Friday, 23 June 2017
Year 12 students in the Boys’ Division benefitted from two days of Business Enterprise and Skill Training, or BEST days. This intensive experience gave them lots of opportunities to think like entrepreneurs and consider business challenges as well as offering the opportunity to improve skills that will one day be useful in the world of work, such as teamwork and communication.
Chris Reynolds gave a very useful interactive keynote address on interview skills, from which students could take away many different tips. His key point at the end of his talk was to do the research on the company and make sure to be prepared.
There were numerous business-related activities throughout both days, including a warm-up activity which involved marketing a new game. Career coach, business owner and Prince’s Trust mentor Steph Foster led several ‘assessment centre’ style activities over the two days, asking students to design and pitch an idea for a new kind of sleeping bag and challenging their communication skills with a logic puzzle where each person was given access to only some of the information needed to find the answer, which they then had to share clearly and correctly to find a solution as a group. She also talked to the Year 12 students about ‘Recruitment Hoops’. Old Boy Pete Aunins led a fascinating workshop on the economics of free apps. Representatives from KPMG judged a Dragon’s Den Restaurant challenge, which asked teams to select one of two restaurants and pitch their ideas for refurbishing or revamping the business and their finances in the hopes of winning some investment. Phil Warriner, who recently retired from BT, led an activity which was based on communication and tasked the groups with building a structure which only one member of the team had seen, with the added challenge that they were only allowed to discuss their process and strategy before they began to build. This was definitely one of the most difficult activities of the day as many groups underestimated how precise they needed to be in their communication!
The BEST days also gave students the opportunity to try making a video CV and practise their interview skills, receiving feedback on both of these.
The two days gave the whole of Year 12 plenty of chance to improve their skills and learn through the different activities. They were offered a huge amount of advice for the future from the experts who led the sessions, and no doubt will put this to use in the future.
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