-maker integrates the prizes of the experimental tasks with personal wealth. The team exploited the existence of detailed information on the individual wealth of experimental subjects in Denmark, and directly

estimated risk attitudes and the degree of asset integration consistent with observed behaviour. The behaviour of the adult Danes in their experiments is consistent with partial asset integration, that is to say that they behaved as if some small fraction of personal wealth was combined with experimental prizes in a utility function, and that this combination entails less than perfect substitution. In other words, they do not perfectly asset integrate, nor do they completely isolate the experimental prizes from their personal wealth. The findings have questions on risk management and policy evaluation for all of us: raising many issues about how our behaviour could be directly influenced by economic uncertainty. Paradoxically, the findings also recognise that the “option value” of saying “No deal” to the banker has clear parallels to the financial literature on stock market pricing, as well as to many investment decisions that have future consequences – so-called “real options”. LOOKING AHEAD The next step for the research team is to further exploit the abundance of data at Statistics Denmark and map this with the behavioural data collected from the initial experiments. The team intend to use historic personal data from the periods before the experiments took place to ascertain if there is a direct link. Statistics Denmark grants researchers access to personal information on health, education, income, savings, investment, crime, etc. Analysing the data stored on individuals enables the sampling and examination of the preferences and beliefs of selected groups of interest. One key area of interest will be cases of bankruptcy to see if a link can be established with risk behaviour. For more information on this subject area please contact Morten Lau m.i.lau@durham.ac.uk


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Q&A DBS alumnus James Averdieck talks about life as a successful entrepreneur and looks back at his time at Durham. James Averdieck is the founder of Gü Chocolate Puds, a globally recognised product that generated an annual turnover of £22.5 million the year it was sold. James studied Economics at Durham from 1985 to 1988 where he attended the college of St Hild and St Bede. Q. Tell us a bit about your time at Gü A. The idea for Gü came from living in Brussels where I was inspired by patisseries and chocolate shops. I formed a joint venture with a patisserie company back in London and we developed our first three products, two chocolate mousses and a chocolate soufflé in glass ramekins. My proudest moment was when we launched in France and started selling soufflés to the French. We sold the business in 2010 because we thought that it was better to sell when the brand was still hot and got a very good price for it (circa £30 million). Q. Do you feel your economics degree helped you obtain the success you’ve had to date? A. Economics is a really good foundation for any business career. Economic theory trains the mind to think logically and commercially so I am proud of my degree from Durham. Q. What are your fondest memories of your time in Durham? A. I made some great friends at Durham and thoroughly enjoyed myself there. I ran the ski club and we had some hilarious trips to Aviemore in Scotland.

Q. Have you been back since graduating? A. I have been back several times. The last time I was there, I gave a speech on entrepreneurship at the Business School’s Convention as part of the celebrations for the 25th Anniversary of the MBA programme. I keep in touch with many friends from Durham. My housemates at Durham are now godparents to my children. Q. What do you do in your spare time? A. I like to play a lot of sport. I also enjoy mountain climbing and recently conquered Everest as I had some time off after selling the business and fancied a challenge. It was full of highs and lows. The lows were the terrible food (I survived on Snickers bars) and the very basic accommodation. I also got bad altitude sickness at one stage. The highs were the amazing views and the great sense of achievement when we reached the top. Q. Taking into consideration the success you had with Gü, what do you think are the key ingredients to being a successful entrepreneur? A. Having a creative idea, the guts to back it and the energy and obsessive determination to make it successful

are the main attributes every entrepreneur needs. Q. What do you consider to be your main strengths and weaknesses? A. On the strengths, I’m an ideas person and I’m good at uniting people behind a vision, but I’m also quite a relentless, obsessive person and that makes me a challenge to be with a lot of the time. Q. If you had one piece of advice for current students, what would it be? A. When you’re making a decision between two things, toss a coin and catch it in mid-air but don’t look at it. You already know in your gut what you want to do, just do it. Q. Where do you envisage your career going in the future? A. I’d like to stay in the chocolate business which I love. Let’s just say I have one or two ideas up my sleeve!


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Ambassador Scheme Having encountered the Durham experience first-hand, who better to help promote and advance the School’s profile on a global platform than our alumni? In the 2011 alumni survey, many of you indicated that you felt a responsibility to positively represent the School and ‘give back’ but wanted a clearer understanding of just how to do that. Taking those comments on board, we have revised our volunteer scheme and present here six important ways in which alumni and other friends of DBS can play a valuable role as DBS Ambassadors.

MENTORING

EXPANDING THE NETWORK

At DBS we run a virtual mentoring scheme whereby members of the alumni community volunteer to support current students. This is an invaluable way for alumni to impart their experience and knowledge and for students to expand their networks.

