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Students and international law firm collaborate to challenge thinking on innovation

Newcastle University Business School and DAC Beachcroft – a leading international law firm – joined forces to strengthen links between business and academia.

11 April 2024

DAC Beachcroft worked with three of the School’s MSc Digital Business students as part of the Innovation Management and Technology Change module, to help stimulate innovative thinking and consider new perspectives.

Introduction to the School

Dr Paul Richter, Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the School, introduced DAC Beachcroft to some of his students in a bid to create ways for his students to engage externally, challenge them to articulate what they are learning and to put it into practice.

Paul said, "I always encourage our students to consider how they can translate what they learn on modules into business practice, and the opportunity to collaborate with DAC Beachcroft presented an ideal opportunity to do that. Given the multicultural makeup of our students, I also believed they could usefully bring to the task their lived experiences and fresh perspectives."

Finding solutions to business challenges

Rebecca Richter, Head of Business Development and Client Engagement at DAC Beachcroft, and the firm’s Innovation Manager, Vindy Kaur, met with three students to discuss innovation and digital business from a student’s perspective.

The three international students discussed why they chose to study a digital business programme in the UK, what career paths they are looking to follow, and their experience of innovation in business, in the UK and abroad. They went on to discuss what they would recommend businesses prioritise to encourage a culture of innovation and what digital businesses of the future might look like.

A lawyer and a client reviewing documents at a desk with

Rebecca said, “As a global law firm we are keen to hear from different sectors and generations about what innovation looks like. We are looking to challenge ourselves, get ideas and spark conversations internally about innovation.”

Surprising outcomes

Reflecting on the outcomes, Rebecca continued, “It was interesting hearing about the students' backgrounds, their degrees and work experiences, but what surprised us was what they thought their future careers might be. We will need to consider this when we look to recruit and bring in new talent to the business.”

Rebecca added “The students were complimentary about DAC Beachcroft for going out to get input from different sources. The discussions challenged their own thinking about what a large global firm might be like.”

Partnership opportunities

Corporate partners play a crucial role in providing students with real business experience while mutually benefitting from the fresh insights that students can offer through their problem solving and enthusiasm.