Dr Annica Lau

Dr Annica Lau, who explored retaining young talent in the workplace, is graduating with a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA).

Annica Lau

Annica has already gone on to receive international acclaim at a recent conference for her degree research, but will be savouring the moment at graduation after four years of hard work.

“The experience of graduating as a doctoral student is a profound and transformative milestone in my career journey,” she said. “It has been four years of rigorous research, intellectual growth and personal dedication. This significant achievement evokes a range of emotions and elicits a sense of accomplishment, pride, and fulfilment. Moreover, the completion of a doctoral program leaves me with mix of emotions, including relief, joy, and a touch of nostalgia.”

The Professional Doctorate award is run in collaboration with the Fachhochschule des Mittelstands in Bielefeld, Germany.

“As a practitioner in Human Resource Management, I have always been eager to broaden my perspective and expand my knowledge in the field,” said Annica. “During my search for a part-time DBA, I discovered this exciting programme. The collaboration seemed perfect for guiding me on my desired learning journey.”

Following the conclusion of her studies, Annica was awarded best presentation at the 2023 Human Resources Division International Conference in South Africa for her paper based on her degree research. She chose to focus this on investigating the psychological expectations that young professionals have on entering the workforce and what strategies human resources management can employ to try to meet this.

“Throughout my professional career, I have encountered numerous young individuals who were dissatisfied with their entry into the workplaces,” she said. “Of particular concern were the statistics on apprenticeship dropouts in Germany, which personally affected me deeply.

Subsequently, I delved into an in-depth exploration of why many young professionals experience a rocky start to their careers. My objective was to assist organisations in creating a better foundation for young employees, fostering positive collaboration and engagement.”

Annica’s research findings demonstrated that various factors, such as the university attended, historical events like the Covid-19 pandemic, and societal influences, can generate diverse trends regarding expectations of an employer. “These trends generally reflect an increase in expectations, resulting in higher demands that may not always be fulfilled by the current employer during the onboarding process. I have gained new insights into the origins of job expectations among young professionals, the factors and events that influence them, and the key considerations organisations should prioritize during the early stages of their careers.”

Following the completion of her DBA, Annica has taken up a role as Deputy Head of Global Human Resources in the baking ingredients industry, a role which includes managing the international talent and succession programme for the organisation. She is also a part-time lecturer at two universities of applied sciences in Germany. She is attending conferences and is engaged in other research projects. She is also doing guest lectures around the world (so far the UK, Germany, Denmark and South Africa). She has also just been appointed Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Business Management at the University of Worcester’s Business School. “My time at Worcester has opened doors to new opportunities for research, teaching, and professional engagement,” she added.

The University’s annual autumn Graduation Ceremonies will take place as planned from September 12-14 in the beautiful and historic Worcester Cathedral followed by celebration receptions at the City Campus. No Worcester graduates have been affected by the marking and assessment boycott.

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