Scooping an award for best research paper, two Westminster Business School students excelled at the Multidisciplinary International Social Networks Conference held in New York this summer.

To showcase their research papers, recent Business Management BA Honours graduates Jordan Lewis-Pryde and Rory Sadler attended the conference which is now in its third year and which was supported by Facebook and the Association for Computing Machinery.

Jordan presented a paper entitled ‘A Social Networking Strategy for Improving Knowledge Management and Communication in the Travel Industry’, while Rory showcased his research on ‘Social Media Strategies in the Retail Sector: Analysis and Recommendations for Three Multi-National Retailers’. Rory was successful in winning the Best Paper Award out of 57 accepted papers for the conference.

Rory said: “It was an experience I never thought I would have and I was so proud to have had a paper published and to have been able to travel to somewhere as incredible as New York. Being an undergraduate and having a paper published is very rare. It was with the University’s help – in particular Dr Richard Evans’s – that this opportunity was offered to me. The Distant Horizons Award of the University made it financially possible and it meant I was able not only to travel to one of the world’s best cities, but I was also able to meet other academics, experience an American university campus and network with influential industry figures.”

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He added: “It was a true honour to have won Best Paper at the conference and it was not something I was expecting with it being my first published paper. The Award gave me a lot of confidence in myself and my capability, and has really enhanced my CV. This has also influenced my decision over continuing my studies beyond undergraduate level as I am now looking at courses to start next year.”

Jordan said: "With the amazing help from Dr Richard Evans, I was able to travel across the Atlantic to have a paper published with the MISNC in New Jersey. It was such an honour to represent the work achieved by Richard and myself through University of Westminster and was an amazing opportunity to meet great industry professionals. It was also a great joy to travel with Rory, he is a passionate and driven individual. The Distant Horizons Award has made this whole experience possible and has created great future career prospects."

The students’ trip were made possible by the University of Westminster’s Distant Horizons Award which finances international travel for our UK undergraduate students who wish to take part in academic or career-related events or activities overseas but who may not have the financial capability to do so. Experiences that enable our staff and students to operate in an increasingly interconnected, internationalised world are key to the University’s Global Engagement strategy.

The research papers were developed with the support of Dr Richard Evans, Lecturer in Information Management, who taught the students on the Westminster Business School’s Enterprise Social Networks module. Dr Evans said: “This is a tremendous achievement for Jordan and Rory and reflects very positively on the research being conducted by students at the University of Westminster. Best wishes to both Jordan and Rory for their future careers!”

Learn more about the Distant Horizons Award and the Westminster Business School.

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