By Pearson Business School student, Paloma Shakouri
On 23rd May it was time for the highly anticipated annual Pearson College London three-day residential!*
A chance to reflect and celebrate the achievements over the past academic year, develop new skills for career development, through a series of challenges and guest speakers in attendance; bringing together students of all year groups. We had just completed our end of year exams and so we had lots of to celebrate!
This year, the residential was held at Horwood House, in Little Horwood, near Milton Keynes. A beautiful conference venue resembling somewhat of a small castle!
The residential started off with a Welcome speech and Year in Review by Will Holt, the Dean of Pearson Business School. There was a reflection on the achievements and highlights of the academic year, supported by a highly entertaining slideshow with photographic representation of each milestone! Will then went on to inform the student body of the changes for the year ahead, including the new Pearson College London workspace in Holborn from September!
Following on from Will Holt, was Ben Hughes, our Vice Principal (Academic Delivery) with an Employability Talk. Ben started by aligning the traditional view of education to the modern perspective and the position of Pearson College London in doing so. The talk then lead on to what (as students) we should get out of our time at Pearson College London, not only academically, but the soft skills also required to secure employment and succeed in the workplace.
The next session was an insight into Roxanne’s Personal Journey, hosted by Sarah Macdonald in an interview-style. Not only did we through enjoy learning more about the Principal and Vice Principal of Pearson College London, it was interesting to learn that both have backgrounds in both academia and acting!
Evening - BBQ
On the first evening of the residential we had a themed BBQ, dressing as ‘something beginning with P’ (for Pearson College London) and thankfully the rain held off, just in time for photographs! We dressed up as the Pink Ladies from Grease.
Morning - Cryptic Challenge
Having received the ominous memo to bring along our sports kits, we were united in anticipation of what this ‘challenge’ would be! We were collectively relieved when as we approached the Walled Garden to find it was set out as a series of fun active challenge to complete in teams. Since the groups were randomly allocated, it was an excellent exercise for team-building and certainly brought out a competitive side!
Evening - Celebratory Dinner
This is most certainly one part of the residential Pearson College London students look forward to all year round and an opportunity to dress up formally and enjoy a three course meal.
During the meal the new PCSA president, James Wright gave a speech reflecting on the residential and outlining his plans for the forthcoming academic year. This was followed by an awards ceremony in honour of the Pearson College London values to be Decent, Brave, Imaginative and Accountable. I was absolutely delighted to receive the award for Decency! After the dessert had been enjoyed, the dance floor was opened up and the party continued into the early hours of the morning.
The following morning, we were delighted to welcome our Keynote Speaker, John Garnett. He took us through his career journey and offered us valuable advice for our future.
Following on from John was a Careers Insight Panel, hosted by Frances Trought, head of Talent Development at Pearson College London, with Rahul Rajput (Lawyer), Jamie Thomas (NBC News) and Joey Hosier (M&S Retail Operations). We enjoyed learning about their experiences and received advice on distinguishing ourselves amongst the competition when applying for graduate jobs and what to expect on training days.
After three days away, the finale of the residential was held back at the Pearson PLC. headquarters at 80 Strand. The day started with a Degree Awarding Powers Session with Anne Evans, explaining the future aspirations for Pearson College London and our views on how to achieve them.
After the discussion, the main task of the day was launched. We were informed that they were considering the possibility of a Business Incubator within the new Pearson College London workspace in High Holborn from September. In light of this, the session began with an introduction to Business Incubators and possibilities of how one could be incorporated to facilitate learning and career development at Pearson College London. The challenge was to propose from a student-perspective how we wanted this to be implemented, whilst outlining how a Pearson College London business incubator would be a unique offering to potential start-ups, in return for the payment of rent and rates.
Christian Emmans, from the winning team speaks about their idea:
"We wanted them to offer the students an opportunity to work in a startup and keep us well informed about how a start up operates and the challenges they face... bringing business even more 'to life' for Pearson College London students!"
A huge thank you on behalf of the entire Pearson College London student body, to everyone who took part in organising such a wonderful residential! It truly was the perfect time to reflect, unwind and develop new skills. We cannot wait until next year!
*Please note, the format of the annual residential is subject to change and accommodation isn’t always provided.