Success How to be a winner Forward thinking Creative spark

Page 19
Issue six Autumn 2009
R.R.P £3.50
How to be a winner
Forward thinking
Creative spark
Page 20
1 Foreword
Professor John Brooks, Vice-Chancellor
of Manchester Metropolitan University
2 News
•Nod for MMU expansion
•Green credentials
• Business of sport
•Manchester Festival
6 Graduate
Just how tough is it for graduates?
10 Learning works
•The business of car parts
•Hospital bugs
12 Sir Alex Ferguson
United legend talks to MMU about
how to be successful
14 Honorands
MMU’s class of 2009
16 Creative writing
The keys to embarking on a
successful literary career
20 Book reviews
We review the debut novels of three
MMU alumni
21 My theory
The links between pregnancy and
22 Alumni
Pastures new for former graduates
24 Venue Manchester
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Page 1
David Oates photography
graduate world has probably never
Dedication is what you need
been more competitive as our piece
in this issue on graduate employment
which direction you are heading in,
interviews with eight outstanding
trial and error that we find our true
people who were presented with
vocations. It’s another recurring
honorary degrees by MMU this
theme of this issue, especially in our
summer including Sir Alex Ferguson,
interviews with our creative writing
Barney Storey MBE and Sarah Storey
elcome to the latest
However if you don’t know exactly
edition of Success.
This issue includes
then take heart that often it is only by
OBE, and Dr Edward de Bono.
One of the key themes in this issue
Incidentally that feature also
includes an interview with Poet
is the determination to achieve your
Laureate and MMU professor Carol
own personal and professional goals.
Ann Duffy, who describes her role at
Combine that with a determined
our writing school as one she
focus on what you want to achieve in
wouldn’t be without because of the
life, and you are certainly giving
interaction and joy she gets from
yourself every opportunity to succeed.
working with students. Just as with
Such messages have added
resonance in today’s tough
employment market where hard
work, focus and dedication are
needed in spades. Indeed the
our honorands, there is much our
Success is published for
Manchester Metropolitan University
by Insider Media
Jim Pendrill
Catherine Seddon
Claire Robson, Stuart Wilkin, Rachel
Machin, David Casey, Tim Underwood
Damien Wiehl
David Oates
David Smalley
contract publishing
Boulton House
17-21 Chorlton Street
Manchester M1 3HY
students can learn from her.
Professor John Brooks,
Vice-Chancellor, Manchester
Metropolitan University
No part of this publication may be
reproduced or used in any form without
prior permission from Insider Media
p02-05 news_2
Page 2
‘Super’ campus plans win support
MMU’s ambitious plans for a new Hulme campus win backing from council and residents
City Council, said: "The proposal has
“Bringing a new university
the potential to herald a new chapter
campus here will improve the area’s
in the regeneration of Hulme. As well
links with the city centre and it’s also
as the jobs it directly creates there
important to the university that it
will be significant spin-off benefits
brings the local community with it.”
for businesses as students and staff
John Brooks, Vice-Chancellor at
spend money in the area. Crucially,
MMU, said: “Birley Fields is one of
it will also open up new higher
the most intoxicating projects in
education opportunities for local
Manchester. It has proved to be a
magnet for innovative thinking on
The council’s approval has now
community engagement and has
triggered a consultation period and
a series of public reviews ahead of
a formal planning application in
January 2010.
During the summer staff from
Support for MMU’s proposed £120m
the 1990s and is now earmarked as
MMU and Manchester City Council
‘super’ campus has gathered
the future home of 6,000 staff and
attended over 30 consultation events
momentum since Manchester City
students from the Institute of
at schools, churches, mosques,
Council formally backed the scheme
Education and the Faculty of Health,
libraries and community groups.
in the summer.
Psychology and Social Care.
Questionnaires were also delivered
The Strategic Development
On a wider front it is hoped that
to thousands of homes and
Framework for Birley Fields in Hulme
the scheme will transform Birley
was approved by the council’s
Fields into a vibrant centre of
executive in June, in effect passing
education, with a new public square
per cent thought the proposals
been welcomed by our academic
the 45,000 sq metre brownfield site
and shared community facilities. An
would have a positive impact in the
departments which quickly realized
into MMU ownership.
independent study has shown that
area. John Cooper, partner at
the huge opportunities of investing
the scheme could deliver additional
property consultancy Drivers Jonas
in this challenging and rewarding
Road, Royce Road and Princess
local spend of about £24m a year
which is advising MMU, said: “The
Road, has been considered for
and create more than 800 new
respondents see this project as a big
commercial use since clearance in
jobs in the Hulme and Moss Side
improvement in terms of planning.
the opportunities for volunteering,
It’s the next phase of the regeneration
and local residents have voted
of Hulme, and in this economic
for six public engagement
climate it needed a public sector
fellowships that will create genuine
body to drive the transformation.
two-way knowledge exchanges
The site, bordered by Stretford
businesses in Hulme and Moss Side.
Of the first 700 respondents 79
Sir Richard
Leese, leader
of Manchester
Sir Richard Leese
“Students and staff have seized
Read Success, watch Success
As well as reading about the success
of MMU students past and present,
you can now watch them. To see videos of this
issue’s interview with Sir Alex Ferguson,
as well as previous interviews go to:
p02-05 news_2
Page 3
with the wider community.”
Brooks spent two years looking
improvement and economic
regeneration. A subsequent meeting
at expanding the university’s
with Manchester City Council
Didsbury campus before turning his
proved that my idea would not only
attention to Hulme. He said: “I was
garner strong political support, but
driving home when a thought
could also gather momentum as
struck me. I parked my car at the
the concept was shared and refined.”
roadside of an undeveloped
Brooks is now keen to see the
brownfield site I now know as Birley
plans come to fruition by 2012. He
Fields and imagined an education
said: “The opportunities for shared
and health campus located there,
services and collaboration with
where disadvantaged communities
local communities appear endless.
would have access to it.
School improvement and access
“I realised that on our doorstep
Green credentials
are high on all local agendas and
was an opportunity that would help
the impact of our faculties of health
to transform MMU and place us at
and education on local service
the heart of inner-city educational
quality will be profound.”
Green shoots
MMU goes up the green league
MMU has improved its environmental
recycling, energy sources and ethical
credentials after climbing 10 places
investment. Also only eight per cent
in a national league comparing the
of waste is recycled at MMU and
‘green’ performance of universities.
we are determined to improve that
environmental credibility of all
Hindley has set a long term target
universities and measures specific
of recycling 50 per cent of all
indicators such as carbon emissions
university waste. He is also looking
per head. MMU rose to 57th place
at other renewable energy sources
out of 135.
for the campus.
John Hindley, environmental
However he added: “It’s not just
sustainability manager at MMU,
about finding alternative energy
said the table was regarded with
sources. Saving energy is as
increasing importance in today’s
important as creating energy, and
highly regulated world.
ensuring people make informed
MMU’s own green efforts were
typified by the construction of solar
panels on the roof of its student
decisions is key to the issue of
climate change and sustainability.”
Among the campaigns to save
union earlier this year (pictured right).
energy is the ‘Big Student Switch
The power they can produce in one
Off’, a project involving 2,500
year (41,000 kWh) could keep 10
students saving energy in halls of
houses running for 12 months.
Elsewhere all 130 of MMU’s
Meanwhile new video conference
buildings are now energy certified
technology should also help keep the
while the university won praise at the
carbon footprint low because it
Sound Environmental Impact Awards
serves as a greener substitute for live
in April too.
conferences and meetings.
