Teachers Lee Kennedy and Prabhakar Tailor spoke about the college’s push to give students the practical skills they need for a career in business. “It’s all about having a real project, or a real focus,” says Lee. “They can start understanding what they’re going into instead of just working in the classroom.”
Lee goes on to explain the strategic overhaul within the department, which will get students working more closely with Islington businesses, helping students to build the sector-relevant skills that they will need to succeed after college.
“We’ve been working with the London Village Network (LVN) since 2017. Our first event was such a success that they came back and asked our students to put together an advert for them to use in their campaigns. Our students did everything – the storyboarding, the scripting, the acting, filming. They learnt the ropes from a professional crew that was brought in, and produced it all on site, here at the college.
“It shows the way media and business fit together. Our students get a proper understanding of finance management, events management, social media, design, from start to finish. We’re looking to expand every year, which we’re achieving by building good relationships with other businesses and growing our reputation. Just like real life.”
Prab explains the recent success with pitching events earlier this year. Students had the opportunity to present their ideas to Expedia Group and Euromonitor International on behalf of the LVN at the end of January. The business broker the BIG Alliance, who are based on the third floor of the CBAT building, helped arrange these visits. In early March, 300 people turned to the event which was the final part of the project, promoting ‘The Power of an Hour’. Arsenal in the Community have been important partners and sponsors of these events, offering CANDI students extra lessons in merchandising, starting in May.
“We’re really grateful to all the students and staff who gave up their free time to make the event a success. Working with the community is getting some traction,” Prab added. “Not long ago I took students to Bloomberg. We let them invest a virtual sum of money and monitor the returns. Traders took the time to talk to students and explain what they do – they get a taste for what life after college could look like.
“What we’re trying to give them is real life skills in business. It’s really beautiful when you go into class and see that they want more of it. People come to lessons just to learn – they want to be there. It makes a difference.”
And the efforts are surely paying off. Business students have made such a marked impact on the community that local opportunities are flooding in.
“We have a project with the Almeida Theatre going on at the moment. Students starting out on their education have given up their free time to write stories and perform on stage in front of an audience. The change is unbelievable. They all want success. If you have no plan, you have no future. This gives them a plan. It gives them something to work towards. The theory in the classroom is all based around an end goal, what you want to achieve. We ask them what they want to learn, and then work out how to get it.”