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Students Natalie Kavanagh and Paul Devlin with the College Principal and officials from GuildHE

 

Students Natalie Kavanagh and Paul Devlin with the College Principal and officials from GuildHE

 

St Mary’s University College was pleased to participate in the 2015 Human Resource Management (HRM) international conference on “Diversity in the Workplace” held recently in Iasi, Romania.

Paul Devlin and Natalie Kavanagh, two St Mary’s students in the second year of study on the BA Liberal Arts degree, were joined by other students from the Saxion University of Applied Sciences in Deventer, Holland; the University of Applied Sciences BFI, Vienna; the Katholieke Hogeschool, Leuven; Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iasi, Romania; and the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki.

Students from all six countries formed international groups to analyse case studies that focussed on several aspects of diversity within the workplace. Most of the cases were based on real events. The international groups presented on the final day, identifying not only the major problems and issues within the cases, but also providing bespoke HRM solutions for each case. The disability case study was designed by St Mary’s Senior Lecturer Peter Stevenson.

The keynote speaker was Professor Ovidiu Gavrilovici, a well-known international consultant on diversity, while representatives from a number of Romanian companies explained how they managed diversity within their organisations.

The students did have some time to see the wonderful city of Iasi, home to five universities and almost one hundred Orthodox churches. In addition, the students had the chance to see the oldest church, the Princely Saint Nicolas Church, which dates from the reign of Stephen the Great. The Palace of Culture, currently under restoration, was equally magnificent.

 

Paul Devlin and Natalie Kavanagh with Peter Stevenson, Senior Lecturer in Business Studies

 

Paul Devlin and Natalie Kavanagh with Peter Stevenson, Senior Lecturer in Business Studies

 

Many St Mary’s students have found employment in a human resource capacity in the past and are likely to continue to do so in the future. This conference not only increased students’ knowledge of HRM as a discipline, it also allowed students to work in teams, finding innovative and creative solutions to real problems. These employability skills should prove attractive to prospective future employers.