Hindley stresses though that there
With all measures taken together
is still room for improvement. “The
Hindley hopes to be knocking on the
Green League highlighted some
door of the top 50 in the list by next
areas of improvement for us such as
David Oates photography
The Green League assesses the
To read mor
about MMU e
inititiatives reen
go to:
/environmen k
p02-05 news_2
Page 4
Sporting connection
Sir Howard Bernstein
The region’s sporting economy just gets bigger and bigger
On the day England secured a
Institute for Biomedical Research
resounding qualification for the
into human movement and health,
2010 World Cup, MMU showed its
who touched on the impact that
own sporting colours at a major
specific training programmes can
conference in Manchester.
have on athletic performance.
Opening the conference,
Mike Frisbee photography
Insider’s Business of Sport
summit in September featured
Steven Broomhead, chief
presentations from several leading
executive of the Northwest
sports figures in the North West as
Regional Development Agency,
well as topical debates about the
underlined the wider significance
future of the industry on subjects
of sport to the regional economy,
region which it wants to help further
Bernstein said the same went
such as commercial innovation,
saying it was now roughly the
for cities as a whole.
sponsorship and the impact of
same size as the North West’s
new media.
aerospace industry and worth
that no-one could rest on their
proved a great sporting platform
around £6bn.
laurels in such a fast-changing
for Manchester but the one
environment. Manchester City
thing the city can never become is
Council chief executive Sir Howard
Among the speakers was
Professor Martin Flueck, professor
in muscle cell physiology at MMU’s
A strong theme of the day was
MMU itself has identified sport
as a key growth sector in the
“The Commonwealth Games
First steps
Scheme helps graduates get a taste for working life
An MMU scheme is giving
business support consultancy
the skills needed to
graduates their first taste of
Blue Orchid, help is at hand.
take the first steps
working life. The TalentPlus
The scheme, funded until
on their chosen
so well on
placements that
December 2010, offers jobseekers
75 college leavers improve their
a free three week course to learn
employment credentials and gain
better job hunting tactics,
graduates are given
invaluable work experience.
followed by a work placement of
the opportunity to do a
up to eight weeks in their chosen
work placement with a relevant
career sector.
North West-based business. So far which
participants have carried out project
uses alumni to help students and
this year are facing a tough
On completion,
they have managed
to secure
permanent positions."
Meanwhile MMU has
launched an e-mentoring site
challenge in the current jobs
The course is split into six
market, but thanks to a joint
intensive sessions focusing on
work for a range of organisations
recent graduates enter the world
venture between MMU and
skills such as CV writing, interview
fromprivate companies to public
of work.
techniques, presentation and
sector bodies, voluntary groups to
self- assertiveness.
business start-ups.
MMU's Dominic
several have done
programme has so far helped
Those completing their studies
career path."
For more det
about MMU
mentoring g
o to:
"They are getting involved in
The university regards alumni as
an increasingly important source of
new mentors and, as Judy Reeve,
Martinez said the
some really interesting work",
Employability & Careers Adviser at
course has proved
said Blue Orchid's Karen McKean.
MMU, explained, there has been
hugely popular
"Recent projects include
a surge of interest in e-mentoring
with jobseekers
developing websites, tackling IT
from students.
keen to stand out
issues and HR support. Graduates
from the crowd.
leave the scheme with valuable
result of the economic situation,
experience, better business
so we are keen to keep recruiting.
already have
acumen and the ability to really
Even quite recent graduates can
the raw talent
promote themselves in a very
make good mentors such as those
they need to
competitive jobs market."
who are in legal training contracts
succeed, but
She adds: "They are all reaping
“The interest is probably as a
or those who can help with
what the course helps them with
the rewards of what they have
recent experience of recruitment
is developing self confidence and
learnt from the process and
p02-05 news_2
Page 5
Students Tom Mills, Sam Cichuta
Colin Morrell and John Driscoll
David Oates photography
Anyone fancy a cuppa?
MMU students help artist recreate a corner of north Manchester
British artist Jeremy Deller who
in helping make this year’s
specifically wanted to recreate
experience was invaluable.
Manchester International Festival
scenes from Manchester to
“Rather than just designing and
“It would be nice if it could find a
a mouth-watering sight during a
showcase the city, its history and
drawing something it was a great
permanent home,” added Mills,
centrepiece procession.
experience to put those designs
“though I can maybe see it ending
into a finished product. Using tea
up on ebay or something!”
Students on the 3D design
Student Tom Mills said the
the grass-roots level.”
MMU students played their part
Students helped Deller build the
And what now for the café?
course got involved in helping
café, and also made it easy to
and nicotine stains we managed to
This year’s month-long arts
recreate a life-size replica of Bury
assemble and take apart which was
make the café look quite worn and
festival – which is held every two
café Valerie’s which adorned a
just as well as the café was later
old, even though we made it from
years – attracted up to 230,000
float during the procession along
moved to The Cornerhouse gallery
scratch. The whole project certainly
visitors to Manchester and built
Manchester’s Deansgate.
in Manchester where it formed part
helped us understand how the
on the success of the inaugural
of a wider Deller exhibition.
creative industry can work at
festival in 2007.
The work was commissioned by
p06-09 Graduates
Page 6
Times are tough for today’s graduates
but if they look hard and plan ahead they
can still find opportunities.
arlier this summer BT was
revealed that the number of
one of the first big names
graduate vacancies in Britain had
to axe its graduate
fallen by almost a quarter this year,
recruitment scheme for the year
much steeper than the 6.5 per cent
ahead. Since then there has been
decline in vacancies in 2002
a growing trend for others to follow
following the bursting of the
suit. For instance steel company
dotcom bubble.
Corus and Innocent Drinks, the
Information technology has been
popular purveyors of smoothies,
the hardest hit sector with a
have also closed their doors to
shocking 44.5 per cent decline in
young minds, and more big name
vacancies, according to the report.
company schemes hang in the
In another survey conducted by
High Fliers Research, only four
The news should come as no
sectors — the Armed Forces,
surprise given that a survey by the
retailing, the public sector and
Association of Graduate Recruiters
media companies — will recruit
p06-09 Graduates
Page 7
more graduates in 2009 than they
spokeswoman Jo Colclough.
continuing to work part-time during
did last year.
“It varies on how many applications
her final year.
So where does that leave
we get but it can be from 10 to
Kelloggs is no stranger to MMU
graduates looking for placements
150 people per job. I think it‘s a
having run previous graduate fairs
in this region? Luckily there are still
shame that some businesses are
through which they have employed
plenty of companies focusing on
being forced to pull their graduate
numerous graduates. The company
the longer-term such as Co-op
schemes, but I know the recession
has also attended the MMU
(see overleaf). As Mike Perls, chief
has hit some companies hard.
Professional Passports Scheme
executive of Manchester-based
Fortunately we are a big enough
which offers students a framework
marketing consultancy MC2 says:
“Forward-thinking businesses
know that bringing on board the
best talent early on is well worth
the investment.”
Perls, in common with other
company directors, has noticed
“Graduates need to either work
at getting their dream job
or lower their expectations.”
that competition for places has
been fiercer than ever this year
because so few businesses have
company to withstand this.”
to realise their potential in areas of
Kingsland Wines and Spirits,
academic study, work experience
been in a position to take on new
based in Irlam, Manchester, has
staff. “We had more than 300
also made sure it has included
applications for just three
graduates in its current recruitment
successful relationship with the
positions. You really had to stand
process. “We always have a varied
university and its graduates.
out to make our shortlist.”
response,” says spokeswoman
“The graduates we’ve taken on
Shontell Tunnicliffe.
from MMU have done well,” says
It’s not just PR agencies who are
still giving graduates a chance.
and leisure interests.
