The Masters Extra (MX) programme is designed specifically for taught masters students in the School of Management and focuses on careers, and personal and professional development. This series of talks, workshops, networking opportunities and activities includes guest lectures from leading academics and experienced managers.
Through regular attendance, participants can enhance their career opportunities and earn a Certificate in Career Development. To qualify for a certificate, students must sign in and attend a minimum number of MX sessions across two semesters.
MX is an integrated programme between the School of Management, CEED (Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development) and the University Careers Centre.
For 2020-2021, MX will be presented live online via MS Teams. Formats 1 and 2 enable students to view the initial presentation or interview beforehand, and send in questions for the speaker to answer live during the Teams session. Format 3 is a live talk, followed by questions and answers, during the Teams session.
The outline schedule below includes speaker profiles.
Outline schedule 2020-2021 Semester 1
Thursday 10 September 20202pm - 3:30pmTeams
Introduction to MX Programme, Careers Centre and CEED
Dr Mahmoud Khalik, MX Programme coordinator, will introduce the programme and this year's session formats.
Kate Smith is an entrepreneur who has worked globally, in cities including Moscow, St Petersburg, London and Boston, USA, as well as in her native Edinburgh.
Her expertise lies in communications, magazine publishing and education. Her talk will reflect her experience as an entrepreneur.
Wednesday 23 September 20204pmTeams, Format 3
Rie Schimmell, Entrepreneur
Rie Schimmell (MLitt Marketing 2014) went to Kuala Lumpur to work as a C-level recruiter. But only two weeks after arriving in Malaysia, she almost died from dengue fever. This was a turning point, which led Rie towards working with her passion: food.
In 2016, Rie started her first company, Syltet (meaning 'pickled' in Danish) where she pickles vegetables and sells to over 130 shops in Denmark. The business will soon expand to markets like Germany and the USA. In 2020, Rie sold 85% of the company to the oldest vinegar factory in Denmark and is now working towards becoming the leading pickle company in the world.
This MX talk will be about entrepreneurship and Rie's journey with Syltet. How do you go from having a good idea to actually starting your own company? What has Rie learned from the mistakes she has made?
Wednesday 30 September 20204pmTeams, Format 2
Stephen Ingledew, CEO, FinTech Scotland
Stephen Ingledew is the Chief Executive of FinTech Scotland, which was established by the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh and the private sector to drive economic growth in financial services through innovation, collaboration and inclusion.
A focus for FinTech Scotland is bringing together a number of key drivers for the sector, including:
ideas and creativity of entrepreneurs and innovators
resources and experience of the established financial sector
capabilities of technology firms
economic and social objectives of the public sector
innovation environments of accelerators and incubators
capital of investors
expertise of professional services firms
people development by skills agencies
research and development from the universities.
Throughout his career, Stephen has implemented customer focused, technology enabled, profitable initiatives in financial services organisations including Standard Life, Barclays and small innovative enterprises. He advocates making financial services more open, creative and inclusive through:
using new technologies
encouraging diversity and progressive ways of working
improving collaboration across stakeholders and participants.
Stephen is a non-executive director of Marketing Edinburgh, and a regular contributor at conferences, where he speaks about customer strategy and execution, fintech and insurtech innovation, and business change leadership.
Wednesday 7 October 20204pmTeams, Format 3
Christoph Scherf, Senior Analytical Lead and Senior Data Scientist, Google
Christoph Scherf graduated with an MLitt in Marketing (2013) from the University of St Andrews and received the Macallan Marketing Prize. A few months after graduation, he joined Google where he has worked in several roles and locations. In 2019, he took on a new opportunity at Google, moving to Tokyo to manage the start-up phase of a new team. In his professional life, he is passionate about everything automation, machine learning and performance marketing.
In his talk, Christoph will discuss his career at Google, what it's like to work at Google, how Google hires, what its culture is and what a day in the life of a Google employee looks like.
Wednesday 14 October 20204pmTeams, Format 3
Dr Stephan Rinck, Business Development Executive, IBM
Artificial intelligence is redefining the very meaning of being an enterprise. The rapidly advancing artificial intelligence (AI) capability is on its way to revolutionising every aspect of an enterprise. The ability to access data has leveled the playing field and brought every enterprise a unique possibility of progress.
Stephan Rinck's MX talk will refer to recent research from IBM's Institute of Business Value (IBV). Stephan will illustrate the presentation with examples from several IBM clients – showing the context and relevancy of AI for enterprises.
Wednesday 28 October 20204pmTeams, Format 3
Cathy McDonald, Founder, The Art of Communication
Cathy McDonald served as a police officer for 32 years. For over a decade, she was responsible for training hostage and crisis negotiators both across the UK and internationally, and she held responsibility for the national training portfolio for Police Scotland.
The full title of her MX talk is 'Communicating differently: connect, understand and influence - communication tactics from the world of hostage and crisis negotiation'.
When Cathy was a police officer, she deployed operationally and advised commanders in respect of negotiation incidents, including kidnap and extortion, firearms incidents, suicide intervention, protests and any incident where communication friction or barriers were present.