We currently have 30 alumni associations in over 27 countries worldwide. These groups meet on a regular basis with the support of the alumni team. You can participate in these events by joining your Local Association, or becoming a leader and setting up a group in your area.

CAREERS STUDENT RECRUITMENT Careers support is a fundamental aspect of our students’ development. Whether you can provide job opportunities or work shadowing days, source internships or business projects, or arrange mock interviews, current students would be grateful for your valuable support.

As an Ambassador you can represent the School at student recruitment fairs across the world, providing insight to prospective students. We also hope that you will be open to contact requests from students who have queries about a particular programme or life in Durham in general.


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COMMUNICATIONS

EVENTS

Contributions from alumni are essential in keeping the network connected. If you have a story, a piece of research or wish to fill out an alumni profile for our e-newsletter, magazine or website, please email us. PR opportunities for the School, both nationally and internationally, are also welcomed.

We run a series of speaker, networking, social and charity events and ask our alumni to help make these a success. As well as attending these events, we require alumni to host events and help the School source venues around the world. We also invite alumni to speak to students on a range of business issues and share stories of their Durham experience.

BECOMING A DBS AMBASSADOR If you would like to become a DBS Ambassador, please contact the Alumni Relations Team by email at dbs.alumni@durham.ac.uk. To view Ambassador profiles, visit www.agora.org.uk and go to the DBS Ambassador tab.


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Back to the future Following a period of sustained growth, Durham Business School will shortly embark upon a significant redevelopment programme to expand and enhance its main site in Durham. At what is a pivotal stage in the School’s evolution, this redevelopment will bring the Durham-based staff together on one campus. The presence at Queen’s Campus is also expanding, with the creation of dedicated study space for its undergraduate and postgraduate activities, including a purpose built experimental science lab that will provide a new facility for research. Scheduled to be completed by September 2013, the redevelopment of the building at Mill Hill Lane will provide new teaching space for the growing number of postgraduate students. Whilst the footprint of the building will be enlarged, to provide modern lecture theatre facilities, an increased number of break-out spaces and more office accommodation, great care has been taken to preserve the integrity of the current structure wherever possible. Built in 1975, the current building has welcomed thousands of enthusiastic and talented students through its doors during the past four decades.

The new design preserves many of the original features that are of architectural interest, including the front façade, and introduces a highly innovative glazed circulation corridor overlooking two newly created inner courtyards defined by the addition of two new wings. The creation of this new space will transform the building to meet the current and future needs of the staff and students.

These carefully planned enhancements will enable key elements of the School’s research and teaching to be undertaken in an environment that offers many new benefits. The glazed circulation space will enable substantially more natural light to enter the building, and will provide a stimulating and spacious environment in which academics and students can engage with one another. The importance of this redevelopment cannot be understated. Competition among international business schools

is intense and we expect that it will only increase in the future. In an economy where austerity measures have reduced government funding for university places and economic pressures have negatively affected many businesses and industries, students demand the highest standards. The expectation for high quality service delivery within higher education has arguably never been greater. Durham Business School prides itself on its triple-accreditation status and the vast majority of its research is classified as international standard, but it is essential to continually seek both innovative and proven ways to maintain a competitive edge. During the period of construction, which is due to commence in April this year, members of staff, students and some teaching activities will relocate, mostly to the historic and beautiful setting of Ushaw College on the outskirts of Durham, and others to University premises close to the City centre.


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Ushaw College will provide a selfcontained temporary home for the School’s MBA and research activities. Whilst remaining respectful of the purpose and heritage of the Ushaw site, significant investment is being made to enhance the facilities in this Grade 1 listed building, so that it will meet the needs of both students and staff, as well as leaving a positive legacy at the college. Every consideration has been given to ensure that students will continue to benefit from dedicated support services, with a full complement of staff and facilities onsite as well as frequent and convenient transport links provided between the City centre and residential facilities. Additional study facilities for postgraduate students will be available within other University buildings in Durham, as well as at the major new extension of the main University library which is due for completion in April.

Ushaw College has a rich history of learning, having served as a Roman Catholic seminary since 1568 in Douai, France where the College was originally founded, before opening in Durham in 1808. The site comprises extensive landscaped grounds and several impressive buildings designed by architectural giants such as Augustus Welby Pugin and his son Peter Paul Pugin. News of the School’s plans for this temporary relocation has already attracted favourable media interest, with the Financial Times observing that “Durham is not the only business school to turn to the church in times of need. During the first few years of its life Insead was housed in a monastery in Fontainebleau…” So that it appears that we are in good company!

USHAW COLLEGE HISTORY TIMELINE

At the same time the Centre for Catholic Studies (CCS) at Durham University is working with Durham University library staff to provide specialist resources to undertake the substantial task of cataloguing and archiving the Ushaw library, inventorying its collections to ensure their preservation and specialist conservation, and developing plans to open up the magnificent collections for full scholarly use and public benefit.