MC2 has also enjoyed a
Kingsland has previously taken
Perls. “I have a number of links
Food giant Kelloggs, whose
on graduates from MMU and in
with MMU Business School, which
European headquarters is in
2008/09 the company welcomed
gives particularly good preparation
Manchester, doesn’t have an
two students within its finance and
for the world of work. Our graduate
actual graduate scheme but is
marketing departments. The former
recruitment team works with
keen to employ graduates into its
has now returned to university to
careers advisers and gives talks to
entry level roles.
continue with their studies while
students, as well as attending
the marketing graduate is
graduate fairs. This can often act
“We are still recruiting,” says
as the first part of our assessment
scheme and can be a great
environment for talent spotting.”
Undoubtedly getting a job in this
current environment is tougher
than previous years, as Perls
admits: “We’ve heard stories of
people who thought they had a
place on a graduate scheme, only
to have it withdrawn just a few
weeks before they were due to
“There are jobs out there,
but it’s harder work getting them.
Graduates need to either work at
getting their dream job or lower
their expectations. It’s their
In such a climate what should
Mike Perls
graduates be doing to ensure they
on writing the best
application letter...
Accuracy is key.
In such a
competitive market,
a single misplaced
apostrophe or misspelt name can lead
to instant rejection.
CVs should
be clear and
concise, while
covering letters are
a chance to get your
personality across
and show your
knowledge of and
passion for the job.
If you don’t know
what the business
does, you shouldn’t
be applying.
Creativity is great
when done well,
but go over the top
and you risk losing
any credibility.
Never write a
covering letter
like an academic
paper. Always
remember that there
will be a person
reading hundreds of
applications at the
other end – keep it
short, snappy, clear
and memorable.
Page 8
David Oates photohraphy
p06-09 Graduates
get a foot in the door? “Review
positions, in particular, show
placements early on in your
employers that you have the ability
career,” advises Tunnicliffe. “And if
to sell yourself, communicate well
studying with a work placement,
and manage other people.
ensure that the company has good
“If you’re unsure about anything
prospects and a sound reputation
the company does, always give
when developing graduates.
somebody a ring. Most people will
Students need to make sure that
be more than happy to explain.
they get the right experience.”
Show some initiative and it could
Perls also advocates unpaid
reap dividends. We favour people
experience. “Prove yourself
who have the courage to pick up
invaluable over a couple of weeks
the phone.”
and you’ll either put yourself in a
Colclough agrees: “Students
strong position for a paid job or
need to be very proactive. CVs
you’ll have some good experience
must be in perfect condition.
to show to other employers.”
Showing some different hobbies
Being part of university life is
may help you to stand out from the
also seen as a positive, he says.
crowd, and be sure to mention any
“Make sure you get involved with
voluntary work you have done or
any university societies. Elected
are willing to do.”
Regional powerhouse
Being a graduate recruitment
market share across retail, banking
officer at a major UK business
and insurance markets, a growth
comes with its fair share of
spurred by its recent acquisition of
both Somerfield retail stores and
For Rachel Rotherham at the
Manchester-based Co-op group
Britannia building society.
Rotherham thinks it’s short-
that meant sifting through a
sighted to cut recruitment in a
staggering 1,600 applications this
downturn. “A lot of people in the
year for the company’s graduate
last recession cut off graduate
leadership programme.
recruitment but there was no talent
Although the business is one of
in the business to take it forward.
the few increasing its graduate
It is important to keep employing
intake – up to 18 from 12 – that
graduates, they are the future.
still equates to almost 90
“From our perspective we are
applicants per job. The group was
looking for future leaders of the
so inundated with applications that
business and want people who are
it shut its closing date five months
really committed. We are growing
early in February.
on all fronts.”
“There are jobs out there for
She adds that for graduates
graduates but just a lot less of
today the jobs market is not a lost
them. Students numbers have
cause. “It is about being prepared
increased so much in recent years
there are now a lot more
graduates coming onto the
market,” she says.
The Co-op, which employs
Graduates Hayley Forknall, Melissa Wilkinson,
Rosalind Marsh and Jamie Ward
Nothing ventured
f you’re a student past or
present in Manchester, then
there’s a good chance that the
the-wall jewellery.
The Palace has itself been the
breeding ground for its fair share
city’s famous Affleck’s Palace
of famous North West
and knowing what you want.
arcade will hold a special place in
entrepreneurs who had stalls
Someone applying to us needs to
your hearts.
inside, most notably Manchester
The warren of small market
do more than just read our
“We give them bonus points if
developer Tom Bloxham who
stalls spread over several floors of
started his business career selling
the building in the city’s northern
posters there.
they have actively been to one of
quarter has long been the
headquarters, is in a position to
our stores and really seen what we
definitive place for students to buy
Bruntwood approached MMU
expand because of its increasing
are about for themselves.”
posters, stock up their wardrobe
asking whether it would like to
with hip T-shirts or get hold of off-
take some space inside for free to
2,000 at its Manchester
Earlier this year Affleck’s owner
p06-09 Graduates
help entrepreneurial students
follow in the footsteps of Bloxham
and get a first taste for selling
their own products.
Marcus Lord, MMU’s business
development manager at the
Faculty of Art and Design,
snapped up the chance, thinking
the space would be ideal for
recent graduates from the creative
business development course.
Says Lord: “At first I wasn’t
Page 9
“I want my creative freedom
and feel I can make a better
living being self-employed.
You have to be really brave.”
“These were all people
the outside world is like.”
interested in selling their own
One of the first students to
Said Ward: “People come to
Affleck’s for precisely these kind of
one-off handcraft pieces, so it’s a
good place to be. You have got to
have a crack at it otherwise you
will never know.”
Another student was Melissa
Wilkinson, also 23, who was
selling her jewellery. “The last
thing I want to be doing is making
some mass produced product for
some big chain.
creations rather than working for
try their hand at Affleck’s was
sure how popular the project
big companies and it’s been a
23-year-old Jamie Ward who
would be but very quickly
great learning ground for them.
designs and makes his own
feel I can make a better living
I had a number of students who
Such direct experience really helps
furniture and would love to one
being self-employed. You have to
were really keen.
them find out for themselves what
day have his own workshop.
be really brave.”
“I want my creative freedom and
p10-11 Learning works
Page 10
David Oates photohraphy
MMU is hoping an innovative link-up
with a Cheshire vehicle dismantler will
help both shape government policy and
change consumer behaviour.
hen it comes to
just be repaired with recycled car
eco-friendly policies
parts. In the US this does already
the motor industry
happen, but here in the UK it
may be trying hard to raise its
doesn’t at all. Instead your
game. But as a tie-up between
insurance company will simply
MMU and one specific car
call up a particular bodyshop
dismantler shows, there is still a
which will then go away and
long way to go for the industry to
purchase a brand new part.
match its rhetoric.
For instance you might have
However one Cheshire
business, with the help of MMU,
thought in these environmentally
is trying hard to make the
conscious times that if you
industry head down the American
crashed your car then it might
route. Car Transplants, based
– 10 –
p10-11 Learning works
Page 11
recycle on their doorstep they are
more reluctant to recycle when it
Battling bugs
Research tackles infections
comes to their car. However our
survey has indicated that
MMU is continuing to lead the fight
provided you can guarantee the
against hospital superbugs with
quality they are happy to use
scientists turning to natural
recycled car parts.”
remedies to find solutions.
The findings of the research are
department of biological sciences,
Standards Institute.
Professor Valerie Edwards-Jones
A key element of the KTP
looking at how alternative
comparative carbon emissions
treatments from plant extracts to
data which shows the reduction
maggots can combat a range of
in carbon emissions by using
potentially deadly infections.
parts for vehicle repairs.
