Black Country Museum

On April 10, 2024, International MBA students visited the Black Country Museum. This 26-acre open-air museum brought Britain's industrial history to life, offering valuable insights into the era's industry practices and highlighting the importance of innovation and leadership in business. Read more to discover our students' experiences.

On April 10 2024, The International MBA students went on a field trip to the Black Country Museum. During our trip, we had an extraordinary experience where we journeyed through time together and saw history come alive. The award-winning open-air museum tells the story of one of Britain’s first industrial landscapes and did not disappoint.
Set across 26 sprawling acres, the museum meticulously reconstructs shops, houses, and industrial areas, each corner narrating the Black Country’s transformative journey during the Industrial Revolution. From the moment we stepped through the gates, we were transported back in time, ready to explore the birthplace of British industry.

First, we walked along cobbled streets lined by period-specific shops and houses. Each building reconstructed the living experiences of people who worked and lived there during that era which was a revolution on its own. It was extremely detailed with real items from that period such that it felt as though we were stepping into a living, breathing history book.

One of the most memorable moments of our visit involved meeting some of the historical characters at the museum. Wearing costumes from different periods, these knowledgeable actors enlightened us on what life was like in Black Country. Their storytelling was both educational and inspiring, providing a human connection to the historical facts we often read about.

Our journey into the depths of the coal mine was particularly striking.  As we descended into the hardly lit tunnels, we understood the harsh conditions that miners faced daily. In those narrow passages and heavy darkness, we could have a glimpse of mental and physical issues associated with the mining industry. The guide walked us through a detailed account of the backbreaking work needed to extract the coal using hands, emphasising the strength and endurance required to perform such tasks. That experience made even clearer how important were miners' role during the Industrial Revolution. After touring the mines, we realised how much human resource management has advanced in less than 50 years. Improvements in working conditions, work safety, and the elimination of child labour are stark contrasts to the past, reflecting significant progress in the field.

As a student pursuing an International Master of Business Administration at BCU, this visit offered a profound connection to our studies. The transformation of the Black Country into a manufacturing giant depicted how critical business concepts such as strategic innovation, resource management, and operational efficiency can be practically applied. Observing the historical evolution of industry provided us with tangible insights on how business strategies can drive economic change and growth. This experience showed the importance of adaptability, innovation, and leadership showing how these elements have been crucial in shaping the global economic landscape.

Our trip to the Black Country Museum was more than just a walk through history and it was an educational and inspirational experience. This visit was not only a highlight of our course but a memorable journey into the heart of Britain’s industrial heritage.

Author: Zahra Farhanj

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