1808

The College was re-founded in Durham by Bishop William Gibson

1859

The ‘Junior House’ added

1884

St Cuthbert’s Chapel opened

1890

Ushaw College courses affiliated to Durham University

1960s

The East Wing added

1968

Ushaw became a Licensed Hall of Durham University

2011

The seminary was closed

2012

The College becomes the temporary home for Durham Business School whilst the University and the Trustees of the Ushaw Charity continue to jointly explore the feasibility of an education-based future for the site.

For queries related to the DBS building development, contact jason.coleman@durham.ac.uk For queries related to the future of Ushaw College (not related to DBS’ temporary relocation) contact andrew.harston@durham.ac.uk


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Alumni Benefits Package Being a member of any group, network, or cohort should not be without its advantages, the DBS Alumni Network is no exception. Taking on board feedback from the 2011 alumni survey, DBS has launched a new alumni benefits package which, we are sure you will agree, has something for everyone. On offer are a host of careers support and resources which will be particularly useful for those recent graduates and alumni who are currently job searching or changing career paths. For more experienced alumni, our special rates for CPD and access to academic journals and business databases will be invaluable. MEMBERSHIPS

KNOWLEDGE PORTAL

VISIT DURHAM OFFERS

Special alumni discounts to professional bodies including the Chartered Management Institute, Chartered Institute of Marketing, and the Institute of Leadership and Management.

The alumni library resources, academic journals and databases section is ever-expanding (some are also available on mobile apps).

Exclusive offers on accommodation and tourist attractions including a guided tour of Durham Cathedral.

CAREER GATEWAY

SUBSCRIPTIONS Alumni offers for the most respected business publications including The Economist and Financial Times. CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Alumni rates on DBS short courses and selected accredited programmes.

Your one-stop-shop for all career related activity provides for consultation with internal and external career advisors, workshops, webinars, e-books, resources, self-assessment tools and an international jobs board.


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Alumni Trade on a Global Scale

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura is an Economics Graduate from Uruguay, South America, who was offered a scholarship by the then Department of Economics and Finance (now part of the Durham Business School) in 1999 due to her outstanding score in the International Baccalaureate Diploma. She has now crystallised her passion for international trade by setting up Sunny Sky Solutions, which supports businesses at different stages of expansion into Latin America. Happily surprised to realise through her work that many of her contacts were in fact DBS alumni, she was keen to explore the links between DBS alumni and international trade. Here are her findings‌


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International trade can involve huge multinationals importing and exporting high volumes of products and services. It also applies to that neighbour who has set up an eBay shop and has shipped their first parcel abroad, or to the director of my local radio station who has just been to Jordan to give advice on commercial radio. International trade can be incredibly complex and extremely simple at the same time. We humans have a tendency to trade and so, for different reasons, we buy from other countries and we sell to other countries. DBS alumni lend themselves nicely to work in international trade. Even before we land in Durham, we are most likely to be attracted to it by its international dimension and its mix of cultures and perspectives (not only from other students but also from staff). While studying at DBS, we are constantly challenged on and exposed to the outside world. Durham is a global university and we become global alumni. The skills we develop at DBS are highly sought after in the ever more valued and professional world of international trade. More importantly, our experiences and our perspectives are now valued more than ever. What makes us different is that we don’t coast through our degrees, at whatever level; the nature of our School and our University give us key experiences that can be of enormous advantage in international trade. Whether it is meeting that first person from a specific country, sampling their food for the first time, listening to their language, sharing thoughts about education or business, the exposure will make you richer. Learning about the world of business, economics, finance and trade from and with people from around the world sitting in a classroom or sharing a course online, means that you will, even unknowingly, be part of international trade yourself – and be more likely to regard it as something completely normal and something to look forward to. After all, you know it is all about people!

“Durham is a global university and we become global alumni. The skills we develop at DBS are now highly sought after in the ever more valued and professional world of international trade.” I have asked alumni about their experiences in international trade, and the impact of their DBS experience on their careers. International trade was a no-brainer for Diane Sharp, Managing Director of UK-based SCM Pharma: ‘To ensure continuous growth you must look at the global market, especially in manufacturing,’ she says. The company now focuses on the US, Japan and Europe. Diane undertook a part-time MBA at DBS between 1999 and 2001.

Denis Savoshchenko did his MBA at DBS between 1998 and 2000 and is now a true international entrepreneur. He is a Partner in ExtremeTravelJunkie.com – a fascinating website aggregating more than 11,000 extreme, adventure, sightseeing and volunteering tours. Clearly, team work is key for Denis, something emphasised so much at DBS: ‘I am based in Moscow, my business partner lives in Toronto, our IT head is from Wales and our development team includes people of several nationalities, including Indian, Ukrainian and Canadian.’