Another element involves MMU
A recent trial at Wythenshawe
Hospital's burns unit demonstrated
the power of natural oils in
helping the company, which is
attacking micro-organisms, and
sited in the green belt, analyse
she continues to work closely with
its pollution levels and find new
Wigan-based Scent Technologies
income streams for recycled
with her research.
Company facilities manager
“The product shows a lot of
promise and this is really exciting
Jill Grainger is full of praise for
work", said Edwards-Jones. "There
the partnership. “The key benefit
is still a lot of research to be done
for us is having a dedicated
and we're hoping to look at how to
member of staff who brings with
blend these oils into a number of
them all the resources of MMU
different carriers in order to keep
which would usually be out of
these superbugs at bay."
reach for a small company such
near Nantwich, has created an
has now spent several years
also involves MMU producing
recycled rather than used car
Grainger: Improving image of industry
From her base at MMU's
now being fed back to the British
Researchers are also hoping to
as ours. This initiative is also
raise awareness among the general
helping to improve the image of
public on the benefits of using
the car salvage industry.”
essential oils. "We would like to see
Linda Reichenfeld, senior
Reichenfeld adds that the
them used in general hygiene
online network of used car part
lecturer in interdisciplinary studies
KTP is a great example of the
products so that people can take
dealers and is working with
at MMU Cheshire, says the
university working with business.
their own precautions in protecting
insurer Allianz to distribute parts
initiative benefits the consumer.
“MMU Cheshire is a small
themselves from infection."
direct to repair centres.
“It could reduce costs for the
department and I have been able
motorist because they will be
to bring in other academics. In
natural materials as an alternative
using recycled parts. The big
Cheshire we are very close to the
to antibiotics upon which we have
The company began a two-year
Knowledge Transfer Partnership
The scientist's priority is to use
become too reliant.
“Although people are happy to recycle on
their doorstep they are more reluctant to
recycle when it comes to their car.”
Prof Edwards-Jones is also
researching a number of other
natural treatments.
For instance she is currently
finishing off a trial for Diabetes UK
looking at the eradication of MRSA
from diabetics' foot wounds with
(KTP) programme with MMU in
hurdle is that motorists don’t
local business community and
the aid of maggots, and exploring
2008 with the aim of researching
want what they perceive to be
have a large number of alumni
how silver can be used as an
customer perceptions of using
second class parts in their car.
working with local businesses on
anti-microbial agent in wound
recycled car parts.
Although they are happy to
various projects.”
– 11 –
p12-13 Fergie Interview
Page 12
To watch the
interview with
Sir Alex Ferguson go to
©Getty images
Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t go to university
but still has plenty of sound advice for
today's graduates. Speaking to Success
before receiving his Honorary Doctorate
in Business Administration from MMU,
we found out the secret to his success.
the legend, not least his insatiable
appetite for hard work and
endeavour. "Someone once asked
me what was your greatest
quality, and I see it as working
hard. I think working hard all your
t may be a well-worn cliché
life is one of the hardest things to
but it is an adage that Sir
do, but lying in bed does you no
Alex Ferguson is keen to
good, moping around does you
repeat very soon into our
no good. Work does you good, so
interview. "Life really starts after
you shouldn't be afraid of it. It is
your education and what you do
something that you should relish
with it. Just how much drive and
and look forward to."
energy you have to succeed in
this competitive world of today."
Today's graduates could
certainly learn a thing or two from
– 12 –
Sir Alex admits though that in
today's society such an outlook
may not always be as easy to
adopt. "It is not easy in the
p12-13 Fergie Interview
Page 13
“People are treating football as
modern world because you hear
people. People know that I’m in
Then you get into the training
of people retiring at 45 or 50. I’m
the office every morning at 7am
ground and see the young lads
an item for themselves, owning
67 and have never had one day
and know where I am. Time
and players in training sessions
clubs with untold wealth that you
off since I became an apprentice
keeping and discipline are without
and you know how much
wonder if it is really good for the
at 16. Working hard is a great
question motivation for people
you love it. It is a fantastic
game or good for that particular
quality. It is rewarding, self
working under you. Over the last
football club. I have a young and
satisfying and brings you self-
few years bit by bit members of
new team and want to see that
esteem. No-one but yourself can
my staff are coming in earlier.
judge what it means to you."
“Picking the moment is very
"My own qualities have
“The clubs involved cannot
complain because they see a
possibility of richer rewards ahead.
impacted on the club. The
difficult. Firstly in terms of getting
That has got to be the carrot.
personal reward and success can
working hard ethic, trying to keep
off the treadmill; secondly
But it is not easy winning things,
be a rocky one, but says learning
time, being in early. Inspiring
because of how much I’m
definitely not easy, and they’ll soon
how to cope with adversity is
people to be better. Sometimes
enjoying it; and thirdly because of
find out.”
another great asset. "Failure is
you have to drive your staff,
your health. You need your health
Sir Alex admits that the road to
not a problem, it is how you deal
with it that is the problem. If you
don’t deal with it you will fail
“Adversity has always driven
Manchester United on because
we don’t like losing. The
character we have in the dressing
room has to come to the surface
“Your attitude should be ‘I have
my chance, I am in this world,
I am going to succeed’. At some
point you will find your way.”
when we lose a game."
encourage them, have to man
to carry on working at my level
and with the UK facing its highest
manage them. The humans I am
and so far I’m fine.”
levels of youth unemployment for
dealing with today do not have
Sir Alex admits that having
a generation, that adversity is
the mental toughness of those
been on the treadmill for so long
most likely to take the shape of
I was speaking to 25 years ago.
he will not be able to “just stop”.
knockbacks in the jobs market.
That’s to do with the upbringing
Indeed an ambassadorial role at
of children. We want them to have
the club has been widely touted
students is that they shouldn't get
better lives and there tends to be
and he is not averse to the idea.
hung up about the competition.
a softer approach to life in
"Students shouldn't worry about
In a fiercely competitive world,
But Sir Alex's advice for
the number of people that have
His interest and passion for the
game will probably never diminish,
albeit that he has genuine
Sir Alex says the quality of a
qualified at the same time as
good team or workforce is the
concerns over the continued influx
them, that’s a negative.
strength of that whole team ethic.
of foreign money into the game.
"It is important that people
“I think there is an awful lot of
worth applying for a job because
understand the qualities of each
expenditure and you say to
hundreds will apply’ then that's
other and protect those qualities
yourself where is it going to end?
not a positive attitude. Your view
on a bad day."
That is exactly what was
“If your attitude is ‘it's not
should be ‘I have my chance,
happening in the business world
Given his still unbounded
I am in this world, I am going to
enthusiasm and passion for his
two years ago. There were warning
work, it is hard to see Sir Alex
signs and everyone knew there
finally hanging up his boots any
were, yet they carried on because
admits that even in the twilight of
time soon. After the retirement
it was so easy to access loans.
a phenomenally successful career
that never was a few years back,
he still learns much from others.
Sir Alex remains equivocal on the
yourself the warning signs are
there, but nobody seems to be
It is revealing that Sir Alex
So what do you need to be a
successful leader? Sir Alex has
“Sometimes I wonder whether I
“In the football world you say to
bothering about it. You wonder
just one word, inspiration. “As a
will be here in three of four years
where it’s going to go and what is
leader the most important quality
time, other mornings you wake up
going to happen if one major club
you need is the ability to inspire
and say have I done enough?
are to go, to collapse.
– 13 –
The facts
Sir Alex’s record at
Manchester United may
never be matched in the
modern game
(won 1093)
Games in charge
(at time of writing)
Premier League titles
FA Cup victories
UEFA Champions
League victories
p14-15 honorand
Page 14
This year’s class of MMU honorands come from a broad spectrum of backgrounds ranging
from sport and business to healthcare and the arts.
