Chiswick School Students Learn the Business at Chiswick Park

As speed networking replaces work experience

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Chiswick School’s year 9 recently made their way to Chiswick Park to learn about possible careers in business. Chiswick Park is home to the UK/ European and Global headquarters of 45 companies including Disney, Starbucks, Aker Solutions and Discovery Channel. Chiswick School has developed a flourishing partnership with the Business Park and together they are developing their own bespoke programme to raise student aspirations and familiarise students with the skills and attitudes required to succeed in the modern world of work.

The event took the form of a ‘speed networking’ session in which students interviewed a range of employees from companies in the park plus some ex Chiswick students now in work, who agreed to come back for the event. Prior to the session starting, small groups decided on the questions they wanted to ask and they were then given five minutes with twelve different employees.
Students were overwhelmingly positive about the experience in their evaluations of the event. ‘It was really good to be able to speak to people in real jobs’, one said. ‘ I did not know there were so many opportunities in business.’

‘I really enjoyed the session. The students were overwhelmingly engaged, interested and positive. Great to see. And a great credit to the staff and headmaster of the school,’ said the director of finance at Starbucks.
Now the Department for Education has curtailed funding for work experience the Head teacher at Chiswick School is adamant that experiences like this are essential for students if they are to gain an understanding of the world of work.

‘The year 9 students were a credit to the school,’ said Tony Ryan, Head teacher. ‘The event was a valuable one for them in a number of ways. It built their self assurance when dealing with adults, it showed them why working hard for qualifications is so important and it revealed the amazing variety of careers that are available in modern businesses. I would like to thank Chiswick Park for providing this unique opportunity for our students. We look forward to further developing the programme with them over the coming months.’


July 12, 2013