Members of the Essex branch of the Institute of Directors today <23 September 2015> held a series of masterclasses at Writtle College.
Chaired by Tim Price, the Institute’s Essex Chair and Operations Director at Park City Consulting, the event - the first of its kind for undergraduates - covered a range of business and careers advice for students in the School of Sustainable Environments and Design, from body language to using social networks to find jobs; support for entrepreneurs to effective marketing.
Among the speakers were Writtle College governor and local businessman Simon Brice, of Coleman’s Farm, who spoke from his perspective in rural affairs.
Students particularly enjoyed the presentation given by Damian Culhane, MD of Perceptions Coaching, which covered body language and the importance of first impressions, interpreting examples from people in the public eye and showing the impact of effective non-verbal communication.
Lu Li, Founder of Blooming Founders, a startup support network for enterprising women, recounted her journey in business so far, while Ian West, MD of One Marketing, spoke about taking the first steps towards entrepreneurship.
The students started the morning with an exercise to introduce them to the concept of networking. Later they were given an elevator pitch task, when the lecture room was buzzing with ideas about how they could promote the College.
Tina Weavers, Administrator at the Institute of Directors Essex branch, said: “This is the first time we have run the Aspirations in Business sessions to undergraduates. The aim is for some of the 1,200 IoD members in Essex to support the students as they start their careers, giving them specialist advice based on their experience. These free advice sessions are also good for our members as it enables them to give something back. When you own your own company and are successful, you then want to inspire others with the passion you feel for business.”