Gerry Yeung,
Professor Mike Jones,
director of
the Foundation for Management Education
Honorary doctorate in business administration
Yeung says there is no set path
Honorary doctorate in business administration
to business success other than
“skill, hard work and luck”. As he
Jones has been at the forefront of
particularly as all its programmes
added: “You have just graduated,
the global business education
are accredited by professional
you have this skill, enthusiasm,
revolution and is a former Director
bodies and associations.
youthfulness, energy and creativity.
General of the Association of
You just have to go out there.
MBAs. He has worked with MMU
that business schools have played
There is no set path, you never
Business School (MMUBS) for 15
their part in the recent banking
stop learning.”
years and sits on the school’s advi-
catastrophe in terms of making
sory board.
executives stick to rigid formulas.
Yeung admits that he has never
had a nine to five day, while there
Despite the massive explosion in
“Business schools should certainly
is no such thing as a free lunch -
business education Jones says
be giving thought to how they
even in his job!
there is still a considerable gap
approach business regulation,
between what universities offer and
business ethics and business
what business needs.
sustainability, and look for lessons
Yeung has had to question his
own business strategy in recent
times. In early 2009 he opened a
Jones says MMUBS is very much
boutique oriental style hotel in
at the forefront of bridging this gap,
As the co-founder and owner of
the centre of Manchester, but was
Manchester’s most famous and,
forced to close it down as the
arguably, most successful
recession took hold.
Cantonese restaurant Yang Sing,
Jones is happy to answer criticism
so the mistakes of the past are not
Dr Edward de Bono,
As he adds: “You always learn
Honorary doctorate of letters
Yeung holds a special place in the
from whatever mistakes you make.
Manchester business community.
You sit back and reflect on what’s
Thinking for yourself rather than
ception. Research shows that
happened and what is or isn’t
just searching for answers in
teaching my work as a separate
its founding principles was that it
beyond your control. I still strongly
today’s google-dominated world
subject increases performance in
would become an integral part of
believe that our product was
is just one of the many facets of
every subject by between 30 and
the city’s businesss community,
absolutely right and everyone who
Edward de Bono’s approach to
100 per cent.”
and Yeung has been true to his
stayed in the hotel loved it.”
modern life.
When Yang Sing opened one of
It’s a wider message that holds
The internationally renowned
Not suprisingly Yeung is a
De Bono believes education in
the UK is “incredibly old fashioned”,
leading authority on the growing
thinker has just launched his
while in terms of the use of
true for graduates embarking on
links between China and the UK
latest foundation centre at MMU’s
computers he has major
their career today. As Yeung
and the opportunities for business,
Crewe campus from where he
remarked to students when he
cultural and educational exchange.
hopes his ideas on creative
picked up his doctorate: “When
He sees the links as only growing
thinking will find their way into
put computers in front of young
you get out into the big wide
in time.
classrooms and boardrooms
kids they start believing that you
across the region.
don’t have to think for an answer,
world, if there is any opportunity it
“From a business perspective
One of the key drivers of the
“There is a danger that if you
would be nice for you to give a
alone we should from this end of
little bit of yourself to the
the world be looking at how we
foundation is to improve creativity
answer. That is dangerous.
communities to which you belong.
can attract investment from China
in schools. As he explains: “The
Thinking is the most important
That will make for a better world,
and how we can better access the
core programme is teaching per-
human skill, yet it is neglected.”
and you will be enriched by it.”
Chinese market.”
– 14 –
you just have to search for an
p14-15 honorand
Page 15
Sarah and Barney Storey,
Honorary doctorates in science
LA Olympics. “I was mesmorised.
sport. It is not just about the
there should not be any barriers to
most inspirational athletes. Sarah
The Storeys are two of Britain’s
Everything since then has been
facilities either, it is about the
getting involved in sport. “The same
was a swimming gold medallist at
about putting on that Birtish vest.”
people who run those facilities.
can be said for students,” adds
Barney says the key to success
Everyone is sports mad! We have
Barney. “All the opportunities are on
and then also took gold 16 years
has been their continued drive to be
great football teams in this region
their doorstep.”
later as a cyclist at the Beijing
the best while receiving great
but that is just the tip of the
support from family and coaches.
sporting iceberg. There are fantastic
journey you are on. It has to be
“Gold medals don’t come without
facilities all around the city.”
something that inspires you to get
the Barcelona Paralympics in 1992
Meanwhile her husband Barney
was also a double cycling gold
a lot of support behind you,”
medallist at Beijing last year.
he says.
Sarah remarks that her desire to
Adds Barney: “Just look at the
success of the British cycling team.
The couple are passionate
Adds Sarah: “You must enjoy the
up in the morning.
“Everyone is good at something
Without Manchester’s velodrome
and the challenge is finding that
represent her country goes right
promoters of Manchester’s fantastic
cycling in the UK would not be
something and nurturing the talent
back to when she was just six when
sporting facilities. As Sarah adds:
where it is now.”
you have whether it is in business,
she remembers watching the 1984
“Manchester is such a hotbed for
Nicola Shindler,
The couple are living proof that
Professor Kevin
TV producer
Honorary doctorate in arts
Although TV drama is still centred
on London, Shindler believes that
sport or education.”
yourself a particular skill-set, be
are full of character.”
Shindler says the key to success
passionate and be determined. In
Honorary doctorate
in health
when it comes to the wider arts
in such a cut-throat industry is
the current climate you have to
there are plenty of opportunities
knowing what you want. “It’s all
take any job in the industry or
for regional cities like Manchester
about finding yourself a niche,
work experience opportunity.
A leading physician at Manchester
to capitalise.
doing your research, and seeing
Then when you are in, look around
Royal Infirmary, Mackway-Jones
In particular she feels that the
who is making what and in what
and see what people are doing
has developed a major reputation
giant MediaCity development in
style, and who they are working
and how they work and learn from
in the field of life support and the
Salford Quays, which involves the
with. Be knowledgeable, watch
whole area of major incident
relocation of large parts of the
everything on television and have
BBC from London, can only be a
something to say.”
good thing for the region and may
Shindler believes that universities
have a major role to play in terms
She adds that it is not enough
management education.
He approached MMU several
of developing the stage and
years ago with a view to a
help revive the industry. However
for graduates to say ‘I want to
screen talent of tomorrow.
collaboration on higher degrees in
she warns: “Clearly it must not be
work in television’. “The question
“Universities are hugely important
health, and has since set up the
merely a temporary move. It must
they need to be asking is what
in this area, not so much in terms
Centre for Effective Emergency
be long-term and sustainable
they would would do in TV.
of job-ready skills but in that they
Care which has introduced a
To succeed you have to find
provide life experience. You learn
range of masters degrees for
to be independent and find your
professionals in the health service.
Shindler has been at the forefront of putting Manchester on the
own way.
drama map in recent years, most
“Actors such as Steve Coogan
Mackway-Jones says there are
more degrees in the pipeline and
notably through her landmark
and John Thompson, who came
his ultimate aim is that people will
productions such as Clocking Off,
to MMU, may not have known
associate MMU with the best in
Queer as Folk and Unforgiven.
where they would find work, but
emergency care and medicine.
She believes Manchester is such
they definitely learnt about and
a popular location for film and TV
how to do comedy.”
production because it is a very
strong creative centre.
She adds that it is great that
universities are increasingly
Meantime he is particularly
passionate about the continuing
growth of cutting-edge health
services and research, especially
“I think writers respond
helping people to become writers,
in Manchester, and how it can
to the city, its language
but adds that it would be good
directly link to health services.
and its stories which
to train more directors too.
