Hereward College News

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

From Breakfast Buzz to Employment Buzz!

The “Breakfast Buzz” has become a yearly event at Hereward College, where regional employers are invited to the College in order to engage with students and increase work experience opportunities. This event is planned to be a two way process – with all parties benefiting from the partnership.

The concept was started last year by the Student Services Department by organising two sessions, one for Creative and Media studies and one for Business and ICT studies. The whole process started from a college strategy day involving Governors, the Senior Management Team and the Operational Management Group, where the Operational Management Group was given specific targets. 

Marion Imber, Student Services Co-ordinator, ‘My target was to increase the number of external work experience opportunities for students. I came up with the idea of hosting a breakfast meeting where employers were invited in to allow students to learn about the world of work from them and for our students to showcase their work to employers.’ The term ‘Breakfast Buzz’ was suggested by Karen Johnson, Creative and Media Curriculum Head.

After a very successful event last year, with many opportunities arising, like half/full day work experience opportunities, visits to company premises and even a placement for Sound Engineering at Herbert Media, we decided to hold a whole week's focus on Employment this year and to link it to the National Careers Week which took place at the same time, since both events have the same objectives. But, since this year the event was more than just a breakfast (05-09 March), we called it the Employment Buzz!

The biggest surprise probably came from our Business Studies students, who proposed organising the Breakfast Buzz as part of their coursework. The students developed it into their own version and and held it as part of the Employment Week.
The idea was originally tested out via a student survey and we had a steering group of staff and students, including students Emily Seaman and Martin Berisford, who met weekly to bounce ideas and to move the programme forward. Emma and Martin were the links to the Breakfast Buzz event the students were organising.
Martin, a student at Hereward, stated that ‘I thought that the event actually went really well and was a real learning curve for me both academically and personally. I've learnt how to organise and liaise with people whilst showing to myself that I am capable of doing this and speaking/presenting to people I don't know, which is one of my huge fears. I thought the event itself though was really successful and speaking to a few students afterwards it was clear that is has helped people in terms of opportunities.’

The objectives of the Breakfast Buzz were to promote the college's skills and abilities to potential employers whilst trying to create some work opportunities for the students themselves. The emphasis was placed on current students showcasing themselves and their work and on past students who did presentations in order to demonstrate their success after leaving college. This enabled employers to see the vast potential of Hereward students and also inspired current students.

Businesses sat at tables with students in an informal setting and took part in a team building exercise and also networked with students looking at different curriculum activities. Here’s a list with all the employers which have attended the Breakfast Buzz.
If you would like to learn more about the employers and past students who attended the Breakfast buzz click here.
 
Katy Saunders, a teacher at Hereward, added: ‘I am so glad the Breakfast Buzz event was an enjoyable experience for those that attended both businesses and students alike. I found the focus on the student experience and the success stories an angle that was enlightening for students and businesses. Aideen Blackboroughs presentation was a real insight to how much someone can achieve despite and in some respects because of adversity and I think she provided inspiration for us all. It was a very full morning and everyone's time and input was very much appreciated. It is an idea that we can improve and build on this model and run future events that encourage more businesses to link and work with Hereward and invite more students to share their success stories.

Moreover, workshops were organised throughout the week in order to bring people into the College to explain the opportunities that are available - mostly in the local area.
Details on each organisation that attended workshops and available opportunities as a result of the workshops can be found here.

All of the workshop presenters were very keen to continue to work with the college and develop strong links with the students, similar to last year’s Breakfast Buzz.

The college is now in the process of following up the events with staff and student attendees for feedback.

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