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Chris de Jong, who undertook his MBA at DBS in 1998, is what I would call a meta-international trader. Based in the UK, he exports his services himself but also helps others to succeed internationally. Chris leads DJI Consulting, an associated network of multilingual management consultants who specialise in helping businesses grow profitably in international markets. They offer support with business planning, strategic marketing, mentoring and training. Despite being an experienced consultant, Chris summarises the many lessons learnt during his MBA: ‘International trade is not an exact science but requires a practised commercial instinct as well as a genuine interest in people from different cultures and countries. My MBA taught me how to analyse business situations in a structured, effective way so I can quickly see if there is any commercial opportunity that could be developed in the future.’

Diane has a similar view: ‘Without the experience and knowledge gained during my MBA, I would not have the strategic framework and breadth of knowledge to run a complex, fast growing business.’ Sometimes, the key lessons from a DBS degree are not only in the content, in the curriculum, but even in the way that content is delivered. Denis explains the benefits he gained from doing a distance learning MBA: ‘It was quite challenging because I had to combine my study with my career and private life. I would say that such qualities as time management and persistence have been developed a lot.’ This flexibility to adapt to new situations is key for those working in international trade. When asked about the major changes they have witnessed in the last few years in international trade, Diane, Chris and Denis mentioned social media, the reduction on export credit, protectionism, and the improvement in travel and communications.

I would add that many times it is not the content or the delivery mode, but the people that you meet that will make the difference. Not just the people you meet during your degree, but also those fellow alumni you meet over time, with whom you feel a fascinating bond. I was in the car last week with my client’s Export Product Manager on our way to meeting the Sales Director to go through my final report. I have to admit I was a bit nervous. However, the small talk quickly changed to a big smile and a fraternal chat when we discovered that we had both attended DBS. And it is not the first time I have had such an experience. That is why I personally believe in alumni networks so strongly – how can we help? and how can you help others? It doesn’t matter what you do or where you are – you are part of the global DBS community. Trading internationally might just mean chatting to a fellow DBS graduate!

TOP TIPS ON INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Chris De Jong at DJI Consulting

Denis Savoshchenko at ExtremeTravelJunkie.com

Diane Sharpe at SCM Pharma

Gabriela Castro-Fontoura at Sunny Sky Solutions

(www.dji-consulting.com)

(www.extremetraveljunkie.com)

(www.scmpharma.com)

(www.sunnyskysolutions.co.uk)

‘Be genuinely interested in other people and always remember that you are a “foreigner” to them too.’

‘Be open minded and be ready to learn a lot from different nationalities.’

‘Ultimately people do business with people, whether that is in the same street or across continents, so anyone can make an international business work if they focus on building relationships.’

‘Do not underestimate what you know and what you have achieved. International trade is not all about knowing customs, exchange rates and foreign languages. It is about knowing how to deal with people.’


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PUTTING RESEARCH AT THE CENTRE

Durham Business School is home to more than 90 full-time academic staff engaged in cutting-edge research of national and international significance. They are world-leaders in the fields of Economics, Finance and Management and the strength of their research underpins the first class reputation of the School. Faculty are arranged into research centres and groups that encourage and enable individuals to exchange and develop ideas. Here, three Directors provide a brief overview of their Centre’s work and the types of activities in which they are engaged.


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THE CENTRE FOR BEHAVIOURAL ECONOMICS AND FINANCE DIRECTED BY PROFESSOR MORTEN LAU The Centre aims to improve understanding of the way that individuals and businesses make economic and financial decisions. It employs a combination of data from public and private registers, surveys and experiments to study empirical problems in economics and finance. The Centre has also developed a portable experimental laboratory to enable them to study behaviour in the field, enabling them to design solutions for complex policy issues and thereby provide insights to ongoing debates on economic, monetary and social policy in the UK. In the past, the Centre received financial support from the Carlsberg Foundation to characterise and evaluate how widespread social trust is in the adult Danish population. A simple example of deep policy significance, is the trust that individual Danes place in the government to provide pensions. Uncertainty about the size and the timing of pension payments is likely to affect the general level of support by Danes for the public provision of pensions. The Centre investigated how trust was influenced by the uncertainty and timing of the reciprocal action. Below is a fascinating insight into another recent research project that Professor Lau and his colleagues have undertaken. Individual Decision Making under Risk – Using experiments to understand investment behaviour The Centre received a research grant of £900,000 from the Danish equivalent of the ESRC to study individual risk attitudes over time, with the aim of testing if people behave consistently over time by making a long-term plan in one period and sticking to this plan in later periods.