– 15 –
p16-19 Creative writing
Page 16
MMU’s Creative Writing MA has provided
the spark for a whole class of writers to
change their career path and pursue their
life-long literary dreams.
Poet Laureate
Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate
and Professor of Poetry at MMU,
nationally known writers.
As Duffy explains: “Our
describes her role at the
students really benefit from
university’s Writing School as one
performing their poems to a large
she wouldn’t be without. “The
local audience. This is how I
most exciting element for me is
started as a young poet and it’s
running the poetry MA workshop
important to me to retain the
where we focus intently on new
connection between page and
poetry by the students, usually
performance, town and gown, in
concentrating on two or three
this context.”
poets each week.”
As Creative Director of MMU’s
Such sentiments from Duffy
Writing School, Duffy says she is
speak volumes about the strength
delighted to have established the
of MMU’s creative writing offer,
Manchester Poetry Prize and the
and offer which also extends far
Manchester Fiction Prize. “With a
children’s writing and also hopes
the university’s education outreach
beyond the classroom too.
first prize of £10,000 these are the
to establish a scheme called
largest prizes for creative writing
Mancheser Placements, short
of their kind in the UK.”
residences for postgraduate poets.
For instance the university
also has a strong relationship
with the Royal Exchange
Working with MMU’s Writing
Duffy also gives readings to
As Duffy adds: “Whatever the
future holds, my commitment to
living in Manchester and to
Theatre in Manchester where
School Duffy is also currently
children and to GCSE and A-level
teaching at the Writing School
student poets can work alongside
developing a new festival of
students who visit MMU as part of
remains central.”
Achieving the dream
When most people reach their
education in part thanks to the
book is set in her native Wales
sixties they are thinking of
new online part-time format.
and looks at how history affects
book deal, Strachan will
retirement. But Mari Strachan
us. The intriguing title refers to
publish her follow-up novel
has other ideas. With her first
all her life, Mari wanted to start
the fact that the earth does,
within 18 months but feels
novel already a hit, and a
afresh and the MA gave her the
according to scientists, hum at
under no pressure to write
second in the pipeline, her
confidence to persevere with her
the note of B flat.
every hour of every day.
literary career is just taking
ideas. She confesses it wasn’t
The novel’s protagonist, 12-
Instead she sees writing as a
easy doing an MA, but the hard
year old Gwenni, unearths much
career that never has to end.
work has paid off. She started
of her family history and indulges
thinking of retiring shortly
writing her first novel The Earth
in fantasy and investigation. Since
I’ve achieved my dream.
before starting a Creative
Hums in B Flat during her final
publication the book has received
At my age I’m so happy to
Writing MA at MMU, but was
rave reviews and also featured on
be keeping myself busy doing
Radio Four’s Book at Bedtime.
something I enjoy.”
Strachan admits she was
inspired to consider further
Having been a librarian nearly
As part of her two-year
Published in March 2009 the
– 16 –
“I’m just so thankful that
p16-19 Creative writing
Page 17
A tough, single life
For Maria Roberts, writing a blog
But that’s exactly what
Roberts, who hails from
listings magazine City Life where
started as something of a hobby
happened after her blog, with its
Manchester, originally graduated
she was kids editor and a general
after losing her job when a
witty and wry observations on life
in English and Spanish from
columnist. Her columns would
lifestyle magazine closed down.
as a single mum, developed
Manchester University and then
prove the forerunner to the blog
Never in her wildest dreams could
something of a cult following and
went on to do a novel writing MA and
she have imagined that her online
even won best personal blog at
at MMU.
when the magazine shut down
ramblings would one day be
the Manchester Blog Awards last
turned into a book.
After finishing that course she
landed a job on Manchester
she began pouring her creative
energies into her blog and other
Roberts isn’t afraid to tackle
tough subjects and as such her
decision to lift her anonymity on
“If I had remained
I would not
have been able
to talk freely.”
the blog was a significant one.
“As a writer if you are
passionate about saying
something it is better to say it in
your own name. If I had remained
anonymous I would not have
been able to talk freely about
those things.”
Roberts admits that her friends
think that she has invaded her
own privacy. But she doesn’t
agree. “I don’t think I have
because the thing I care most
about is writing about difficult
issues that women face.”
Roberts admits that her book
of the same name as the blog
could easily have turned into a
misery memoir, but she says she
made a conscious decision to
make it more light-hearted.
David Oates photography
“I deliberately made it
humorous and written in a very
chatty style even though the
subject matter is at times still
– 17 –
p16-19 Creative writing
Page 18
David Oates photography
Food for
You wouldn’t think a degree in
Food Manufacturing Management
would lend itself to writing novels,
but Nii Parkes has proved
After graduating in 1998 from
MMU he went into the food
industry, but didn’t stay long.
Now, 11 years later, he has
released his first novel.
Parkes decided that although
he enjoyed working in the food
industry it wasn’t what he wanted
to do long-term. This change in
career path saw him hire his own
literary agent and he had already
“The best writers
are true to
and do not
deviate from
their own
unique style.”
published some of his poetry when
he signed up to do a Masters
degree in Creative Writing at
Birkbeck College, London.
However 35-year-old Parkes,
who lives in Manchester, stresses
that an MA doesn’t teach people
how to write. “Students should
regard creative writing courses as
a springboard for their writing
careers. They are a fast track to life
in literature.”
Parkes believes the recession
has made publishers more
cautious. However in an
increasingly competitive market he
has managed to break through
– 18 –
p16-19 Creative writing
Page 19
Charlie Hedley photography
a work about power and faith. He
A change of direction
describes it as a detective story
An intensive creative writing
which frames a story of abuse
degree at MMU has propelled
within a family. He isn’t scared to
Andrew Forster to his second
throw in some of his own Ghanaian
published poetry collection,
language, which adds to the
Territory, which will be published at
lyricism and authenticity of the
the end of 2009.
with his novel Tail of the Blue Bird,
novel which is set in Ghana where
he grew up.
The Creative Writing MA, which
he did online while in full-time
His advice for writers is not to
employment, gave Andrew a boost
lose sight of who they are, and that
at a time when, in his own words,
to succeed in writing you need
he was “struggling to find
discipline and a willingness to
“You have to
have a good
idea of what
you want to
Forster is currently the literature
Forster was already a published
working in social care, but his
aspirations gradually shifted
towards writing.
Online courses are proving
increasingly popular for mature
students like Forster who have
daytime jobs. When he did his
online MA he was living in a
remote part of Scotland so access
to a local university was difficult.
As he says: “The online course
was ideal because you can work
officer for The Wordsworth Trust in
from home. Work is submitted via
writer when he started the degree
Grasmere in the Lake District, a
e-mail while internet chat rooms
sometimes produce work that is
in 2005, aged 41. Fear of Thunder,
role he fills while also finding time
are a substitute for seminars and
formulaic and written in a
his first poetry collection, is a
to write his own poems. His job
you talk to tutors over the phone.”
predictable fashion. The best
largely autobiographical work,
involves organising workshops
Forster has some simple but
writers are true to themselves and
drawing on relationships and
and poetry readings, while also
sound advice for graduates. “You
do not deviate from their own
childhood memories, whereas
working with poet-in-residence
have to have a good idea of what
unique style.”
Territory focuses on landscapes
Emma Jones.
you want to learn and avoid vague
“Creative writing students can
Parkes is currently working on a
such as South West Scotland.
Forster began his career
second novel about a UN soldier.
– 19 –
ideas,” he says.
p20-21 My thoery
Page 20
In this issue we review the debut works of three MMU alumni
The earth
hums in B flat
Single mother
on the verge
In All Probability
Mari Strachan
Maria Roberts
Pneuma Springs
Perseus Books
When a Mr Evans dies suddenly, apparently
This debut from Roberts is hard to categorise.
drowned in the local reservoir, the most unlikely
In parts it is classic chick-lit territory as she
detective steps up to the job of finding out how.
takes us through a young
Despite warnings from the police and most of
mother’s tangled love life while
all her concerned mother, young Gwenni
trying to bring up her young son.
