School of Business

Launchpad logo 


The LaunchPad leadership development programme is unique to the School of Business and the School of Management and provides students with opportunities to enhance their professional skills allowing them to become the global leaders of the future.

LaunchPad students learn about the challenges of the current job market from employer and graduate perspectives and the leadership approaches needed to address them, in both theory and practice.

The programme helps students to develop their skills through a mixture of workshops, events and company visits.

LaunchPad was established in 2011 by the current Programme Leader, Francesca Walker and Dharma Kovvuri, the College Director of Business Development. Since then, every year it recruits a new cohort of 20 highly motivated second year students.

For more insight into LaunchPad see the case study of Charlotte Whittle (pictured right), and how she secured employment through the programme following her graduation.

Charlotte Whittle 

What do LaunchPaders do?

Students on the programme attend regular workshops every fortnight during term time which are dedicated to their personal development, professional skills and employability enhancing techniques.

They learn about personal branding, the importance of online presence, CV and interviewing techniques as well as successful business networking strategies. They experience a range of different activities around and outside the campus. Throughout the programme students have opportunities to manage projects of their choice which usually include organising and managing events, planning and promoting LaunchPad recruitment and putting the itinerary together for an overseas visit.

LaunchPaders also meet high profile speakers who share tips and hints on how to boost their employability and become successful leaders.

In the past students had audiences with Paul Heathcote MBE, a chef, restaurateur and food consultant, Ann Francke, CEO of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), Lieutenant Coronel Johnny Litton MBE and Steve Rook, an employability guru. 

Established links

LaunchPad students have built up good links with professional bodies including the CMI, the Institute of Directors (IoD) and a range of businesses.

In 2012 students were the first ones in the country to be invited to join the newly established IoD student membership programme that offers a range of benefits to supporting their studies and their future career.

One of the students had been working with the IoD to form an undergraduate community as part of her chosen project.

Students have also established close relationships to help with the development of their Schools.’

Company and overseas visits

Students are presented with opportunities to visit various companies and undertake an overseas study tour at the end of the programme. The international trip allows them to get first-hand knowledge about running and managing business outside the UK. It also gives them a global outlook which contributes towards making students not only global graduates but also global leaders.

In 2013 the LaunchPad students visited a partner institution in Guangdong; sharing their experiences as UCLan and LBS students, meeting business and professional bodies to enhance their understanding of the global market. In 2014 the students visited Hong Kong, meeting with Bloomberg and Work Communications Agency who shared useful insights of how to get an advantage in the graduate scheme application process for well-known organisations.

UCLan Graduate and LaunchPad LP1 Case Study

LaunchPad – Chartered Institute of Marketing Residential