International expertise: The value of international business graduates to the UK

Approximately one in three of all international students in UK universities study in a business school. Like their fellow domestic students, they benefit greatly from a world-class education in business and management, in particular by learning skills uniquely suited for the modern workplace. After graduating, international students can go on to use these skills to add immense value to UK businesses and the economy, employing their learnings from their programmes and bringing their own unique experiences to bear.

Here at Newcastle University Business School we are committed to extending the knowledge and enthusiasm of our students and graduates to local, national and global businesses. We pride ourselves on being internationally diverse, with students from 89 nationalities representing the Business School. Through initiatives such as our Business in Action Week, intercalating year placements, and internships, businesses across the North East have benefited greatly from hiring our international students.

The Newcastle University MBA programme in particular has a strong focus on the application of theory to practice. In the Business in Action module in particular, our students engage with organisations and undertake challenges. In addition to the many benefits these opportunities offer for our students, they can also be extremely valuable to the host organisations. Our partner companies benefit by working with a multicultural cohort who bring ideas and knowledge influenced by their geographically diverse backgrounds. This might include the provision of very specific advice in relation to international expansion opportunities or suggestions stemming from examples of best practice from our students’ home countries.

This is exactly what happened when two of our students undertook internships in a baby accessories company with world-leading products; ‘Mayborn Group’. With a vision to be the world’s most loved baby company, Mayborn pride themselves on their ability to work as one global team. As an international company with global headquarters in Newcastle, they are always on the lookout for fresh talent to join them on their exciting journey, in order to challenge their ways of working with new ideas and different perspectives; especially due to the ever-changing workplace.

Added international exposure is hugely valuable to companies, not only for the language capability, but international students also help to tap into local knowledge of global markets and cultures. At Mayborn Group, the interns’ insights on consumers and products culturally relevant to their own country, was invaluable when contributing to product development, claims, communication assets and packaging. Knowledge of local language, products and consumers also allowed our students to contribute to vital desk research.

Due to having worked in organisations in China before completing their education at Newcastle University Business School, Mayborn Group found the students to be very business savvy, therefore gave them the freedom to make contributions to process improvements within their own teams and ways of working, including excellent relations with their China and Hong Kong teams in particular. Studying at Newcastle helped the students to supplement their knowledge and experience of China, as well as other markets, allowing them to perform so well. It is due to this that Mayborn subsequently employed both interns on a permanent basis – something that would not have been possible without the International Post Study Work Visa. A further student of ours also obtained a role at Mayborn upon graduating, being offered a 1 year fixed-term contract who has also subsequently now secured a place as a permanent employee.

When asked why the International Post Study Work Visa was so important, Mayborn Group told us: “As a North East employer passionate about the region and creating opportunities here, we want to give something back and find that working with our local universities is hugely valuable in attracting the next generation of employees.”

Newcastle University Business School aspires to produce young, creative professionals with a cultural awareness that can help drive any business forward for today’s and tomorrow’s consumers. Providing these students with the opportunity to stay and work in the UK not only benefits their career opportunities, but also benefits national and global markets as the knowledge and skills-set they gain are transferred back to their home countries, better facilitating the cooperation between international workforces and businesses, something which is necessary for the Future of Work.