NatWest Sponsor Third Year Undergraduate Employability Prize
NBS has kicked-off its newest initiative for developing employability skills in our students by celebrating the first of its employability prizes which are sponsored by leading employers. These innovative prizes will be embedded within the curriculum and focus on a particular business problem/opportunity. The prize is an extension of an assessed piece of group-work, which involves the best groups being shortlisted to present their work to a panel comprising academics and employers who have sponsored the prize. Our third year students taking the Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management module were tasked with making a boardroom presentation in full business dress and defending their ideas under cross examination from the panel. The first employability prize took place at the end of last term and was sponsored by NatWest Bank and the shortlisted students presented their robust business plans in a realistic business setting. The NatWest team led by Louisa Wells, the Senior Lending Manager for the Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex region commented that “the quality of business plans and presentations was very high and we found it a very rewarding experience”. Kat Baker from the winning group also commented that “The employability prizes are a really valuable experience for team-working and presenting in front of industry professionals.”
After the presentations, all of the shortlisted groups were invited to the networking and prize giving buffet which was attended by senior members of the school including Professor Jaqueline Collier, the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences which includes NBS. Professor Collier added that “I was delighted with the level of engagement by the students for this highly competitive yet collegiate NatWest Employability Award. I know the sponsors were very impressed by the standards of the presentations, the energy and motivation demonstrated within the teams and of course by the students’ abilities and knowledge. I congratulate the winners and all those who took part and I am grateful for the supportive contribution made to this event by NatWest”.
Dr Graham Manville, Associate Director for Enterprise, Employability and Engagement, pioneered these types of prizes in his last post at the University of Southampton and adds that this is the first of several prizes over the next twelve months which will be sponsored by employers and he believes that such competitions are a vital part of developing the transferable skills which will complement the knowledge gained from a degree programme.
Natwest Employability Prize recipients: Left to Right: James Lestrange, Daniel Rennison, Alison Aylward, Joshua O’Brien and Kat Baker