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Students Get to Work for Work Experience 2014

There’s a definite air of business and enterprise in the Dojo today as our Year 10 students begin their Work Experience, part of our annual Learning Outside the Classroom two-week programme.

Today included a talk by Pharmaceutical Medicine specialist and BISS Pudong parent, Dr Victoria Elegant who encouraged students to be courageous in their careers saying, “Take risks, build networks and keep an open mind!”

Dr Elegant’s own experience mirrors her advice to students. An international student herself, she originally wanted to be a nurse but was convinced by her parents to pursue medicine. She has worked around the world, in Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, Japan and China and within different fields of medicine, including infectious diseases, gynaecology and pharmaceutical medicine.

As part of this intensive fortnight, students were tasked today with working in groups to come up with a business idea and plan to make it succeed which will then go before a “Dragon’s Den” style panel of teachers next week. The panel, consisting of Mr Chris Meehan, Mr Mark Solomons, Ms Nicola Scott and Mrs Nicola Dinsdale will consider all of the business plans before announcing finalists and awarding a prize to the best plan. Mr Solomon says, “We’re seeing intense competition between the teams; all vying for the big prize.”

From Tuesday, students will get real-life work experience through placements at a wide variety of businesses across a range of industries including finance, hospitality, medical and technology. Among the placement companies are Microsoft, Jaguar Land Rover, AtlasCopco, Nokia, eBay, Kimberley-Clark and Harvard Business School.

Mr Solomons says work experience allows students not just to understand different industries, but to match their work expectations with the reality of the workplace. He says, “It gives them the opportunity to see whether the careers they think they’re interested in are as exciting and fulfilling as they think they will be.”

It will also give them a greater practical understanding of how businesses run, allowing them to refine the business plans they are working on over the fortnight. Mr Solomons continues, “They will then use the opportunity of working within businesses and experiencing how they run to see how they will develop the ideas they’re currently working on and which they will present after more group time on Friday and next week.”

In week two, specialist teachers will present informative sessions that will also add to students’ understanding of the fundamentals of getting a business idea off the ground, and then making it a success in the longer term. Sessions will explore presentation skills and how to make a polished pitch, insight into the world of finance and business and importantly getting the numbers right, as well as tips on marketing ideas.

Stay up-to-date with Work Experience 2014 by following the blog.