The School:

From the London Borough of Haringey, Heartlands High School is in its third year working with Enabling Enterprise to develop a set of eight Essential Skills in their students. Over the years, students from different year groups have had the opportunity to visit a wide range of top employers across London to apply their essential skills in the world of work, be it in the retail sector, finance or law. Today’s trip was a fantastic opportunity for a lucky few from Years 9 and 10 to buddy up and put their Listening and Presenting skills to the test with the support from professional business volunteers.

The Business:

Eversheds Sutherland is a British multinational law firm head-quartered in London. It is one of the world’s largest corporate law firms, with over 61 offices based in the world’s major economic centres. They employ just under 4,000 people. Today’s volunteers – Amanda, Ash, Carly, Devon, Julianne and Rosie – came from a variety of departments within the business and were on hand to support the aspiring lawyers with their expertise and top tips on this stretching challenge.

The Challenge: Ace Advocates

The day started off with a warm welcome from senior partner Matthew Allen who truly inspired the students with a key message around Aiming High and always striving for your goals. The mixed teams then got the chance to interview the volunteers to find out about their different roles, responsibilities and the Essential Skills required to do their jobs. Students then went on a brief tour of the premises, where the roof garden offered not only the surprise of finding some inner city green life up there, but also priceless views over the London skyline!
Back in the meeting room, it was time for students to take on the role of Lawyers. After coming up with original law firm names for their team, students were introduced to the respective clients they would have to represent in a negotiation exercise. The ‘David versus Goliath’ scenario for each of the 3 cases required lots of Problem Solving. The would-be law firms put together the strongest arguments on behalf of their clients, whilst using their utmost Creativity to anticipate the possible comebacks from the other party.
In the afternoon, the volunteers from Eversheds Sutherland were joined by Phil and all took on the role of mediators and facilitators at the 3 negotiation tables. The enterprising lawyers’ passion and dedication was palpable – it was tough, but all three tables compromised constructively and, after a lot of back and forth, fruitfully settled on a final agreement that pleased both sides.

Congratulations, all!

What they said:

  • “We have come up with two solutions (…) and as you said, we will do that for you to preserve your habitat.” – Student
  • “There’s one student here today who hasn’t really noticed this, but in the way he interacts with others, his questioning has got better over the trips he’s taken part in, so that’s great to see.” – Teacher
  • “Wow, the energy that’s just been in the room – incredible!” – Volunteer
  • “I think you were eloquent, well-prepared and you had an awful lot of arguments (…) and it was great that you all contributed.” – Volunteer
  • “The day flowed really well. It was nice how the EE team prepared them for what was coming up.” – Volunteer
  • “A big lesson for them was to learn that in the negotiation you sometimes win by not winning if you know what I mean.” – Volunteer

Thanks to everyone for such a great trip day!

Enabling Enterprise are working in partnership with schools and businesses to support students to build enterprise skills and aspirations. Find out more by contacting us or visiting enablingenterprise.org

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