Guest speakers share their secrets to success!
With our final Business and Leadership group leaving us this Friday, we are fondly looking back at one of the highlights of the course.
Our first guest speaker was Rob Woodward, CEO of STV, who spoke to us about his leadership philosophy and how he managed to turn a failing organisation into Scotland’s leading digital media company. His leadership style surprised many: he is softly-spoken, inclusive and a ‘team player’, yet unafraid to follow his gut instinct and make executive decisions when necessary. Though he now leads roughly 400 permanent staff members, he makes a point to meet every single employee face-to-face, leading the company like a football club rather than an average media conglomerate.
Aziz, a Leadership student from France, found Rob Woodward’s career and leadership style fascinating.
Rob Woodward biography
Rob is the Chief Executive Officer of STV Group plc. This is the leading digital media company in Scotland. Rob was previously the Commercial Director for Channel 4, and has over 20 years’ experience in corporate finance within the telecommunications industry. He is Pro-Chancellor at City University London, serves as a non-executive director of on the Board of Regenersis plc and on the Board of Trustees of Nesta. Rob has a BSc Hons from the University of Durham and an MBA from Edinburgh University.
“We were so lucky to have Rob Woodward as our guest speaker. He told us how to take a chance in life and in business, to stand together, to strive to surprise – essentially, to be bold. It was really inspiring.”
This week the Principal of Oxford University’s Lady Margaret Hall and former editor-in-chief of The Guardian, Alan Rusbridger, spoke to students about his fascinating career. As the editor of a major national newspaper for 20 years, Rusbridger led a digital transformation within the newspaper and left such a mark on the media landscape that he was appointed Chair of the Steering Committee at The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.
One of the defining moments of Rusbridger’s career stems from his bold decision to defy the UK government by destroying hard drives containing information leaked to The Guardian by Edward Snowden. He has inspired people across the world to speak out against state and media corruption – having published stories from Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame and blowing the lid on the Rebekah Brooks phone hacking scandal – and even has an album named after him by German band Woog Riots.
Rusbridger spoke to us about the challenges facing news media in the 21st century, charting the history of The Guardian from its founding in 1821 until today. Traditional journalism is becoming increasingly difficult and unprofitable in the face of societal change, digital media, social media and the rise of “fake news” – so how can these valued institutions adapt to the modern world and better inform the public? Rusbridger’s unique insight was absolutely fascinating: one of our students, Lisa, commented: “I’m a journalist, so for me it meant a lot to be able to listen to Mr. Rusbridger’s talk.”
Alan Rusbridger biography
Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of the Guardian newspaper and current Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Alan has over 40 years’ experience in journalism, working mainly for the Guardian and working his way up from reporter, to columnist, to deputy editor, to editor-in-chief. He was responsible for launching the Guardian Online website and completely redesigning the newspaper to appeal to European audiences in 2004. Alan is now Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, has published three children’s books and is a governor of two organisations helping to promote international relations and a positive response to climate change.
On behalf of St Clare’s, we want to thank both guests for taking the time to speak to us, David Brooke for securing the speakers, and our students for proving to be such an attentive audience. We hope that our graduates apply some of our guests’ advice in their future careers!
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