Morgan embarks on a mission to find out the
However such a categorisation
truth, not only about who killed Evans but also
certainly doesn’t apply to the
about the truth concerning her own family
opening pages in which our young
history and the secrets which have been locked
mother is confronted by an
away for years.
Steve Morris
MMU alumnus Steve Morris realises his lifelong
In a cruel world of saddening revelations and
finally unearths the truth.
sinister undercurrent may be a liitle hard to
digest for some. Indeed one is tempted to
multiple storylines often intertwining to
ask why Roberts chose not to
add depth and intrigue to the story.
write a more serious novel
However the novel starts slowly
given the subject matter.
although this is in part deliberate as
the relevance of the early events
only become apparent later on.
an array of often elaborate
situations, ranging from the
mundane inability to remember
Given that the novel is inspired by
est sufficiently to make
the blog of the same name, perhaps it
us want to reach the end.
should come as little surprise that the
That said she establishes the
reader is confronted by such a style.
characters very well. They are all very
Churchill, each left to the
mercy of fate. His wry style
ensures the tales end with a neat
twist; some are amusing, while others are
designed to shock. This trademark finish, of
flipping the story on its head within the last
adeptly demonstrates his dry sense of humour.
and random thoughts.
not sustaining our inter-
sci-fi inspired Winston
paragraph, is one of Morris’ key strengths and
style which flits between events
between two stools and
But is there a wider message here for
would-be writers who fancy developing
their blog into something more?
Namely, does it automatically follow
vivid characters, which adds to the hype and
that a successful blog will translate into
confusion over the death.
a successful book? While the jury remains
The themes and messages of the book are
The book revolves around the
theme of chance. Morris creates
these concurrent themes isn’t
deliberate yet disjointed writing
on the edge of falling
novel is set is also packed full of gossipers and
to be crammed into just 137 pages.
The juxtaposition of
helped by Roberts’ very
However Morgan does teeter
developed. The small Welsh village in which the
imaginative style allows for 30 stories
in the story My Tune to the
return intermittently, as it does, to a more
human and easy to identify with, and are well
collection of short stories. His succinct,
For an essentially comic novel to
difficult circumstances, Gwenni persists and
Strachan’s novel is well crafted with
ambition by presenting his first published
out on that one, we still look forward to
In All Probability’s characters are deliberately
non-heroic, instead real people who find
themselves in abnormal situations. An assassin
with a unique technique, an almost-was football
player and a bitter long-forgotten one-hitwonder pop star are just a few of the random
figures who turn up within the book. And while
this may sound fanciful, the majority are
easily identifiable segments of society with
recognisable character traits.
Although the very nature of a short story can
thwart a reader’s ability to invest any significant
intellectual or emotional commitment into it,
In All Probability serves as a diverse
collection of tales, perfect
clear, and there is nothing deep or mind-
future work by Roberts who clearly has
for a quick read on a
boggling about Strachan’s story. It is a tale
a very natural writing flair.
coffee break or during
about human nature, truth and lies, and knowing
Her next novel is based around
who you are and where you come from.
the travails of a pig farmer, and
Despite a slightly far-fetched storyline the result
that certainly will give us
is ultimately an engaging and well constructed
something completely
novel considering this is her first book.
the daily commute.
Morris’ varied thematic style
means there is something to
entertain even the most ardent
of critics.
– 20 –
p20-21 My thoery
Page 21
arely a day goes by without some
supplements on a daily basis, although
story about the implications of
studies that have given women single-dose
women delaying having children and
high iron supplements have caused
how this affects their fertility.
GI problems too.
It’s a hot topic, but from a nutritional
Therefore including staple, iron-rich food
perspective the importance of nutrition before
within the daily diet may be another
and during pregnancy is a subject I have
alternative way to improve iron status in
been closely involved with for many years.
Although not related specifically to fertility,
Overall, I would say that nutrition is
my interest within the field began when
fundamentally important before, during and
I received a PhD scholarship at London’s
after pregnancy. Before, to optimise fertility and
South Bank University to investigate dietary
accumulate nutrient stores ready for pregnancy.
intake, levels of physical activity and related
gastrointestinal (GI) issues in women
throughout and after pregnancy.
It is very difficult to obtain data for the
early phases of pregnancy as many women
do not usually attend ante-natal
appointments until the end of the first
trimester. However, I managed to gain access
to St George’s Hospital which had an Early
Throughout, to fuel the development of the
growing foetus. And after to optimise the
nutrition composition of breastmilk and lose
pregnancy weight.
The wider issue here is that pregnancy
may contribute to long-term weight gain.
Women need to be guided about the
importance of being a healthy weight when
they conceive. Being overweight or obese at
Pregnancy Unit and obtain data throughout
conception increases the likelihood of
the entire gestative period which made the
medical complications during pregnancy.
study quite unique.
These include the development of gestational
Basically I found that both fibre (and fluid) intakes were both
diabetes, pre-eclampsia and delivery complications. When combined with
inadequate which exacerbated GI problems in pregnancy. Further work
incorrect levels of weight gain during pregnancy this may place women in a
is needed to study the importance of eating
fibre during pregnancy so that new dietary
guidelines, specific to pregnancy, can be
Talking generally, my advice to older
mothers would be not to panic.
Chronological age is not necessarily the
same as ovarian age. For instance if older
women have a healthy lifestyle they may
have a younger ovarian age. Although
higher BMI (Body Mass Index) category after
“My advice to older
mothers would be not to
panic. Chronological age
is not necessarily the
same as ovarian age.”
dietary factors can help to improve fertility
birth (contributing to the UK obesity epidemic).
Now that new weight gain guidelines have been
compiled by the Institute of Medicine,
government agencies and healthcare providers
need to support women in helping to remain
within the recommended weight gain ranges
during pregnancy. Research is also needed to
study the benefits of nutrition and exercise after
Overall, I would say that it is important
and support IVF, it is important to consider that many women are infertile
to promote the fact that women should think about their nutritional
because of other medical problems.
wellbeing (and body weight) when they are planning to conceive.
More recently, myself and colleagues at MMU were awarded research
Leaving it until pregnancy itself may be too late.
funding from the ROCHE Foundation for Anaemia Research to investigate
whether consumption of bread naturally rich in iron may help to prevent
If you would like further information in connection with this article
iron-deficiency. Unfortunately many women do not comply and take
please contact Dr Derbyshire at [email protected]
– 21 –
p22-23 Alumni_2
Page 22
Cathy Carr’s inspirational story shows that you’re never too young to pursue your dreams.
Elsewhere we catch up with other alumni embarking on new careers.
Cathy Carr
Carr sees working with the
3D Art and Design
community as a particularly key
Being diagnosed with ME proved a
stained glass windows and
life-changing moment in more
Venetian glass when a child. The
ways than one for Cathy Carr.
translucency, depth, reflective and
Unable to work any longer as a
emotive properties of glass
nurse, Carr decided to do some-
entrance me.”
thing serious with the second love
part of her make-up. For instance
After taking a foundation diploma
of her life, namely working with
in arts and design at Tameside
College near her home in Glossop,
“Rather than sit at home and get
with other artists in her area.
“I am motivated by the joy of
what I do, not the commercial
“Rather than sit at home and
get bored I realised this was
the perfect opportunity for me.”
