On Friday 16th October, we were delighted to be attending our first industry partner event of the academic year, at our very own parent company, Pearson Plc.
The day started with an introduction from the CEO, John Fallon, who gave us an insight into the history of Pearson and how it became a global leader of education.
Then Tom ap Simon, the Senior Vice President of Finance and Growth Markets discussed how Pearson have worked in education oversees and dealing with high barriers to entry with entering markets in other countries such as China.
We then had a talk from Giles Grant, the Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, on commercial front end marketing strategy. He explained that careful segmentation is important in order to be clear exactly what your market is. Giles also told us that we must really get into the mind of our target consumer, as they may not always consume in the way we might initially expect.
The Product Life Cycle talk was led by Craig Strong and Chris Locke, who outlined and explained the stages of a creating a product or concept. We also learned the importance of targeting a specific consumer, rather than a popular mistake of the target market being everyone! We created a refined example customer profile as part of a group activity.
We were informed that there were 180 million students enrolled in higher education in 2013 and this is estimated to be 500 million by 2040.
Encompassing everything we had learned so far, our task was to create a model for Pearson College London to cope with the increasing demand and find a way of implementing it into other countries across the world.
We were then divided into teams and had approximately two and a half hours to come up with our ideas, create and prepare our presentations. This was also the first time we had worked with the new intake of first year students, and likewise them, with us! They settled into the task very quickly and proved to be a true asset to our team.
It came to our time to present; in front of a panel of John Fallon, Rob Bristow, Alex Selwood, Giles Grant, Shirley Chin and Gillian Seely, all clearly very highly influential members of Pearson Plc. Whilst we present in class pretty much on a daily basis, this was a much more high pressure experience - we wanted to make our parent company proud! Our adrenaline was certainly flowing at this point.
Our idea created a simple way of tripling the current maximum capacity of Pearson College London, without losing (part of) what makes it special - it's high level of industry exposure, it's high contact hours and strong tutor to student ratio. In fact building upon these principles and creating even more competitive students when entering the graduate employment market.
Overall, I found the day truly inspiring. It made me feel incredibly proud to be a part of such a forward-thinking and innovative company. I am very much looking forward to taking the challenge further and working with the product life cycle team and developing our ideas into possibilities.
I now eagerly anticipate our next industry event at IBM on Friday 30th October!
Second Year, BSc Business & Enterprise.
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