As The South Leeds Academy students took their seats on Monday 7th July in a meeting room at PwC Leeds their pride in being amongst the winning ten students was very clear. Their professionalism and maturity was evident from the outset as they introduced themselves to their PwC colleagues for the day, Amy and Omar and had the opportunity to take a tour with Anne-Marie around the PwC offices. The students were amazed to see the range of different careers that people held at PwC from Accountants to Security, IT Engineers to Administrative Assistants, Partners to Trainees and at least two students left with aspirations of working at PwC.

Developing Enterprise Skills

Over the course of the day students and professionals took time to look at the similarities between the enterprise skills that the students were developing and the attributes that PwC professionals have at their work. This really helped to give students a sense of what was possible but also what they need to develop at school in order to make it happen.

One of the most important similarities was PwC’s value to be able to ‘lead and contribute to team success,’ which covers the two Enterprise Skills of Working in a Team and Leading and revealed to students the importance of these two aspects of school, the Greetings Card Enterprise Challenge and indeed the world of work. With these similarities in mind the ten winning pupils had the opportunity to interview Amy and Omar.

One of the students reflected on the opportunity over their lunch “I really enjoyed working with the PwC volunteers – it was interesting to learn more about the jobs and give us a link to our futures.”

The Challenge of the Day

The Challenge at PwC was to work in teams to design a new workbag for PwC professionals. Students took time to research whilst on their tour, generate ideas as a team and put these to paper to create a visual representation of their bags. Once their whirlwind design process was complete students had a working lunch in order to put together a Powerful Presentation to be crowned the overall winners.

The key here was preparation and practice especially as students as set themselves targets in order to improve their presentation skills. From targets of clarity to logical ordering to the increased use of formal language, tone and expression students knew what they had to improve in order to be successful. Amy, Omar and Mr Caddick were truly invaluable here as students were able to draft and re-draft their presentation so that they could perfect their presentation skills and style.

Perfecting Presentations

In addition to their personal targets the students also focused on the 4 S’s to a successful presentation; Smiling, Standing Still, Striding and Seeking and as teams practiced and perfected their presentations real progress was made in the room.
To say the decision for the panel of judges at the end of the day was difficult would be an understatement. Amy, Omar and Mr Caddick retired for at least 10 minutes to conduct their deliberations and choose an overall winner whilst Luxi, who had been with the students on their Challenge Day popped in to see how the students had progressed.

From role play, to rhetorical questioning, the deployment of data and target market descriptions the teams gave very powerful and polished presentations however, there really could only be one winner and this was the all-female, MgC Team!

Thank You

Once again well done The South Leeds Academy you left a lasting impression at the PwC offices and thank you PwC for helping have such a successful day!

PwC are supporting Enabling Enterprise through hosting these trips to business, if you would like to get involved, Contact Us!

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