Annual Achievement Report 2010/2011
Year in review, September 2010 - March 2011 Welcome to the Bright Futures York annual achievement report. We’ve been working hard over the past year to bring a range of brilliant careers events for students at York which have ranged from company presentations, case studies, business challenges and skills workshops.
The 2010/2011 committee: President – Itoro Etuk (3rd Year Accounting, Business Finance & Management) Vice-President / IT Officer – Aman Brar (2nd Year Economics) Treasurer – Yodapa Pullsri (3rd Year ABFM) Secretary – Ione Mignogua (3rd Year ABFM) Events Officers – Cecilia Wu (3rd Year ABFM) Events Officers – Tanya de Souza (2nd Year ABFM) Marketing Officer – Qasim Memon (3rd Year ABFM)
Message from the President I have enjoyed my tenure as the president of Bright Futures York. It is rewarding to see a society I co-founded grow to become a leading career related society at the University. This opportunity plays a big role in my CV and helped with my application for the York Award. I hope that this role will help me when looking for a graduate job after my Masters degree. I have been able to network with graduate recruitment of a range of employers. I have been able to enhance my organisational and leadership skills through managing the committee members, society members and work with a range of employers. I like the opportunity the national organisation gives to attend the regional society events. Morven was key in helping us start the society of York and guiding us through the initial difficult stages. Simon has been very helpful and even came down to York to meet with all the committee members. Jackie has been very supportive to the York committee. The whole Bright Futures experience has been very exciting and rewarding. I feel satisfied when I have never met 95% of the students who attend our events. It makes me feel that we are really providing a service when not only our friends attend but give value to students who attend. I have received thank you emails from employers and even students. As I graduate from York I will carry all the memories of the experience with me and hope the society keeps growing. Itoro
Message from the Vice-President Like Itoro, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed running Bright Futures this year. The opportunity has been immensely rewarding, and with the help of the national team we’ve managed to organise 8 events, and help over 200 people who wouldn’t have otherwise had the opportunity to improve their skills and learn more about the organisations we brought to campus. The corporate investors have generally found the society to be professionally organised and run, with above average attendance for many events that they’ve attended in the past (even changing on-campus recruitment policy for some organisations!) and provided us with great feedback, which we aim to continue in the next year. All in all, it’s been a great experience for the past 6-7 months, and as President for the next year, I am to ensure we move on to become bigger, better and ultimately live up to our tagline of ‘giving our members a competitive edge in graduate careers!’ Aman
Managing the finances My main responsibilities are: to ensure the society accounts are kept in order by collecting expenses from events, setting out a clear projection for the year ahead and securing grants from the annual YUSU fund or sponsorship from any available firms. During the academic year 2010/2011, Bright Futures York managed to raise £400 from the University of York Annual Alumni Fund and £100 from the Careers Service Fund. In addition, from each event we asked our corporate for some contribution, this range from £60 - £100. This money is put towards the costs of food and drinks, promotion and printing and transport for each event. Our other incomes were from membership fees (£5 per membership), and we are currently in the process of securing a grant from the University Student Union. Any surpluses were kept in our own fund account with the student union to substitute for any urgent payments while we are waiting for payment from the corporate to arrive and some are put towards the transport fee for committee members to attend Bright Futures regional events. Yodapa
Succession Planning With most of the current committee already in their 3rd year, planning for next year was critical to ensure that the society carried on building momentum, gaining members and organising more great events. We wanted to expand the committee and define specific roles so work could be distributed evenly, along with widening the range of degree courses represented. To achieve this, we send out emails to many prospective departments across the university, stressing the benefits of joining the society in a leading role and emphasising how much we had achieved within only two terms of existing as a society. We also kept in contact with regular attendees at our events, and through this we found other people interested in a committee position. In the end, we more than surpassed our original aims, and I am proud to announce the new committee for 2011/2012:
The 2011/2012 committee: President – Aman Brar (2nd Year Economics) Treasurer – Josh Wood (1st Year French and Philosophy) Secretary – Laura Patrick (2nd Year English Language and Linguistics) Corporate Liaison – Ryan Bellman-Jefferys (1st Year Economics and Economic History) Corporate Liaison – Daniel Gardiner (1st year Economics) Events Officer – Dara Leung (1st year Psychology) Events Officer – Effy Wang (2nd Year ABFM) Marketing Officer – Martin Ferry (2nd Year English) Marketing Officer – Vlad Skovorodov (2nd Year Economics) IT Officer – Stuart Duncan (1st Year Economics) With our expanded committee and range of degree courses, we hope the new chapter of the Bright Futures society at York will have a greater influence right across the university, reflecting the needs of the majority of students, and not just in the commonly seen Economics/Accounting & Finance backgrounds.
