Record numbers rise to the challenge

August 11, 2017

A record of just over 100 Collyer’s students got a taste of the real world of business at the Challenge of Management 2017, run by the Ofsted Outstanding sixth form college at the 5 star South Lodge Hotel.

The popular and successful event is a key part of the college’s progression initiative and gave students a taste of the real world of management and employability skills. The event enabled teams of ten students, each led by a top representative from the regional business community, to compete throughout the day in a number of business games and team building exercises.

Expert business representatives and guest speakers supporting the event included: Smita Warren (RSA), Neil Bennett (John Lewis), Dominic Wakefield (Wakefield’s), Steve Summers (Outreach International); Ann Donoghue (Collyer’s Governor and Senior International HR Professional); Steve Spurling (HSBC), Jenni Dance and Sarah Brosnan (South Lodge, an Executive Hotel); Entrepreneur Harry Daymond, and university under-graduate Taylor Bennett (both ex Collyer’s students); Mark Goodson (Accenture) Kim Sim and Ian Robinson (Assurity Consulting); Sarah Ediss and Jack Fosberry (Kreston Reeves) and Nicola Thurston (Talenterprize).

Lucy Hargreaves from the college’s Progression Directorate said: “Our amazing experts are all incredible supporters of Collyer’s and have given so much time, creativity and energy to help the next generation. Our students thought they were truly inspiring!”

Senior Tutor Ian McAlister was delighted: “Throughout the day I was impressed and humbled by the sheer talent within the room. Students took the event very seriously, dressing for business and ready to learn. Earnest discussions were had at every table combined with a great sense of humour and a desire to participate.

“Enormous congratulations to Ella Cotton, who won our Student of the Day prize, kindly donated by Wakefield’s, and presented by Dominic Wakefield.”  

Throughout the day, attention was drawn to the learning opportunities that the tasks provided and real-life presentations where given about the routes available after college. Ex-Collyer’s student Jack Fosberry spoke about his experience as he moves into the second year of an Accountancy Apprenticeship  at Kreston Reeves, Taylor Bennett charmed the audience with her honest breakdown of university life and Harry Daymond explained how he won £50,000 worth of support and advice for his own business ideas from the 2017 Young Start Up Talent Competition.

South Lodge’s Sarah Brosnan, described her fascinating career path and encouraged students to follow their dreams, remain flexible, work hard and enjoy building their careers. As well as benefiting from this practical and personal advice students competed in a Sculpture and Presentation Competition, a Cave Rescue based dilemma and the ever-popular Lego Production Challenge. Using real life examples and techniques teams discussed, planned and presented their ideas, all to win prizes throughout the day.

Student Tom Williams thoroughly enjoyed the event: “I’d like to thank to all of the experts and my teachers at Collyer’s for making today possible, they’re brilliant and you can tell they really care about helping us plan our futures. South Lodge Hotel is stunning and it was very kind of them to have us.

“It was a great chance to work on my team building skills, so I am so glad I signed up for the day!”


Ian McAlister added: “This is a complex and extremely effective day with many, many, moving parts and I cannot thank Collyer’s Lucy Hargreaves, Tracy Bennett and the team enough for organising the event. Massive thanks also to Collyer’s Nicola Algar, Ellen Bateman, Debbie Mollart, Ivan Morgan, Tracy Swan and Challenge of Management stalwart Roger Raymond for their outstanding support. The day ran so smoothly and was thoroughly enjoyed by both staff and advisers.”