- Real-word experience unifies theory and practice for Charles Sturt marketing and management students
- Students learn of the many challenges of operating a modern retail shopping centre
- Relevant experiences for business students enhance on-campus programs
Charles Sturt University first-year business students gained valuable insights when they recently participated in a behind-the-scenes educational excursion to Armada Bathurst Shopping Centre.
Senior Lecturer in marketing in the Charles Sturt School of Management and Marketing Dr Felicity Small explained that the purpose of this real-word experience is to bring together theory and practice for business students to make it easier for them to understand business operations.
“It is important for Charles Sturt University to be an active member of our community and to foster professional relationships with businesses within our regional campus footprint,” Dr Small said.
“We aim to enhance our on-campus programs with relevant experiences for our marketing and management students.
“In this exercise we ask them to look at the shopping centre from the perspective of a marketer or manager, and try to get them to see the retail environment differently, not just as a consumer.
“In this way, the students can appreciate how a shopping centre shifts from being place to hang out and buy things, to a place that needs constant care and commitment from centre staff and retailers to ensure shoppers have a pleasant experience regardless of their reason for shopping.”
Before leading the behind-the-scenes tour of the Armada Bathurst Shopping Centre, facilities manager Mr Paul French explained the many challenges of successfully operating a modern retail shopping centre.
These challenges include cleaning and security, the need for good lighting, maintaining positive business relations with the range of retail tenants (from major chains to sole traders), and how new retail stores are designed and fitted-out within the centre.
The students then investigated the product distribution process for Kmart with a tour of their under-store storage area, which dates back to 1910 when it was part of the original Western Stores emporium located on the site.
A Kmart manager explained to the students some critical training procedures that are designed to help their staff work efficiently and safely.
To get a sense of the overall size and scale of the Armada Centre, the students were also given access to the centre rooftop to inspect infrastructure, such as solar panels and air conditioning.
At the end of the tour the students reflected on and discussed their insights into retail business that they had gained on the tour.
Student Mr James Kidd said, “The tour gave me a deeper understanding of marketing and management in practice”.
Fellow student Mr Chris Tolhurst said, “The experience was a great way to foster a positive relationship with local businesses and build professional networks”.
Learn more about business studies at Charles Sturt University.