Statistics Society created: September 2010 (Only 6 months old!) Committee members: 7 (Now 10) Membership: 340+ Events held: 8 Companies involved: Nestle, Accenture, York Centre for Enterprise, Qedis, PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte, ACCA Total number of people at events: 220+ Website: http://brightfuturesyork.co.uk
Hectic Beginnings The society started in late September of 2010, from an introductory e-mail both Aman and Itoro received from Morven (now ex-regional manager). We instantly saw the huge potential of Bright Futures at York, with it filling a much needed space in between the academic/course related societies, and the careers service. Who better to decide which events students are most interested in than the students themselves? We approached the idea with lofty ambitions, but with the start of term so close, most other societies had already booked places for the Fresher’s Fair and invited firms to come and attend. We needed to work fast to capitalise on the huge benefit of gaining a substantial amount of members at the start of the year. Contacting the student union daily until the society had secured a table for Fresher’s fair, Itoro then contacted one of her friends, Yodapa, who had previously worked within another society to be our treasurer. By fresher’s fair Morven had sent us the banner and membership cards so we were good to go. We successfully signed on over 200 students to our mailing list during the fair, despite being our placement away from all the other careers societies. After contacting many firms in succession, we managed to book Nestle as our first company to work with for the year. This helped us to promote the society during fresher’s fair and show that we had plans for the future, as we were already running an event in the first week. The event ran smoothly and after that we had 5 more students interested in joining the committee, which we took on and used to increase awareness of the society overall.
Bright Futures Events Event 1 Company: Nestle Workshop: Mock assessment centre exercise Participants: 25 Our first event was a success, with lessons learned along the way (put up signs if your room is hard to find!). Claire Adams and her colleagues from Nestle took us through a mock assessment centre task with an interesting twist; instead of having company employees judge students on the criteria required, the students would be doing it themselves. It was a great way to see how an assessment centre would work in practise, and more importantly, which soft skills are looked at, and how best to prepare for them. After this, groups switched around so everyone had a chance to take part in the task, and also judge a person taking part. We had the opportunity to ask questions on any individual aspect, with a crucial point being made – not everyone had to be a leader within the group. Listening, and making carefully judged responses to further the discussion is just as important.
Event 2 Organisation: The York CETLE Workshop: PwC ‘Business champions’ Workshop Participants: 15 More lessons learned for the second event from Bright Futures – try to pick a day where the weather isn’t absolutely awful! Our turn-out was dramatically different from predicted numbers, mainly due to the pouring rain our determined members had to trudge through to attend the event. Nevertheless, Andrew Fergusson, the head of enterprise and business at the York CETLE, delivered an excellent workshop on ‘how to set up your own business’ – talking through various different strategies, products and ideas. An interesting part of the workshop focused on lateral thinking within business, and how to employ the techniques of Edward de Bono, such as his ‘six thinking hats’ to plan through the processes when building your idea. From this workshop we put forward three teams to PricewaterhouseCoopers Business Champions challenge, and although they unfortunately did not progress to the latter stages we hope they remain undeterred, as one of the vital traits of a successful entrepreneur is dedication!
Event 3 Company: Accenture Workshop: Introduction to Management Consultancy Participants: 45
One of our more high-profile events brought a former York student back for Accentureâ€™s presentation on the management consultancy industry, and a whopping 45 attendees for our society. We found having a former student made the presentation more enjoyable, as Daniel mentioned activities he had participated in York that he talked about in his interviews, along with making it slightly more personal and something that current students could associate with. Throughout the session, Daniel covered the roles of a management consultant and the different type of consultancy (e.g. management, I.T and outsourcing) that Accenture deliver; what skills are needed in the industry (such as commercial awareness, communication, confidence, analytical skill and leadership); the career path in such a field and application process.
It was great to get to revisit the university and hopefully some of the guys that attended take the next steps and send off an application. Darren Brown, Accenture.
Members were put into group to work on a case study and help create awareness of the skills necessary for the role of a consultant and develop them further. Delving into a simple concept such as a petrol filling station brought up an amazing amount of analysis to be completed when considering supply chain management, marketing, customer relationship management, financing, etc. It gave members a real feel for the types of questions they would be asking, and then trying to answer for a client when completing reports and providing suggestions on where they could expand to, how they could change their processes, etc.
Event 4 Company: Qedis Workshop: Presentation Skills Participants: 18
Qedis kicked off our events schedule for the second term with an event we had dubbed ‘Present like a Pro’. Will Sargeant talked us through a little more about the company, and the differences between working in a medium sized enterprise such as Qedis, and established multinational giants; with some interesting points raised about the culture of small businesses and feeling more like part of a family. The bulk of the workshop focused on the core ‘soft skill’ of presentation, with Will and Raminder explaining the important aspects of a good speech, and how often content is only a small part of the presentation; pace, pitch, body language, expressiveness and passion often have a greater effect. We then split up into two groups, and using our enhanced knowledge on the key points of a good presentation, set about creating a speech on why prospective students should come to York. Will gave feedback on areas to improve, and where the student had excelled during the presentation. Bright Futures hope to work closer with Qedis during the next term and academic year, possibly implementing their ‘Q Factor’ game along with other activities.
