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The University of Southampton
Southampton Business School

Project Management MSc Competes in Regional APM Challenge to Tackle ‘Wellbeing in the Workplace’

Published: 19 December 2019
Project Management MSc Competition

Project Management (PM) MSc saw a very busy November by participating in the entrance of a regional competition organized by the Association for Project Management’s (APM’s) Wessex Branch, themed "Wellbeing in the Workplace". Previous cohorts who very successfully attended the 2015- 2017 competitions (did not run in 2018), cherished the experience, specially the added value for their CVs and employability.

Each participating university, i.e. Southampton, Winchester, Bournemouth and Portsmouth besides BAE Systems’ interns could send only two teams for competing at the knockout night on 19th November at Ageas Bowl. Members of our internal shortlisting panel were Doug Allen, Melanie Haydon, Phil Bailey and Ben Johnston from University’s Project Management Office (made possible through brilliant coordination of Doug Allen); Professor Sri Kandiah, the SBS’s Wellbeing champion and the highly experienced PM practitioner and one of the APM Challenge initiators Russel Jamieson ChPP FAPM. Earlier, the cohort had the chance to be introduced to the wellbeing area and further, thanks to Dr Mina Beigi for making the time for this.

Acknowledging all team’s efforts and creative ideas, the panel selected ‘Eudaimonia’ team: Viridiana Valdez, Sitsofe Banini, Brandon Dyer-Pallister, Nikitas-Alexandros Dakos, Mateusz Blazewicz, and ‘The Praising House’ team: Yiming Sun, Zijun Ren, Jie Wu, Shiqi Feng and Wenze Xu.

At the knockout, all the teams presented to a large audience and a panel of highly experienced PM practitioners from the Wessex area. Ultimately, five teams from different universities and BAE were selected to enter the competition including ‘Eudaimonia’ (top left corner) who impressed the panel with their exceptionally high quality and detailed project plan for organising a Wellbeing Event. ‘The Praising House’ (top right corner) team’s innovative idea of creating an interactive office space for exchanging positive feedback was very well received by both the internal and the APM panels and was highly praised by the academics from a competing team. Following the event, the five who went through, have been allocated a practitioner mentor and a budget of £250 to manage their projects to implementation by February 2020 for presenting their results at the Challenge’s final in mid-March.

The programme leader for PM MSc, Dr Ramesh Vahidi commented: “It was thrilling to see almost half of the cohort engaged with the initial stage of this demanding extra-curricular activity by preparing project proposals and presenting enthusiastically to an expert panel within a very short timeframe. Only two teams could be sent to the Challenge, but we already had over 30 winning students for their creative ideas, courage and engagement! Worth to mention, these all happened within less than two months of their PM studies and despite all their ongoing and upcoming submissions. Special thanks to APM Wessex Branch for organizing the Challenge, Rose Maher for all the coordination, the internal panel for their great support and to Professor Martin Broad, the Head of the Business School, for the continuous support of the teams throughout the years”.

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