‘There’s no I in Team, otherwise we’d get nothing done’

On Tuesday the 8th of July, JP Morgan Chase hosted their first ever Enabling Enterprise school trip to the offices in the amazing surroundings of Canary Wharf. It was sure to be an exciting day for the pupils of Chisenhale primary school.

Upon arrival the buzzing pupils engaged in some quick warm up games in order to get them settled down. The children from Chisenhale proved to be very lucky indeed with 5 volunteers arriving, not only from the current office but also other offices across London, in order to help the students for the day.

The volunteers gave the students an insight into what their particular roles involved; with employees in insurance, trading and even a Disaster and Fire team operator. The students posed some brilliant questions to the volunteers in order to explore what their daily routine involved and what it was like to work in one of the world’s leading banks. The students were also familiar with the key challenge skills of Enabling Enterprise having worked on EE projects in school; explaining how they had been Aiming High, Staying positive, Sharing ideas, Teamwork, Listening Carefully, Using Imagination and Leading. The pupils were keen to explore how the volunteers used these skills in their work and what skills they thought were most relevant to their role.

Having quizzed the volunteers the students were informed of their task for the day which was to research, design and pitch the ideal employee “workbag” in a Dragons Den style presentation to the judges of JP Morgan Chase.

The Trading Floor!

Before they began their challenge for the day however, the students were treated to a tour of the offices of JP Morgan. The pupils got the opportunity to see the trading floor of the bank whilst even going up to the 30th floor to see the amazing view from above! The pupils were keen, however, to begin their research for the bag early, keeping an eye out for bags and what the employees carried in their bags.

Hitting the decks

Inspired by their tour, the pupils were motivated for the task that lay ahead of them. Yet before they could be up and running they had to come up with their respective team names. The pupils showed great imagination often utilising the JP Morgan initials into their team names, choosing names such as the ‘JP Musketeers’ and the ‘JP Donz’ – they knew how to win over their prospective judges!

Having come up with their team names the children set about designing their bags. This required pupils to show a great deal of teamwork as they all used their imagination and shared the ideas to come up with a unique design peppered with special features. For example some pupils chose to emphasise the security on their bags, coming up with fingerprint lock and shock absorbent material around the bag to prevent damage occurring to the contents, should the bag be dropped.

‘I think it’s really good that pupils get the chance to come here and see an actual business in practice, they don’t really get the chance to do this in school, especially not mix with children from all ages and abilities’. (Teacher, Chisenhale)

Dragons Den

Having designed their bags the next task for the students was to prepare their presentations for the bag. Before they could do this, however, each pupil had to reflect on how they wanted to improve their presentation skills. The children’s aims ranged from ‘Speaking Clearly’ to ‘Using Formal Language’ and considering how they would go about achieving this. Whilst preparing the presentations the pupils showed some brilliant teamwork with each member of a team taking on responsibility for a different part of the presentation. The adults helped each team prepare the presentation, encouraging pupils to vary their tone, keep eye contact and ensure the audience were engaged with their presentation.

All of the teams came up one by one to present their unique workbags. The teams showed that they had researched thoroughly and listened carefully to the volunteers, to ensure that their bags catered to the needs of the employees of JP Morgan.

Having presented their designs it was now for the judges to decide upon the winning team. The judges took their time to make a tough decision but finally chose the JP Musketeers as the winning team, for the manner in which they used humour, kept the audience engaged and presented clearly and confidently.

Well done to everyone involved in making it such a successful and enjoyable day for all!

JP Morgan Chase have supported skills development in schools through this Enabling Enterprise programme, to get involved in similar projects Contact Us.

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