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Business students shine in national enterprise competition

Business students from Telford College showcased their organisational, problem-solving and leadership skills in a national competition – and earned huge plaudits for their efforts.

The level three students represented the college in an enterprise challenge organised by Staffordshire University, in conjunction with The Inspirational Learning Group.

Around 1,000 young people took part, and the winning Telford College team – Callum Croft, Ethan Lamb, Akeel Shabir and Paulina Szymaniuk – finished in the top 10.

The programme, designed to help learners make informed decisions about their futures, was delivered using a mix of physical and virtual challenges.

The initial brief was to create a concept which would engage young people in a local business, and a total of 24 Telford College students took part, split into six teams.

The first stage involved an online chat with Chris Pallett of Telford IT firm Bespoke Computing, Lajina Leal of Lajina Masala, and Telford College principal Graham Guest to find out more about their businesses.

Students then went away to prepare pitches, which were judged by Lajina, plus Paul Cook of Bespoke Computing, Telford College deputy principal Janet Stephens, Teresa Hughes, the college’s learner manager for business, professional studies and digital, and chair of the corporation, Paul Hinkins.

The winning college team then progressed to the regional final, where it was tasked with creating and storyboarding a one-minute video to promote a local business.

Ethan Lamb said: “I enjoyed the project; it gave us a good insight into what it would be like to

Business student Ethan Lamb | Telford College
Business student Ethan Lamb | Telford College

working for a professional marketing agency.

“I also think it was good for our soft skills too – communication and team working in particular.”

Managing director of Bespoke Computing, Chris Pallett, presented gift boxes including an Echo Dot, digital radio and power banks, to members of the winning Telford College team.

He said: “Getting to meet the students was very interesting. Their pitches were all excellent and the winning team’s concept was very comprehensive. I could actually see it working as part of a marketing campaign.

“It’s invaluable experience for students to engage with organisations throughout their education; it gives them an insight of the real working world.

“Competitions like this allow students to make their studies relatable to actual business scenarios, which is invaluable to young people.

“It also allows the community to get involved in something they may not have access to normally – getting feedback on your ideas from a professional is an important experience to go through, and learn from.

“I see Bespoke Computing also benefitting, as it’s a chance for us to meet young people and explore how they are developing and thinking about challenges.”