Work Related Learning
'Working In The City' visit at Clifford Chance
The highly established law firm Clifford Chance gave 12 students the exciting opportunity to attend a workshop at their reputable office in Canary Wharf, on the 12th May. The pupils were presented with a basic background of the law firm and its history, thus communicating to the students what a prestigious place of business they had been fortunate enough to visit.
After the pupils were presented with a basic introduction of the company, they were encouraged to interact with two other schools that were also present during the workshop. The pupils were advised to partner up with a student from a different school and ask them questions, helping them to utilise basic social and communication skills. This exercise also served the purpose of forming a sense of familiarity with each other, encouraging students to articulate their ideas and points of view more.
Many of the students who participated in the workshop found such exercises beneficial, as one student, Yulissa (age 15), stated that, "This workshop helped to develop my communication skills." After having split into pairs, the students were presented with a new task. The task involved identifying the 5 main sectors of business within the City of London. The pupils were given a small amount of time to discuss with their partner what they believed the correct 5 sectors were and were also provided with images as prompts. After a short period of time, the main sectors of business were revealed, giving students an insight into what sectors of business a large quantity of job opportunities would be available in.
The pupils were then presented with a task where they were required to categorise a large number of cards with statements that were to be placed under each business sector. This required students to further utilise their communication skills as well as team work. It also provided students with the opportunity to see what type of job opportunities were available within the 5 main sectors. This information was something students found particularly useful as "It was very interesting and useful to learn about the different job opportunities", commented Humarya (age 15).
Once the exercise concluded, the pupils were presented with the exciting opportunity to meet with business people who were currently working at Clifford Chance. This provided students with the opportunity to interact and gain advice about future career paths and what these future pathways may entail. It allowed students to gain exposure to a diverse selection of business people who all communicated the several different ways they had attained their current position at the law firm. Many of the Clifford Chance employees did not have English as their first language, so it was particularly interesting to learn how this effected how easily they managed to gain their current positions.
Many students perceived these series of interviews as "really enjoyable", (Alexia, age 15) and "inspiring", (Lydia, age 15). Finally, the students were placed into large groups where they were tasked with a debate question. It was found that the students were interacting very well with the pupils from other schools and were very invested in the debate, which encouraged them to exchange ideas easily, and further consolidate the sense of familiarity that was previously formed.
Overall, the Working in The City workshop was considered as an extremely useful opportunity that allowed students to gain a genuine insight into the business world. It also gave them the ability to make a significant development in their social and communication skills as well as working in a team.
By Naomi Finapiri 10M