The intention is to interview people at several points in time and elicit attitudes to risk and cost of waiting over this period so that they might better understand this complex issue. It is hoped that the findings might help to explain why people take or avoid risks in situations as diverse as gambling, choosing energy suppliers or using toll roads on their way to work. To read more about one of the Centre’s specific research projects that touches on both behavioural economics and the TV show Deal or no Deal, turn to page 8. THE CRITICAL STUDIES GROUP LED BY PROFESSOR MARK LEARMONTH This Centre was launched last September. Members share a common interest in developing research that uses a variety of critical theories to challenge conventional business thinking. Traditional accounts of business life tend to play down issues like power, control, cultural representations of business, environmentalism, identity, gender, agency and voice. These are issues which this group seeks to emphasise in order to equip students and practitioners to make better sense of the work situations in which they find themselves. Their work ranges across all management-related disciplines, including HRM, finance, accounting and marketing as well as covering public, private and voluntary sectors, and while the group is titled ‘critical’, it is a friendly forum to air ideas, bring together research conversations and connect with people across departments and disciplines. Visit the Research and Faculty pages of the DBS website for more information.

INTERNATIONAL CENTRE FOR LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP DIRECTED BY DR BIRGIT SCHYNS Research undertaken by the Centre aims to go beyond traditional leadership approaches that focused on the leader as a person. While there certainly is a merit to investigating leaders themselves, these approaches to leadership ignore the critical role of the follower in the leadership processes. However, leadership has to be understood as necessarily shaped by the characteristics of followers. Followers have needs and expectations that influence both how they view and evaluate their leader but also how far they willingly follow the leader and engage with organisational goals. At the same time, followers contribute to and shape the leadership process as they respond to the leader’s perceived behaviour and shape how the leader then responds. This is where the International Centre for Leadership and Followership see its main contribution. An example of research currently being undertaken by members of the Centre is their work on ‘Implicit Leadership’ which focuses on a new drawing method to assess implicit leadership theories and how we all hold slightly different images of leaders. One of the types of leadership images they are looking at is football managers. If you would like to take part in any of their projects, visit www.durham.ac.uk/ dbs/faculty/centres/leadership


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G R A D U AT I O N Friday 13th may be unlucky for some, but certainly not for our postgraduate students who graduated in the annual winter congregation ceremonies at Durham Cathedral. The graduates saw Durham University’s 12th Chancellor, Sir Thomas Allen, preside for the first time since his appointment. After congregation, graduates along with their families and friends, made their way up to the School to celebrate this joyous occasion. Revellers enjoyed food and drink whilst saying farewell to their cohort members and Business School staff. This was the last celebration at the Business School’s building at Mill Hill Lane before major regeneration works begin there. A great day was had by all and we share some happy memories with you below‌


www.durham.ac.uk/shop wear it with pride


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introducing...... Continuing our ‘Introducing…’ feature, here we meet a recent addition to the School’s faculty: Dr Susan Miller, MBA Director. After working for nine years in the public and private sectors, Sue became an academic working first at Durham University and then at the University of Hull. She has just returned to Durham as Professor and Director of the MBA. She has extensive international teaching experience having taught on PhD and MBA programmes in Jamaica, Barbados, the Gulf, Asia and the Netherlands and is an Accreditor for AMBA. Sue has recently compiled a guide for MBA students entitled ‘The Essential MBA’ (Sage, 2011). Her research interests are in strategic decision-making and firm performance. What is your current role? I’m MBA Director, with responsibility for the full-time and Executive MBA. What are the most challenging parts of your job? I’ve yet to find out… so far so good, but I’m sure that could change! What drives you? My strong belief in education as a means of opening up new perspectives on the world. What was the best career advice you were given? I didn’t really have much career advice at school – and what I was given I ignored! What advice would you offer to students and alumni thinking of an academic career? Talk to a variety of academics to find out what it is really like and whether it’s for you. Who are your business influences/heroes? I think heroes is probably an over-used word in this context but Sir John Harvey-Jones was Chancellor of the University of Bradford when I was studying there and I admired his direct approach which, coupled with his well-known sense of humour, enlivened many a graduation ceremony.

What do you enjoy most about your job? Interacting with students.

