Hi my name is Melissa and I am currently a Management with Marketing 3rd year student at RGU. This year I have chosen for my third year to go down the Connect 2 Business route, which will enable me to gain experience working with businesses whilst studying at uni.
One of the first things this route entailed was a class trip to “The Burn”; a country estate rich in intriguing history. The whole class and lecturers spent two nights and three days taking part in a range of different activities orchestrated by Erica Cargill and Heather Fulford, designed to build and develop various practical skills.
We arrived at The Burn by bus and were greeted by a lovely lemon drizzle cake along with a presentation on the estates history. It was very interesting hearing how the estate has changed over time and to learn the future plans in making it sustainable. We then went on to take part in some activities, our first task was to analyse each others CVs for strengths and weaknesses to show us areas that we could improve upon.
Our second activity was all about verbal business cards, this consisted of each person writing a verbal business card and presenting it to the rest of the class. This was a particularly beneficial task in ensuring that when you are networking you have a clear concise idea of what to tell potential connections about yourself. We then sat down to dinner and reconvened in the main sitting area for a presentation and a class quiz which was great for socialising.
It was a bright and early start with breakfast at 9am; this was followed by two group assessment centre activities based around the real structures organisations use when assessing potential candidate suitability for a specific role. We enjoyed a lovely lunch before we chose teams and took part in a scavenger hunt exercise. This was a great activity in getting us outside working in teams and exploring the grounds of “the Burn”.
After our scavenger hunt and afternoon tea break we gathered in the main room and were put into groups. We then went through an idea generating process which was “Edward de Bono’s; Six Thinking Hats”. This helped us to come up with our creative ideas for the formal presentations that would be held later that evening to a panel of judges, the topic was fitness.
After dinner we prepared for the presentations, then presented to the panel of judges. It was refreshing hearing how each team had interpreted the fitness theme in such different ways. We then had a mini prize giving for the most creative idea and best idea. Afterwards we got a chance to socialise as a class which was great for getting to know each other better.
On our final day we got into our action learning sets (designated groups) and began thinking of charity fundraising ideas which we will implement later in the year. The Six Hat Theory from day three came in useful here by using all 6 different hats when coming up with ideas. We then had a guest speaker present to us about opportunity spotting, which was really motivational and a great way to end the trip.
Our final task was to come up with some innovative ideas we thought “the Burn” would benefit from. We were asked to do this within groups then select one person to present to “the Burns” manager. All in all this was a great way to round off an invaluable educational trip; of which I have taken a lot from and will implement in both my future learning and work life.
If you are interested in doing a placement but were unable to obtain one or, if you feel like the Connect 2 Business route would be better for you I suggest you go for it! I really feel I have gained some great experience so far and I’m really looking forward to the year ahead.