The Bright Futures York team were very helpful in organising our event, sorting all aspects in advance and a strong number of the committee turned up on the evening to ensure everything went smoothly. The group are well focused and I am confident they will achieve sustained growth to become a real force on campus and a great platform for hosting company events.
Will Sargeant, Qedis
Event 5 Company: PricewaterhouseCoopers Workshop: Teamwork Participants: 24
PwC ran a team building, problem solving session with the Bright Futures team in York. They provided the teams with a treasure map, some instructions and various pieces of information to help crack the code that would lead to the hidden treasure. The winning team was the one that found the treasure in the fastest time possible. The session was timed in two ways; firstly the elapsed time that it took the teams to find the treasure and secondly how long it took to find the treasure as calculated from the treasure map, called the game time. At various points in the game we provided the teams with keys and equipment that would help them get closer to finding and retrieving the treasure. In order to minimise both the elapsed time and game time, the teams needed to find the fastest route to pick up all of the keys and I think overall the session worked equipment before finding the treasure and also to solve really well and hopefully the Bright and retrieve the items from us in the quickest time Futures students left with a sense of possible. achievement and appreciation of how they achieve results and effectively solve problems in a team, a skill we at PwC use all the time.
The teams seem to approach the task in different ways, with some teams favouring to pick up items one at a time whilst others taking a more measured approach Gayle Cosker, PwC by mapping out a large part of their route before retrieving the items. One thread was similar; all teams were eager to get the next item from us so that they could move on (NB: no one was hurt in the pursuit of retrieving the said items!!). The winning team solved the problem in the quickest game time possible and they were duly rewarded with confectionery.
Event 6 Company: Ernst & Young Workshop: Teamwork Participants: 30
Companies are increasingly moving away from standard interview practices and more into strengths based assessment. Ernst & Young employ this technique in some of their interviews â€“ we invited them to York for a workshop in determining your own strengths. Michael Price, a member of the campus recruitment team of E&Y executed this session with two other E&Y staff, one of which was also a York alumnus. This strength session provided students with teamwork tasks to complete. Students present at the workshop could ask questions that usually come up at interviews, and the techniques to answer difficult questions in interviews were revealed. It was particularly useful to students who had E&Y assessment centres coming up. As the session finished within an hour students were able to network and ask specific questions regarding internships or graduate jobs.
Event 7 Company: Deloitte Workshop: Assessment Centre & Interview skills Participants: 55 Our seventh event completely packed out our usual room for the first time since the start of term, and a good thing it was too. Deloitte brought along eight company representatives from their Consulting, Audit and Tax departments, along with Deloitte scholars currently at York – and they all had engaged students to talk to; a perfect situation! Darren Page, a senior recruiter at Deloitte, gave a comprehensive explanation of the application process, along with answering student enquiries along the way. Individual aspects of the interview and the core competencies that they expect to see from graduates were explored, which allowed students a rare insight into the application process before they experienced it for real. Overall, the emphasis for interviews seemed to lie on providing students with a platform for them to display their competencies and motivation in the best way possible – trick or random questions were out of the ordinary, although the ever present “what are you weaknesses” question still remained unanswered, providing insight that it is generally student’s thought processes which interviewers are looking at, rather than the specifics of the answer. As part of a half-time activity, students were able to split into small groups and try out sample competency questions on each other, with a Deloitte representative on hand to give advice on how to plan and give a great answer. Students had their questions answered on other parts of the process, such as the E-tray and group exercises, and the ability to chat informally at the end of the session, making it one of our best attended and informative events to date!
Event 8 Company: ACCA Workshop: Ethics in the Workplace Participants: 15 Ethics is a branch of philosophy that addresses morality and studies the difference between right and wrong. As seen in the press, making the wrong choices in a business situation can lead to serious consequences including corporate failure, loss of reputation, fines and even prison sentences. Your own values, interests, attitudes and experiences are the filter through which you view any situation. Professional ethics is at the heart of the ACCA Qualification which is why we want to make sure you are knowledgeable before interview. The workshop from ACCA differed from our usual skills based sessions, but was chosen as it still contained essential knowledge which any student should find useful. James Johnson delivered the presentation along with a colleague. Splitting the workshop into two sections, James explained the ACCA framework and the difference between choices based on judgement and compassion, including a fun section where the group made earned sweets from every choice! We then went into a case study in which students had to decide which choices a manager would take, based on the ethics framework and considering other external factors. The case study contained a few stages, some of which influenced the decision, and some added information which didnâ€™t need to be considered when thinking simply about the case in hand. In general, it was a great insight into some of the more hidden aspects of work within accountancy and most other professions â€“ providing us with greater knowledge on how decisions should be made ethically in ideal circumstances.