What was the motivation to write the book? I have been running MBA programmes What is an average day at work like? and teaching on them for around 20 One of the best things about an years and it seemed to me there was a academic’s life is that there is no ‘average’ need to have a book which covered all day. Variety is a great stimulator. the core subjects you would find on a typical MBA programme all in one What achievement are you most accessible text. ‘The Essential MBA’ proud of? therefore contains a chapter on each of Walking the Coast to Coast trail (about 190 miles from St. Bees to Robin Hood’s the following: Organisational Behaviour, HRM, Marketing, Accounting and Bay) a few years back. Since then I’ve tackled a number of long distance walks. Finance, Operations Management, Strategy and Economics, as well as What would be your plan B? chapters on Corporate Social (alternative career) Responsibility, Research Approaches I did wonder about veterinary work – and Study Skills. The book is intended but I rather think I would have a to complement the traditional, houseful of animals by now and this discipline-specific text book, but offer would certainly have put the current a more comprehensive understanding of the different components of the MBA. feline incumbent’s nose out of joint I am hoping the book will be useful for as she likes the place to herself! prospective MBA students, those already What is the last book you read? on MBA courses and those graduates I have just finished ‘Empire: How Britain and practising managers who want to Made the Modern World’ by Niall Ferguson brush up on their knowledge of business – an interesting take on how Britain and management. gained, and lost, an empire. What do you want to achieve What inspires you? in your career? The view from my study window. To continue to help develop meaningful business and management programmes How do you deal with pressure? which make a positive impact for the Walking in the beautiful countryside participants. Since I believe education is around our home in Swaledale. about acquiring skills for learning and personal development it’s my hope that the experience of studying at Durham makes a difference for the long-term, not just for the immediate future.


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Here Matthew Jones, a current DBS MBA student, gives his verdict on

Execution To Die For: A Manager’s guide to making it happen by DBS alumnus Graham Haines When I was first asked to review ‘Execution to Die For’ by Graham Haines, BA Economics & Law 1965–68, part of me was a little anxious. Being in a time-finite environment, during and after MBA exams and prior to starting the busy elective period, now was perhaps not the best time to get into a good-sized book, especially one that was not well known or immediately relevant. Ultimately, I asked myself, what could one book cover that the rest of the MBA literature to date had not? To my pleasant surprise, a startling amount! So, what is the book all about? For those involved, directly or indirectly, in change management, strategic planning, business transformation, project management, and many other related specialisations, this is a must read! Tell me why, I hear you say… It is easy to read and understand, full of real case studies and anecdotes, and very practical. Haines identifies 36 barriers to business plans developing into anything further than a pretty document in the office library. He answers the question, ‘Why do most very detailed, well documented, flawlessly logical plans (which often cost significant resources to develop) FAIL?’ The answer to this question is simple – poor implementation. More importantly though, Haines makes the point that far too often business planning, and the implementation

of those plans, are treated as two disconnected elements, often with two completely separate groups of people carrying them out, ie the ‘planners’ and the ‘implementers’. When failure occurs, the ‘planners’ blame the ‘implementers’ for an inability to carry out instructions, whilst the ‘implementers’ blame the ‘planners’ for ambiguous and illogical thinking, which can only be confined to theory and is empirically impossible. As many of us well know from first-hand experience, this account is not just limited to the private sector or a particular industry; it equally affects the public sector and all organisations undertaking change and/or improvement activities. Haines solves this conundrum with his very creative Wagon Wheel framework which, amongst other things, promotes effective organisational communication at all stages of the planning process, creating two-way feedback that ultimately helps shape and adapt business plans according to their unique environments. In addition, organisational implementation no longer occurs as a separate process, but instead as a gradual and continuous process from the onset of the change initiative. The Wagon Wheel paradigm thus helps resolve and overcome Haines’s identified barriers to the successful execution of planned changes.

Overall, this is an excellent book. The simple and easy-to-remember Wagon Wheel framework is well worth further consideration and may be the solution your organisation needs. Is this framework the end of management consultancy? Unlikely, but it can be said that those who implement Haines’s planning framework will be much less likely to require expensive consultants to answer the question, ‘Why did my business plan fail to be executed?’ With Haines’s ‘Execution to Die For’, business planning and execution is, in my opinion, triumphant. My verdict? A recommended read for all wannabe business planners!


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CLASS NOTES

HOWARD KINGSTON FT MBA 2008–09 I was recently appointed Marketing & Communications Manager for We R Interactive; a London based Social Gaming Startup formed just over a year ago. We launched our first game title ‘I Am Playr’ – the world’s first point-ofview football game, where you get to live the life of a professional footballer – back in October (a week after I joined the company). As I write this, we’ve had well over 1.5 million players across more than 200 countries. It’s exciting to be part of something that’s growing so fast. I’m in charge of marketing which, in these digital times, is very much a science rather than an art! We can predict, almost to the penny, how many new users and revenue we get for every marketing pound spent. Most of our new users come from viral marketing, social media and Facebook advertising. We make money through a combination of virtual items and brand integrations (Nike, Red Bull and Alpha Romeo were our launch partners) and we’ve just been nominated for a BAFTA for ‘best online game’. We have had a number of professional footballers invest in the company including Steven Gerard, Robbie Keane, Tim Cahill & ex Liverpool FC MD, Christian Purslow. Our Chairman is a fellow Durham Alumni Richard Dale so we get to reminisce about happy times rowing on the River Wear before a board meeting.

