Berkhamsted Group | 15.05.2023

Building employability skills with The Student Consultancy

Building employability skills with The Student Consultancy

A strong sense of community spirit amongst pupils is a key element of life at Berkhamsted Sixth. A range of opportunities are available to help support and develop this, one of which is Oxford University’s highly successful Student Consultancy programme.

This programme has now run for six years at Berkhamsted, as an extension of the placements offered through Berkhamsted’s Careers and Community Service Departments and has seen many students benefit from it.

The programme trains teams of students in essential Management Consulting skills. It then sees students develop these by getting them to explore solutions to a particular business issue facing a local charity, not-for-profit organisation, or social enterprise. A key objective of the project is to encourage students to see volunteering and engagement with the local community as the norm, whilst gaining valuable business experience and developing key employability skills, including:

  • Independent learning and researching skills
  • Strategy skills
  • Learning to communicate professionally including with a client
  • Presentation skills
  • Team working skills
  • Real life business experience
  • Confidence
  • Learning to deliver – no matter what!

Over the years our students have benefitted from working with many amazing charities and local not-for-profit organisations. This year’s teams had Hector’s House and Rennie Grove as their clients. Hector’s House is a suicide prevention and mental health awareness charity for young people, whilst Rennie Grove is a local hospice.

The Berkhamsted Sixth teams worked with the charities and then presented thorough and detailed reports of their methodology, recommendations, and research, which take the form of management reports and include executive summaries. They also gave impressive presentations to several representatives from both charities, so have also honed their public speaking skills.

This was a tremendous opportunity for Sixth Form pupils, and enormous thanks must go to Hector’s House and Rennie Grove who have given so much to the programme, as well as to the Oxford University Careers Service who have developed it.

We were very proud to receive some excellent feedback from the clients, which can be read in the drop-down boxes below:

Feedback from Hector’s House:

‘The students brought some fantastic points to our attention that can have such an impact on our work in helping individuals that need it! I was not only impressed by the in-depth research that they did which led to findings that can hugely benefit the charity, but also their passion and dedication to the project. I felt they really went above and beyond and have so much gratitude for the work that they put in. Their presentation was professional and impactful but what was especially striking was their confidence to give us constructive criticism which I can imagine would have been very daunting.

I felt incredibly honoured to have these students on our project. They were so personable, kind and evidently very talented. Their maturity in handling topics such as mental health and suicide was admirable – they are a great credit to themselves, the school and their peers. The research they did for our small charity will be used for doing so much good in the area. We are hoping to apply for a fund to totally rejuvenate our website – and we will be using their report completely to back up why it’s needed, and as a guide for how the website is shaped going forward.

Lastly, and possibly most important for us, was the sensitivity they showed during the project. Hector’s House is a very personal charity in memory of a person their age who took his own life. They were sensitive to this; showing great care to ensure their feedback was delivered kindly and delicately. This level of emotional maturity – wow. The whole team were blown away by them both. The team should be unbelievably proud of what they achieved. Not only have they learned skills, impressed everyone in the room with their presentation and delivered a successful project – they’ve also massively contributed to the wellness of young people in their area. Our future new website – which will be totally inspired by their work – will likely save many, many lives. For that, and for all their hard work, passion, and empathy, we are forever grateful.  

I was extremely impressed with the depth of research that the students had carried out to come to their findings. It was so refreshing to get a view from a young person’s perspective and their constructive feedback was both inspiring and hugely beneficial to our charity.  I would also like to take this opportunity to say that from the perspective of a future employer, the research they have completed is of a very high standard, reflects the energy, passion and commitment they had for the project, and was also delivered in a very professional manner.’

Feedback from Rennie Grove:

‘We were thoroughly impressed throughout our journey on the Student Consultancy Project.

We would like to say that from the beginning to the end, the team were always very engaging and motivated throughout the project.

When the students visited our Retail and Trading office, this was a great opportunity to meet the students and for them to meet our staff and volunteers.

Spending time with the students allowed us to give them an insight to our charity and how we operate as a business.

The students communicated throughout the project professionally and were always very engaged, which really shown through.

Our chosen subject could have been very challenging, however the students carried out such a high level of maturity and presented themselves well.

From our perspective the group took the lead, which we were very impressed with, and we thoroughly enjoyed working with the students.

On the day of the presentation, we were made to feel very welcomed, and our charity felt important to the team and yourselves.

We genuinely hope all the students got as much experience from the project as we did, and they should all be incredibly proud of themselves.

 Thank you once again for allowing us to be part of ‘The Student Consultancy Group Project’.

Join us at our open events to discover more about Berkhamsted Schools Group.

Enjoy a taste of Berkhamsted from the comfort of your own home by coming along to one of our virtual open events: 

Wed 14 June 19:00 – Heatherton 

Wed 21 June 18:30 – Pre-Prep / Prep 

Wed 28 June 19:00 – Girls 

Thur 29 June 18:30 – Boys 

Thur 29 June 19:30 – Sixth 

Then see it all in reality at our on-site Open Events in September.

Please note that booking onto each of our events is essential due to limited availability.

Book your place here.

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