Students go head to head with mentors
The dynamic nature of ‘business’ is starting to be realised among students at Longsands Academy, Cambridgeshire, with year 8 pupils quickly becoming accustomed to the reality of what lies ahead post education.
Only a couple of weeks back, 10 forms of 30 students were propelled into a simulated working environment, challenged with the notion of developing a profitable business idea, that they can collectively operate for a four-month period.
Credit to the pupils, what they lack in age, they certainly make up for in enthusiasm. Ten fascinating business plans have been submitted, each as intriguing as the next. Video CV interfaces, personalised stress balls and healthy recipe books just gives you a flavour of the entrepreneurial flair the already resides within the youngsters involved.
The first task that the children faced was to suitably assign roles, determining which students fancied testing their credentials at the upper-echelons of the hierarchy, fulfilling director positions, and alternatively which pupils preferred a more hands-on role within the respective teams for each departmental function, typically associated with any operating company – Marketing, Finance, human Resources, Production etc.
With little, if any exposure to such responsibilities, now seemed an appropriate time for the students to meet with like-minded people holding down similar jobs, allowing the children to better understand the daily challenges, routines, importance and attributes required to successfully pursue said positions.
Seven division heads from local business Mick George Ltd visited the school to provide dedicated mentoring sessions with the students, offering vital experience and advice on the purpose of the position they withhold, and how they can positively impact the wider business concept for each scenario selected.
Jacqui Powell, Enterprise Teacher at Longsands Academy said:
‘’Even at this early stage, we have already witnessed the students testing new skillsets which is exactly what we wanted. The representatives from Mick George Ltd have provided the students with a real insight on employment.’’
Having met with the tutors, not only are the students brimming with excitement to continue their journey, they are now suitably prepared for the challenge ahead, ready for whatever obstacles may stand in their way.
Only time will tell how productive the clinics have been, but the students certainly appear to have taken on board the learnings and will hope to utilise in their quest for business success come completion of the initiative on 25th June, 2018.
Jon Stump, Finance Director at Mick George Ltd commented:
‘’The Young Ideas Factory presents a fantastic opportunity for the pupils to engage in different activities that will be more commonly utilised in pursuit of a career. We hope that with our assistance and experience from an employer’s perspective, that we can offer significant benefits to the initiative. Those who have visited the students have been very impressed with the way that the children have embraced the challenge.’’