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More Netflix Than Blockbuster: How This UK MBA Is Preparing Students For The Future Of Work

Students on the Liverpool MBA learn about disruptive tech companies like Netflix and Apple and have easy access to a growing UK innovation hub


Mon Apr 15 2019

When Gaia Guardascione went to Liverpool, she’d only planned on visiting a friend. But the city hooked her, and she stayed for longer than anticipated.

Once she was there, her mission was to build a network, and find fulfilment in the business sector. It was then that she came across an open day at the University of Liverpool Management School and soon embarked on the MBA program there.

The Liverpool MBA, she says, exposes students to a multitude of sectors and professionals, and gives a holistic overview of what is happening to business in Liverpool, the North West of England, and the rest of the UK—it also positions itself as an MBA preparing students for the future of work in a world being re-shaped by digital technology.

Gaia, who studied an undergraduate degree in foreign languages in Italy before the MBA, says that the University of Liverpool Management School is based in a hub of innovation. She cites Unilever’s presence on Merseyside, as well as classroom projects focused on technology, robotics, and engineering.  

The Liverpool MBA also exposes students to business case studies focused on pertinent tech companies. Gaia explains that MBA students in her cohort were shown how companies like Netflix and Apple devise and implement innovative ideas within their companies, and how they are reshaping how we conduct business in the 21st century.

What skills will MBAs need in the future?

For companies like Apple and Netflix to thrive today, MBA students are shown that they must take risks and need to have the ability to approach innovation with multiple perspectives: this will form the basis of the MBA skill set of the future.

“It’s helpful for me to see sometimes we are embedded in our own point of view and restrain ourselves to move forward,” Gaia says. The MBA, she adds, is preparing her to be more Netflix than Blockbuster.

“It’s broadened my vision and helped me realize that if I have intuition for something new and scary that’s not necessarily a bad thing if I can pursue it, and feel value that it might be the next breakthrough.”

Joanne Lyubovnikova, senior lecturer in organizational behavior at the University of Liverpool Management School and a qualified occupational psychologist, explains that alongside innovation, MBA students will need to be adept at managing diverse teams, whether in person or virtually as the world of work changes.

“People typically work across many different teams with lots of different demands now,” she says, “and that offers lots of learning and innovation opportunities but also a real strain in terms of being efficient and productive.

“It poses challenges for managers and leaders who have to develop trust from a distance.”

How does The Liverpool MBA prepare students for the future of work?

Joanne—who teaches Leadership, Management, and Organization, as well as Developing as a Manager and a Leader on the Liverpool MBA—explains that in the latter she focuses strongly on self-development, and students undergo a psychometric tour to assess the extent to which they see themselves as leaders in the workplace.

One of the assessments from last semester, she says, placed students into diverse groups and challenged them to take a traditional job role and redesign it for the 21st century.

As well as putting into perspective the changing nature of work, Joanne explains that it also pushes MBA students to think critically about how they work together in a team, and to ask difficult questions around what they’ve learned about themselves as a team member.

This equips them with the skills to move straight into a modern workplace—to which one of the most salient changes, Joanne explains, has been an organizational design shift towards a more boundaryless network of employees, who are more reliant on multidisciplinary, multicultural teams.

Technology too has exponentially changed the way we work. Joanne says that this goes beyond the creation of virtual teams and boundaryless work; it includes the pertinent themes of artificial intelligence, automation, and job displacement, and what that does to the meaning of a human worker in the digital age.

Joanne says that there is now pressure on leaders to ensure people are behaving ethically when faced with these dilemmas.

In Developing as a Manager and a Leader, MBA students at the University of Liverpool Management School will be taught to think how in this way, and how to fine tune their moral compass.

The hope is that this will create servant leaders, Joanne says, citing research that shows the most effective leaders are those who put their followers needs first, potentially at times above those of the organization itself.

Through harnessing a follower-nurturer mentality, she concludes, leaders can get the best out of their workforce, cultivating a culture of trust that will be the driver of productivity in the digital age.