Cathy completed her police service in 2015 and set up her 'one woman business', The Art of Communication. She now offers individuals, teams and businesses a structured and alternative approach to all things communication. Her work is conveyed in a way that is fully professional – also lighthearted and interactive.
Outline schedule 2020-2021 Semester 2
Wednesday 27 January 20214pmTeams, Format 3
Tamara D Plocher, Strategy Consultant, Accenture
Tamara D Plocher graduated in November 2016 from the University of St Andrews with a Masters in Finance and Management. After her time in St Andrews she worked for a year for a German startup company called Homelike, an online platform where users can rent long-term serviced apartments. She then moved her career towards management consulting.
She is currently working for Accenture Strategy in Germany and consults companies in diverse industries in sourcing and procurement, with particular focus on sustainable cost reduction and how to increase procurement efficiencies.
Tamara is a passionate tennis player and received a full sports scholarship for her Bachelors degree in the USA. She still enjoys the sport in her free time.
In this MX session, Tamara will provide insights into her day-to-day job as management consultant. She will give advice on how best to prepare for the application and interviewing process and answer any questions that students interested in consulting might have.
Wednesday 3 February 20214pmTeams, Format 3
Dr Jose Godinez, Assistant Professor in Management
Jose Godinez is an assistant professor of management at the Manning School of Business at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. His research centres on strategies of firms operating in locations characterised by unstable institutional environments, especially those that present high corruption levels. He is also interested in understanding how institutional voids affect the development of strategies of firms targeting populations at the bottom of the pyramid within the CSR conversation.
Jose earned a PhD in Management from the University of Edinburgh Business School, an MSc in International Business from the University of Manchester Business School, and a BS in Business Administration from the Johns Hopkins University.
Wednesdays 10 February 20214pmTeams, Format 3
Helen Honeyman FCIPD, Head of People and Communications, Lothian Pension Fund
Helen Honeyman has led teams responsible for HR employee relations related policies, products, governance and wellbeing programmes for over 68,000 people worldwide. She was responsible for the turnaround in culture and attitudes to wellbeing at the Royal Bank of Scotland.
Helen's career has included over 15 years of varied experience covering most HR disciplines. Working in the risk, governance and control environment within HR, she has led teams in delivering strategic change.
Helen has a passion and enthusiasm for all aspects of wellbeing, especially around lifting the stigma associated with mental health and creating a culture which is fully inclusive, where people feel able to talk and be themselves, valued as individuals.
Wednesday 17 February 20214pmTeams, Format 2
Thea Karlsvik, Global Investments and Partnerships, Snap Inc.
Thea Karlsvik started her career with Accenture Strategy London in 2016, becoming one of the quickest promotions in Accenture Strategy's history. She specialised in the consumer goods space, working with some of the biggest CPG companies in the world. During her tenure with Accenture, she worked across a range of geographies including Japan, South Africa, Dubai, US, Paris and Dublin.
After four years in the consulting space, Thea decided to put theory into practice and joined the tech space at Snap. Better known as Snapchat, Snap, Inc. is at heart a camera company and aims to allow people to share the moment with the people that matter. Having perhaps started as a smaller player, Snapchat has seen tremendous growth and now reaches 90% of 13-24 year-olds in the USA, making their reach bigger than Facebook, Messenger and Instagram combined. The move from consulting into tech required a huge shift in working style and mindset, but has highlighted that change, although at times hard, should sometimes be welcomed!
Yvonne Tindal graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Masters in Business Studies & Law. She has ten years of experience in in the Scottish food industry, in roles including:
market analysis and insight generation
development of consumer brands
online content management
working with food producers and supermarket retailers.
Yvonne works at Mowi Consumer Products UK, the world's largest producer of Atlantic salmon. This discussion will focus on her career in the food industry, with an emphasis on marketing.
Wednesday 3 March 20214pmTeams, Format 2
Mo Farid, Entrepreneur and CEO, Qorelink
Mo Farid started his career as an electrical and mechanical engineer with a focus on IT and smart solutions. After obtaining his MBA he moved to strategic planning and change management. He worked alongside CEOs of large corporations in banking, finance and real estate across the globe, helping them formulate and achieve their vision.
At Qorelink, Mo has developed a programme for education leadership around IT change management, using lean methodologies. The programme delivered exceptional results with schools reporting increased efficiency and management workflow. He finds extreme joy at improving efficiencies in all businesses and he incorporates it in his IT and strategic solutions. Mo is a commercial pilot and enjoys flying to meet with clients across Western Australia.
Wednesday 10 March 20214pmTeams, Format 3
Greg Thain, Serial entrepreneur and investor
Greg Thain has seen dramatic change of business over the last 45 years. When he started, there weren't even electric typewriters, let alone computers. Four public company floatations, working a year for Branson, and spending 25 years in emerging markets, give a huge amount of insight.
Greg will discuss:
how business is in a complete process of change
how companies need to be either very big or very niche