NBS Students Present New Business Ideas to the Zoological Society of East Anglia

Second-year Management Accounting students from the Norwich Business School at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have used their business planning skills to come up with new ideas for the Zoological Society of East Anglia (ZSEA).

ZSEA, the charitable banner covering Banham Zoo and Africa Alive, worked with the 240 Norwich Business School students, offering trophies for the three best ideas for developing their business.

Susan & Martin
Susan Wheeler & Martin Goymour get ready to present certificates and prizes to the students

“It’s vitally important for students to put the theory they learn in the classroom into practice, and there’s no better way to do this than by working with a real business and creating ideas that could be implemented in real life,” said Susan Wheeler, lecturer in Accounting.

Martin Goymour – ZSEA chief executive officer

The best ideas were presented to ZSEA chief executive officer Martin Goymour, who presented trophies to the winners – and gave zoo passes to each of the students who participated. “The standard was extremely high and very professional,” he said. “As someone who’s been in the business for more than 50 years, it’s invigorating to hear new ideas from young people who are looking at issues with a fresh pair of eyes and we will be working on implementing many of them.”

The students were asked to examine budget, forecasting, potential additional income streams and the challenges of covering fixed costs, then suggest solutions. The proposals included producing an app for customers to guide and inform them as they moved around the zoo, enabled them to buy merchandise and tracked footfall to provide management information on the most and least popular attractions, and providing visitor accommodation in log cabins to attract more visitors and make the attractions less weather dependent.

The winning students were Joshua Knight, Almoataz Enfies and Timothy Charles. “Creating the business plan for the zoo was great fun,” said Joshua. “It was much more rewarding working on ideas for a real business than an imaginary one and has prepared us well for leaving university and getting jobs in the outside world.”

This is the second employability prize Joshua has won this academic year, after winning the top prize of £175 during our Employability Week back in November. This prize tested our NBS students, using exact replicas of assessments and questions used by some of the 70+ employers involved in our annual Employability Week.

Josh demonstrated a strong character in all 5 elements of the competition (application, psychometric tests, CV, assessment centre and interview) and managed to scoop this years prize over a lot more experienced 3rd year and Master’s students.

Almoataz Enfies has also had a busy year too, undertaking two summer internships in 2016, and being part of one of the two teams from Norwich Business School to make the University Business Challenge semifinal.


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