I talked to Helen about their experience of their first autumn semester in the new MMU business School Hub.
The Hub is a new building for the MMU business school which houses a number of student centred activities including lecture theatres, IT clusters and social spaces. On the ground floor is the new Employability Hub.
“It’s fantastic to be literally at the hub of things”
It’s so much busier than before, Times Top 100 literally flew off the shelf.
The ground floor is open plan, consisting of other service areas and the Employability Hub which is zoned using glass screens. The space is largely open plan with some shelving, computer work- stations and spaces for non-confidential meetings.
Because it is visible you have to fill the space – ironically in today’s virtual environment the print bill has rocketed. We have also had to buy books to lure students in, they like to see resources.
The building is completely open plan and is open at weekends and to the public this has some security issues. Resources were disappearing and not necessarily to the students they were intended for. Now at night they cordon off the entrance to the employability hub and plan to cover the shelving units
What’s it like moving to a shared service space?
Some teams work different hours which made it awkward when one or more stations were un-staffed. Students don’t discriminate, if there was someone on the desk it was expected that they would be able to deal with their enquiry irrespective of what team they were from.
The team have worked on harmonising hours and will be taking time to learn each other’s protocols and work out what enquiries can be covered by other teams.
How and where do appointments happen?
Demand for appointments has definitely increased.
Guidance appointments take place up stairs – student wait in a waiting area to be collected. There were some issues about explaining where to go and students getting lost – but more issues about student using the waiting area as a social space – resulting in people for appointments mixed in with people having their dinner!
What is it like behind the scenes?
- Storage is more than a cupboard; you need space to unpack and prepare materials that is not open to public view.
- Unisex toilets shared with students were also seen as a challenge!
Ensure you think about everything and get everything paid for in the planning stage. Once the planners and builders move out it will come out of your budget so snagging may take longer than you would like.
“Overall if this was an equation we have definitely come out the winners!”