We’re about to launch our second game (about music this time) in March and, although it’s all top secret at the moment, I think it’s not a case of ‘will we get a million users?’ but rather ‘how many million users can we hit?’ I also keep a blog at: www.startupremarkable.com where I blog about startups, marketing and the trip to the top. Drop by and say hi! You can also follow me on Twitter @howardvk. CHARLES-NICOLAS LAUCHER FT MBA 2010–11 Eulalie, our lovely little daughter, was born on 12 December 2011 in Colmar (France). She measured 50cm (19.7 inches) and weighed 3.250kg (7.2 pounds). Of course, since that time she has grown up amazingly quickly and already delights me and her mother Laura with her charming smiles. MICHAEL SHEARER FT MBA 1995–96 I was appointed an OBE in the 2012 Diplomatic and Overseas Honours List. This award is for my role in leading the on-the-ground evacuation of British Nationals and dependents from the Sendai area of Japan following the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake last March. Michael is currently British Deputy High Commissioner in Sierra Leone.

PHILIP SARTHOU MSC CORPORATE & INTERNATIONAL FINANCE 2008–09 Amy, my wife, gave birth on 4 January 2012 at 15:17 to our son, Maxime Richard Olivier Sarthou. He weighed 9.8 pounds and is continuing to grow. We are both delighted to welcome our little bundle of joy into the world. PHILIP REDDY EXEC MBA 2001–03 We regret to announce that Mr Philip Reddy, Exec MBA 2001–03, died on 31 March 2011. Our thoughts are with his family. ROLAND ADAMS FT MBA 1993–94 I studied my MBA at Durham from 1993 to 1994. During this time I met my wife, Claire, who was then doing her PhD in Archaeology at the Department of Classics. Claire recently gave birth to our daughter, Olivia Laura Joanne Adams on Monday 19 December 2011 at 08:39. She weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce. We have been blessed.


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ANANT MATHUR

JON KAY

DANNY CROUCH

FT MBA 2005–06

EXEC MBA 2006–08

FT MBA 2010–11

Back in 2005, I met my wife, Shivali Gupta, whilst we were both studying our MBA. We were engaged by the end of the programme and got married a year later! We have been happily married for four years now with a son, Siddhant (aged three years), and a daughter, Anisha (aged five months).

Congratulations to Jon and wife Kelly on the birth of their daughter Eleanor Elizabeth Kay.

Sarah and I are delighted to announce the birth of our first child, James Tennyson Crouch, who will go by Tennyson. He is named after my dad, James Crouch (1945–2008). Tennyson was born late Sunday night, 2 October 2011 at 22:50. He weighed 8 pounds even and was 21 inches long. Tennyson is a literary name we liked for its British roots, which is where he began. Here is a line from the British Poet Laureate Tennyson: ‘My strength is but the strength of ten because my heart is pure!’

JOHN POOTHICOTE MSC FINANCE & INVESTMENT 2004–05 I was part of the MSc Finance and Investment class of 2005 and graduated in 2006. Subsequently I joined Deloitte, the professional services firm. I spent three years with Deloitte and found it to be a fantastic place to work in. I was promoted to the position of Assistant Manager in Audit and completed the ACA qualification. Subsequent to this, I decided to seek a new challenge and moved to Barclays Capital, the investment banking wing of Barclays Bank in London, as an Analyst in FX Exotics Risk. My work is largely based around analysing the macro economic factors and looking at how they affect the positions of various trading desks.

JAMES DAVIS DISTANCE LEARNING MBA 2004–07 I have recently had my first novel published in the UK. ‘Noho’ is a crime thriller set in 1930s Soho against a backdrop of jazz dens, dancing girls, gangsters and martinis. It’s available in paperback and on Kindle from Amazon (as well as other places). A German literary agent has also recently acquired the rights for it. JONATHAN OXLEY DISTANCE LEARNING MBA 2003–07 Congratulations to Jonathan Oxley and his partner, Deb Tate, on their recent engagement!

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1. Howard Kingston 2. Charles-Nicolas Laucher and family 3. Micheal Shearer 4. Jon Kay and Eleanor 5. James Davis 6. Danny Crouch and family.

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local association news DBS Alumni Global Network 1. NEW ZEALAND – NEW! The New Zealand Local Association was originally set up in 2008 but has seen little activity so far. Matthew Higgs, a current Global MBA student, has volunteered to take the group forward and help strengthen the DBS network in New Zealand. We do hope to arrange an event in the Auckland area soon. If you would be interested in attending, please email the alumni team or post on the New Zealand Local Association Facebook page.

