Pearson PLC Industry Day

John Fallon

Industry Days at Pearson College London are a great way for students to network, learn more about a company they could potentially work for after graduation and put into practice what they have learnt in class. 

On Tuesday 5th November, first year business school students attended the Pearson PLC industry day and were set a task by CEO, John Fallon. Here's what two students thought about the experience. 

Orla Enright

Pearson’s Industry Day was a fantastic day packed full of insightful talks from leading education innovators who came together to present a Pearson industry day,  hopefully the first of many.  Starting with Kelwyn Looi, a commercial strategist and innovation professional who led us through the day with his words of wisdom and witty humour. Kelwyn shared with us his knowledge and past experiences in an array of industries, giving us all something to take away and think about.

Leading on from this, we had talks from Vikki Weston, Laurie Forcier (Global Director of Thought Leadership), Jane Baker (Director of HE Qualifications at Pearson), Marc Bloch (Senior Publisher and Head of Digital), and lastly the CEO of Pearson John Fallon. The talks were all designed to give us insights into the inner workings of Pearson as a global corporation and shed light on how the company runs.

We were then lucky enough to hear from John Fallon who shared his experience in climbing to the top of the Pearson chain, notably his move from his impressive New York office and role to a more humble role in a modest Harlow office! John’s talk was highly engaging and uplifting and all of us students were privileged to be able to listen to a man of his esteemed calibre talk.

After lunch and the talks were completed, we moved on to tackle the Future Skills 2030 challenge where we designed a service to aid a specific persona. In our case, our persona was Wilson, a man in his early 30s, committed to furthering his education and who worked within the technology sector.  We came up with an app called SkillsBoost which enabled professionals to invest a vacant 15-30 minutes which would normally be spent commuting on investing back into themselves and their professional development. The app was similar to the business model of Duolingo. Professionals could explore the niche market of tech and take exams which would be accredited by established professional bodies in order to make the time invested worthwhile.

After the business plans were made, the 13 teams each submitted a one-page pitch to the judges. After deliberation, 13 teams were then whittled down to four. The teams then had the opportunity to present to the rest of the teams and judges Andy Ware, Vikki Weston, Laurie Forcier, Duncan Roberts and lastly John Fallon. The pitching then took place, four teams all pitched with knowledge of their model and ambition making the challenge a fantastic success.

Finally, the winning team was announced (SkillsBoost) and the team and I were elated with the win and of course the prize of having lunch with John Fallon. All in all the day was a great success and sparked all of us students ambition for this year!

Martha Horrox

Last week, I and the rest of the first year students had the opportunity to engage in an industry day with CEO of Pearson John Fallon and his team. The day was focused on Pearson’s recent research ‘The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030’ and what we can expect the workplace to look like by this time. We were presented with a report about the workforce in 2030, understanding the challenges and opportunities workers may face by this time. We started the day with some motivating and engaging speeches from experts within Pearson, including talks from John Fallon, Vikki Weston, Laurie Forcier, Jane Baker, Marc Bloch and Derek Richardson, all of which delved into different aspects of employment and future skills.

After an engaging morning, we were split into teams and came up with our own proposals for a new product or service, based on a ‘future worker’ of 2030 working within a particular sector, for example, construction. My personal highlight of the day was the opportunity to be creative with this, and it was fantastic to see what everyone else came up with. We finished the day by watching the top four groups propose their ideas to the panel of judges before they announced the winner. Overall, it was a rewarding day which provided the opportunity to be creative whilst working in a team, as well as networking with experts at Pearson. I’d also like to thank Kelwyn Looi for compèring the event and his support throughout the day. Congratulations to the winning team and a huge thank you to everyone involved in making the day happen, I certainly learnt a lot and had a thoroughly enjoyable day!