Michael Sheppard Conducting Activity for 90 Students
With the goal of developing important leadership and communication skills, 90 Wittenborg bachelor’s students from three specialisations – Hospitality Business Administration, International Business Administration and Marketing, Communication and Information – participated in the first project week of 2022. The activities were organised by project week coordinators Samantha Birdsall and Lucy Omwoha, together with visiting lecturer Michael Sheppard, who is a freelance business trainer based in Vienna, Austria.
During the project week’s kick-off, on 21 February Sheppard delivered a 4-hour presentation in which he talked about four key business skills: objection handling, time management & prioritisation, how to give feedback and how to develop a team. To keep students engaged and interested, the activity was interactive and included multiple exercises, encouraging participants to share and discuss their ideas.
At the end of the session, the students were divided into small teams and given four days to complete a group assignment. On 25 February, they delivered a presentation, poster and report.
Sheppard explained that the topic of the assignment was how to develop and apply crucial business skills to a real-life workplace. “After graduating, these students will be moving into management positions where they will be in charge of people and have responsibilities. The idea behind this project week is to give participants a tool-kit and help them understand the dynamics of their future positions, enabling them to develop themselves and prepare for when they are confronted with real challenges.”
He highlighted that the activity is aligned with Wittenborg’s practical approach to education, adding that communication and leadership skills are not only useful for business, but also for other spheres of life. “For me, the most important thing is that students understand that these are not just theories and apply these concepts to the real world. Communication skills are important even if you are not a leader in a company, and will also be beneficial in your personal life, when dealing with family or friends.”
Originally from Brighton, England, Sheppard began his career at American Express before moving to Austria to work as an English teacher. From there, he transitioned into business skills training, and has developed a repertoire of expertise, specialising in leadership & communication, negotiation skills & training concepts.
Having collaborated with Wittenborg Sales Director Tim Birdsall for several years, Sheppard was invited by him to help run this bachelor’s project week.
by Ulisses Sawczuk