2. TURKEY – NEW! The new Turkey Local Association was proposed by the alumni team in December of last year. Since then, we have had a number of alumni come forward and express their interest in the group. Professor Rob Dixon, Dean of Durham Business School, met with members of the association in Istanbul in March. An enjoyable evening was had by all and plans are in motion to get the next event organised.

3. LONDON Alex and Hayley both visited London in October of last year to host an alumni get together at a Corney and Barrow bar in the City. The event was again arranged with the help of Natasha Ellah and Nikhil Kulkarni, the Local Association leaders, and there was a great turnout which

included recent graduates and graduates of 30 years attending. Another event took place on the 8 December with a number of MBA and Masters alumni catching up before the Christmas holidays.

7. SINGAPORE Arsalan Amjad, leader of the Singapore Local Association, organised an alumni get together on Friday 9 December 2011. The group met in the Boulevard Bar at Millenia Walk in the city. Pooja Karumathil (FT MBA 2007–08) said, ‘It was great catching up. I really enjoyed reminiscing about the lovely Durham days.’

4. TOKYO On 18 December, members of the Tokyo Local Association met at Chimaki Furusawa’s house for food and drinks. Chimaki has been running alumni events in the Japanese capital for over 11 years now and we thank him for all his hard work and dedication.

5. INDIA During a recent trip to India, Lauren Huntington, Head of Marketing, and Daniela Slanickova, Head of International and External Relations, met with alumni in both Mumbai and Delhi. Both events were a great success with alumni, both new and old, attending in abundance. Future trips are planned for late spring and autumn so watch this space!

Local Associations are the perfect way to keep in touch with other DBS alumni in your area. Forthcoming Global Get Together dates for this year are: 7 June, 6 September and 6 December. As usual these are just a guide. If it is more convenient for your local association to meet at another date and time then please do so. If you require any help in arranging your get-togethers please do get in touch. We look forward to hearing about your events and receiving photographs. If you are interested in joining these or any other groups throughout the world (in your location or perhaps in a business area you frequent), please email us and we will put you in touch with the Local Association Leaders. Alternatively, if there is not yet a local association in your area, contact the alumni team and we can look into setting one up.

6. BEIJING In February, Dean Rob Dixon, hosted a career workshop for recent graduates followed by an alumni networking session. The event was held at the Beijing Landmark hotel and was attended by over 30 alumni.

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Dates for the Diary EVENTS

RECRUITMENT EVENTS

PREVIEW/OPEN EVENTS

SPEAKER EVENT

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION FAIR

Topic: Innovation

Ankara, Turkey 12 April Istanbul, Turkey 14 and 15 April

For a list of preview and open events, please visit the Business School website at: www.durham.ac.uk/dbs/degrees/ mba/ft/events

19 April 2012 Grand Connaught Rooms, Central London, UK D8 MOSCOW Topic: Crisis Management 19 April 2012 Hyatt Hotel, Moscow WEBINAR ‘MANAGING YOUR CAREER MID LIFE’

QS MBA FAIR Johannesburg, South Africa 7 May Cairo, Egypt 16 May Dubai, UAE 18 May

Please note that some dates, speakers and venues are provisional or yet to be confirmed.

For more information on these and other recruitment events please visit the Business School website at: www.durham.ac.uk/dbs/news/ recruitment

24 April 2012, 14:00–15:00 (GMT) D8 INDIA Topic and venue to be confirmed April 2012, Kolkata D8 DUBAI Topic: Managing Finance 18 May 2012 WEBINAR ‘NEGOTIATING A PAY RISE’ 22 May 2012, 14:00–15:00 (GMT) ALUMNI GLOBAL GET TOGETHER 7 June 2012

WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP PROMOTE DBS? Prospective students, as well as the School, benefit from having alumni assist Durham academic staff with recruitment activities. If you feel able to volunteer in this way, please email the Alumni Team at the email address below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION To book places for these events contact the Alumni Team on: Email: dbs.events@durham.ac.uk Telephone: +44 (0)191 334 5277


NEWS

DBS

ALUMNI

Alumni Team Alexandra McNinch (nĂŠe Sedgwick), Alumni Relations Manager Hayley Ferguson, Alumni Co-ordinator Durham Business School Alumni Team Ushaw College Durham DH7 9RH UK t: +44 (0)191 334 5277 f: +44 (0)191 334 5218 e: dbs.alumni@durham.ac.uk UK DBS Alumni Network Local Associations Northern UK (based in Durham) Southern UK (based in London) International DBS Alumni Network Local Associations Athens Beijing Canada Caribbean Denmark Egypt Frankfurt Ghana Gibraltar Hong Kong Hungary India Indonesia Japan Jordan Malaysia Mexico New Zealand Nigeria Norway Pakistan Russia Shanghai Singapore South Africa South America Switzerland Turkey United Arab Emirates United States of America To be put in contact with other alumni in your area, please contact the Alumni Team.

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