Bournemouth University


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Food for thought as knowledge transfer has real impact

The Research

Thanks to the skills of BU's graduates, who helped leading food company Dorset Cereals improve its production capacity and web based marketing communications - the company quadrupled the size of its business within two years.

It is a graphic example of how BU's Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) Schemes are transforming the fortunes of many leading businesses, as talented graduates working in key positions within the companies bring real added value.

Head of Business Development in the School of Tourism, David Kilburn has also worked with a range of other leading food companies in Dorset on KTP schemes. Including Olives et Al, Fudges Bakery, Sun Cottage Wholefoods, and Primal Foods.

But that is just one aspect of the Associate Professor's work at BU.

He has also been instrumental in ensuring challenging placements with blue chip companies and very high levels of graduate employment for BU retail management graduates - ever since the course started in 1989.

By using his networking skills for the past 23 years with major retail companies to undertake Consultancy Projects each year, he has ensured that those students completing their studies have the edge in the employment market.

Graduates from the retail course in time become senior managers who are then in a position to recruit graduates and placement students from the BU retail course.

This year, given the challenging economic climate, David has also ensured that first year students have obtained short paid summer placements with leading companies such as John Lewis, Clarks, and Homebase.

The Academic

KTP schemes are a fantastic way of engaging with local companies to increase their knowledge and profitability, but alongside that, we need to ensure that we maintain our networks with students whilst at BU. That way, when they leave and become experienced managers themselves, they automatically think of BU when it comes to offering placements, graduate employment, consultancy projects and applied research. All too often academics get immersed in their research interests and sometimes forget that our current students can and will become lifetime ambassadors for BU if only we engage with them in a way that they will always remember.

Associate Professor David Kilburn

The Student

I would highly recommend people studying the retail management degree at Bournemouth University. The course has made a significant impact on my career and I have no doubt that I would not have attained such a high status position if I had not had the good fortune to study retail at BU. Although the course is very demanding the tutors, who are all experienced former industry practitioners, are extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They really drive you on so that you meet or exceed your potential.I am so impressed with the course that I have regularly employed retail graduates from BU both in the UK and also Kuwait. Long may this course continue to produce outstanding graduates.

deVere Forster, Managing Director of Alshaya Group, Kuwait

The Impact

When I started work with Dorset Cereals the website was plain and there was no reason for customers to come back to the site. I worked with the team within Dorset Cereals and our design agency to create a new website that would generate more visits and importantly communicate our brand values. Before BU's involvement the company had 16,000 email addresses on its database, now we have over 200,000. It has been a fantastic success.

Harriet McKay, Communications Manager, Dorset Cereals