Derbyshire, Carr then took her MMU
bored I realised this was the
degree followed by a creative
one of her projects depicted the
angle. I am interested in engaging
perfect opportunity for me,” says
business course. “I wanted the
decline of independent shops
with the arts involved with
the 51-year-old. “I have had a
inspiration to create my own work
from the big retail chains. Now she
healthcare, healing and exploring
fascination with glass as an art
and the ability to use new technology
has finished her studies Carr is
the positive impact art can make
form ever since seeing magnificent
integrated with old crafts.”
looking to form a co-operative
on lives.”
– 22 –
p22-23 Alumni_2
Page 23
Aisling McVeigh
History of Film, Photography and Graphic Media 2000
Catching up on sleep is proving the
a cameraman and I grew up around
such as newspapers
biggest challenge for Irish-born
it. However I started in print
and regional TV as
Aisling McVeigh as she hits the big
journalism because it is really good
they come under
time on our TV screens.
to get a proper grounding in local
pressure from those
news. It was probably the best
Aisling has joined GMTV as a
reporter and admits the punishing
nightshift is taking some getting
thing I ever did.”
“As things stand
She adds that her MMU degree
commercial regional
used to. “I’m typically doing 70 per
continues to prove useful too. “One
news is staying on
cent nights and 30 per cent days at
of the biggest things which I still
our screens until
the moment,” she admits.
think about is that understanding of
2012 but if it goes
how great images can tell a
after that date it
small price to pay for reaching the
fantastic story. You can effectively
would be a huge loss
top of her profession, admits
turn your report into a mini film.”
and I don’t think people would
However sleep deprivation is a
Aisling. She started working for
Aisling says once she moved into
realise what a loss it would be.
GMTV in the summer, joining from
TV it was like moving into a
So many things come from local
industry is going. You wonder
the ITV Meridian regional news
“different world”, not least because
regional news, especially when it
whether there will be jobs for
channel. Prior to that she worked in
of the ever-changing technological
highlights concerns in the local
talented people in the next few
regional newspapers.
demands. However she has
community for instance.
years and I have seen lots of good
Asiling says she had always
concerns about what will happen to
harboured going into TV. “My dad is
Craig Thomas
traditional forms of news provision
“At the moment it is actually hard
to see where the wider news
people made redundant in recent
Navin Chauhan
Diploma in Human Resource Management 1998
MSc in Psychology 2005
Aisling isn’t the only MMU graduate
He says there has never been a
“Although I had gained practical
now working at GMTV whom we
dull moment. “Over the last two
experience of HR prior to
Canadian health consultant and
have tracked down in this issue.
years there has been a constant
embarking on my studies, the
avid Success reader Navin
period of change with new
understanding of the theory behind
Chauhan is continuing to take a
technology being introduced into the
it and exploring new areas
keen interest in developments in
After taking his diploma at MMU
Craig Thomas moved to London
where he first joined law firm Clifford
Chance as a HR officer and then
moved to media group Emap as an
HR manager.
Thomas found himself looking
“Gaining the qualification
made me more marketable.”
after the music-related portfolio
business resulting in new working
definitely contributed to me being a
within the business which included
practices which I have overseen and
more rounded HR professional.
Kiss and Magic radio, music maga-
“Gaining the qualification also
Today he works for a Toronto
HR consultancy firm where he
specialises in ‘well-being’ service
delivery and related business
“One of the main things I do is
talk about stress and how to cope
zines Q and Mojo, and music
He adds that the size of GMTV
made me more marketable and
with it,” he says. “I do a lot of
events. “I thoroughly enjoyed
really allows him to “get involved
my career has really taken off since
work in call centres which can be
working in a creative business and
and set the HR agenda”.
a really stressful environment
was involved in big change
Thomas believes the key to success
management projects.”
in business is persistence and drive
In terms of his long-term goals
which is continually driven by the
he says there is plenty to keep
bottom line and sales. Managers
as well as a real passion for your
him occupied at GMTV for the
find our services useful for their
break-up of the Emap
business. “We all come across
time being. Although he adds:
empire, Thomas was
challenges and barriers in
“I would like to work abroad at
Following the
forced to seek
If anyone would like to get
business, but through deter-
some stage and experience a
in touch with Chauhan go to
pastures new and
mination we can break them
new country, language and
was offered the HR
culture. However I would need
navinchauhan or at email him
Director role at GMTV
Meantime he says his
to brush up on my linguistic
at [email protected]
skills first.”
in 2007.
diploma has proved invaluable.
– 23 –
p24 Venue North West
Page 24
Your guide on where to head in the city over coming months
Fans of all things scientific are in for
a treat when the annual Manchester
Science Festival returns for its third
In The City, the music
Rearing Wave,
Bronze scuplture
Maggi Hambling
festival that has launched
the careers of bands like
running shows every Wednesday
to Sunday through to the end of
the year.
Oasis, Coldplay and the
year. Running during half term week
Stereophonics, takes
between 24 October and
1 November, the festival
place between 18 and 20
comprises of up to 150 events
October at Manchester’s
After Burnley’s promotion from the
for families and adults at a
Midland Hotel and
Championship to the Premier
number of venues around
throughout the venues and
League there are now a host of
the city.
bars of the city.
Meanwhile Exposures,
North West clubs plying their trade
Eight bands that have played at
In The City in the past have gone
a student film festival,
in the top flight of football week in
week out.
is being held at Manchester’s
North Sea currently on show at the
on to share a total of 17 number
Cornerhouse theatre and Urbis
Lowry Centre until January next year.
ones singles between them,
Manchester Velodrome there are
showing just how valuable the event
three nights of cycling at the end of
can be for up and coming bands.
October as the Track Cycling World
museum in November, while the
Meantime the Lowry Favourites
Manchester Literature Festival
exhibition showing off LS Lowry’s
runs from 15 to 25 October in the
work runs at the Lowry until the end
of December.
Art-lovers can catch up with the
Cup Classics series stops off in
the city.
Now a permanent fixture on
work of Maggi Hambling, one of
Manchester’s calendar, the annual
The immensely popular
Britain's most distinguished
Manchester Christmas Markets will
musical Chicago comes
contemporary artists, who has an
once again be running throughout
to Manchester between 27
exhibition of her latest work on the
the city in December.
October and 7 November
at the city’s Palace
Science mad: Johnny Ball at last year ’s festival
Meanwhile over at the
Theatre. The multi award
winning production is filled
with choreography inspired
by Bob Fosse and a sizzling
score including the famous
numbers All That Jazz, Cell Block
Tango and Razzle Dazzle.
If comedy is your bag then
Manchester is the place to be in
coming months. The Manchester
Comedy Festival takes place in
the last two weeks of October,
comprising of various shows at
different locations around the city,
featuring both household
names and local comics.
From 25 November the Comedy
Store Manchester will also be
©2009 Chicago 2009 tour
– 24 –
Page 21
Thank you
Contributing to the MMU Fund
Since its launch in January 2009, over
100 MMU alumni, staff and external
businesses have chosen to support one of
the MMU Fund’s vital projects, including
student scholarships, bursaries, prizes
and the provision of world-class facilities.
We would like to thank all our
Founding Donors for their support!
Every charitable donation to MMU is
currently worth almost twice as much
to us thanks to a Government
‘matched’ funding scheme. So, by
deciding to donate now, your gift has
the potential to grow.
To make a donation or to find out more,
please go to:
Tel: +44 (0)161 247 3402
Email: [email protected]
Alumni & Development
Manchester Metropolitan University
Bellhouse Building, Lower Ormond Street
Manchester, M15 6BX, United Kingdom
Page 18
This publication is available in alternative formats. Telephone 0161 247 1692
Manchester Metropolitan University
Bellhouse Building, Lower Ormond Street,
Manchester M15 6BX
Email: [email protected]