The international investment bank, Societe Generale, welcomed students from Riversdale, Cleveland and Downsell primary schools for a teamwork master class in the heart of the London. The three schools were at different stages in their Enabling Enterprise programme and were eager to meet with other students to share their experiences and the skills they had learned. Working with a new set of teammate, the students would join together to face the ultimate construction challenge, whose success would rely on their ability to work together.

After deciding on a team name and appointing a team leader, the groups were initiated into the business world through a ‘Careers Carousel’, where they quizzed members of Societe Generale on their education, career ambitions, and the daily life of an investment banker. Having gained an insight into the essential skills needed for the workplace, the students were eager to put them to the test. With the support of business professionals, the teams would be forming their very own construction company, who would be commissioned to design and build a bridge connecting the English mainland to the Isle of Sheppey. The teams faced a problem – the sales pitch was only 2 hours away. With only newspaper and basic stationary to build their prototype, there would need to get moving very quickly. Leadership, cooperation and a clear team strategy would be essential to getting everything completed in time.

The teams soon busied themselves with Stage One of the operation – trading and gathering sufficient resources to build their bridge. After careful planning and successful bartering, each team managed to secure their materials and were now equip to turn their ideas into a reality. Through sharing ideas as a team, the students generated some innovative and exciting ideas, which would ensure the bridge would be a landmark for generations to come. Our favourite designs included an underwater aquarium bridge, a Diamond Jubilee bridge, and a bridge which incorporated a football stadium and interfaith centre in one! As the clock ticked away, the teams moved swiftly onto construction. In order to use time effectively, effective team management would be crucial, so each team was careful to include everyone, share roles, and work together to resolve challenges.

After overcoming various design and engineering obstacles, every team successfully completed their prototypes, just in time for the judging panel. After creating and rehearsing a brief sales pitch, each team gathered at the front and delivered engaging and informative presentations. The judges were all impressed, not only by the quality of ideas and the clever engineering, but also with the confidence of communication. There was a buzz of suspense in the air as the judges withdrew to decide a final verdict – since each team had worked so successful, the result would be very close.

And the winner was…. The Flaming Meteors – whose inspiring teamwork, beautiful Olympic bridge, and entertaining sales pitch would be certain to draw in the crowds! Congratulations Flaming Meteors and congratulations to all the students from Riversdale, Cleveland and Downsell for your outstanding achievements. Thank you also to the volunteers from Societe Generale for offering your support, encouragement and insights throughout the day. We hope to see you all at another Enabling Enterprise event soon!

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