Student Reviews

University of Liverpool School of Management




On Campus

My experience in UOL

Well I won't tell you about all the great things about this university. But I'll just tell you my honest experience about it. I have visited almost all the places here. This university knows how take care of their students. Be it any aspect, be it career and placement department, be it societies, be it organising committees, they know what all issues a student can face and they are ready with the solutions already. Professors here are so welcoming. You can literarily bother them ample number of times but they will still be so nice with you. They actually put a lot of efforts to make letures more fun. They try their best to focus on each and every student and check if they are comfortable or now. Coming to the offerings. They know that there will be a lot of international students and there will be a lot of issues they will face in adjustment over here. So they organised a lot of events, distributed a lot of free vouchers just to make students feel welcomed over here. Trust me if you are looking for a Uni for yourself or for someone, do add this one on your priority list.




On Campus

Fantastic school

The lecturers are incredibly experienced in their field of study, and it shows when they teach. They know what they are talking about, and that instills a level of trust that you have made the right choice coming to this university. They are supportive and charismatic - exactly how lecturers should be! The accommodation is all fantastic too. Homely, comfortable, so close to campus. Even Greenbank, which is a 15 minute bus journey from campus, has its perks (heavily discounted bus pass - from £400 to £60 and free gym membership). There are so many societies too! Literally one for everything. During the society fair, they were all so welcoming which is so great to see. The lecture theatres are all top-notch too. It feels so modernistic. It really feels like I have had a big step up from sixth form to university. I made the right choice by coming to UoL!




On Campus

Original RedBrick Review!!

The Marketing Course at this uni a great course with exceptional industry connections - for example a brand assessment centre from The Hut Group and an assessment centre at Anfield Football Stadium! The campus is great as it is all connected and everything can be found there - so whether you are a Starbucks or Cafe Nero kind of person the campus has everything. Freshers is great with campus tours, city walks and course talks to connect you with fellow coursemates. Halls was also a great experience - I loved the halls packs where you can get free tshirts, baking kits and we even got free dominoes pizzas!!




On Campus

Enjoyed every aspect of it!

My experience studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool has been amazing! All the lecturers and students have been so lovely and helpful. The management school building is my favourite place to study. I would recommend studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool because the content is so engaging and the assignments are creative.






Perfect learning methodologies and curriculums, the most i liked about my learning experience with University of Liverpool is the professionalism, in delivering the subjects and helping the students gaining more knowledge.




On Campus

Amazing course

The marketing course at UOL is great the lecturers are helpful and provide in-person and online resources to succeed in assignments, and the careers department is extremely helpful. The modules are all relevant and have expanded my understanding of the marketing industry and consumer behaviour, social media and so on




On Campus

The Best Experience

Currently in my Second Year studying Marketing at the University of Liverpool. Due to the big student culture in Liverpool, you soon feel completely at ease and at home. Staff are extremely helpful - there is always opportunities to ask for additional support/guidance. Each module is clear and well organised - this definitely helps in first year when it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with the new workload. It’s very easy to find your way around due to it being a campus university as everything is in close proximity. I lived at Greenbank accommodation in my first year and the staff are so helpful and make you feel very well settled. There is a huge community feel and the modules are interactive meaning making friends is much easier and a lot less intimidating. If you’re considering attending this university and I honestly couldn’t recommend more - you’ll have the best experience!




On Campus


One of my favourite things about this university is the diversity of its people. I met so many different people during my time here, from all different backgrounds and experiences. Not only did these people provide me with insight and knowledge into their own cultures and beliefs, they also allowed me to learn about and understand different ways of life that I would have otherwise never been exposed to. The tutors were also incredibly supportive on this course and allowed me to excel.




On Campus

Great university!

I did my undergrad in film studies at LJMU and I honestly could not recommend it enough. It has the perfect mix of practical and theory work that prepares you for any job possible in the film industry, from lighting tech to AD. The university lecturers were also very attentive, and I felt comfortable enough with them to seek their help if I ever had an issue or concern, academic or personal. LJMU gave me experiences I would not have got anywhere else, offering summer placements completely free that broadened my horizons. The fact the campus is interspersed around the city also makes it very convenient.

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