This year Plymouth Business School and Futures Entrepreneurship Centre created a business presentation competition for South West secondary school pupils. The competition was announced at the beginning of the year and pupils had a few months to think of their topic, do their research and prepare before coming to Plymouth University to put their presentation together –working in conjunction with our business students. Participants could choose a business topic of their choice that was related to the Economy, Environment or Digital Technology. This gave pupils the chance to integrate their topic with their current business curricula. The opportunity to work alongside our business students gave secondary pupils an opportunity to share ideas, learn from each other, network and make connections.
Interest in the competition was keen and for the actual workshop day, that took place on the Wednesday 10th June, we had 6 schools from all over the South West competing to win. We were happy to welcome pupils from Holsworthy Community College, Lipson The Co-operative Academy, Marine Academy Plymouth, Pilton Community College, Queen Elizabeth’s Academy and South Dartmoor Community College.
Pupils covered a wide range of topics, such as how micro-generation of energy can improve the sustainability of businesses, the importance of marketing mix, the importance of internet and social media to advertisers, the evolution of the IPhone, the impact of businesses on the environment and the impact of digital technology on globalization. All of the presentations were very innovative, engaging and of a very high standard.
The panel, consisting of – Dr Hilary Duckett – head of Plymouth Business School, Dr Sue Kinsey – Senior lecturer in HR Management, Dr Melanie Hudson-Smith – Lecturer in Operations Management, Dr Tasawar Nawaz – Programme manager for Business and Business Administration and Professor Andy Phippen – Prof of Social Responsibility in IT – had a very difficult job choosing the winners.
The prize for 1st Place, four £50.00 Amazon Vouchers, was proudly accepted by pupils from South Dartmoor Community College for their excellent research and presentation on the evolution of IPhones.
The prize for 2nd Place, four £25.00 Amazon Vouchers, was awarded to pupils from Marine Academy Plymouth for their research and presentation on the importance of the internet and social media to advertisers.
The prize for 3rd Place, four £10.00 Amazon Vouchers, was awarded to pupils from Lipson The Co-operative Academy for their research and presentation on the impact businesses pose to the environment.
The feedback from participating pupils shows that they thoroughly enjoyed meeting our student ambassadors and working as a team. They loved the whole experience of watching each presentation and welcomed the opportunity for contact with the panellists. Many mentioned that they now feel much more informed about what is on offer at university and more certain about their future in higher education. Several commented that they felt much more confident about public speaking and all of them enjoyed the lovely lunch.
In the words of teacher Gemma Craze from the winning South Dartmoor Community College: ‘The students had a fantastic day during the Business Presentation Competition event and are still buzzing from the experience. The students decided to select the topic Digital Technology as it was a topic that they were incredibly interested in and passionate about.’ She praised her pupils for working well as a team, allocating role throughout their preparation and keeping to strict time deadline. She was impressed by the students’ listening skills as their work in conjunction with their student ambassador Chloe. Although the students were slightly daunted at the prospect of presenting in a lecture theatre with some practice they shone through and are now enthusiastic about attending university in particular Plymouth University.
Presenting in front of a huge audience is a skill that can only be improved by practice. The participants have certainly taken this on board because one comment recurred in the feedback we received from the pupils – we can’t wait for the next event. I can only echo their words.
Please find below some tweets from the day
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