BY RACHEL BUNTING
The Great Hall at Queen’s was packed with around sixty Year 9 and Year 10 students on Monday April 8. QUB Enactus (a social enterprise society here at Queen’s) had organised an engaging business educational event for six schools from across Belfast. The event lasted from mid-morning until mid-afternoon and throughout the day students participated in entertaining ice-breakers and teamwork exercises from building towers out of spaghetti and marshmallows, to making newspaper hats. More importantly, there were also business orientated tasks including challenging the students to design a product and pitch it to the rest of their team.
The aim of the day was not simply to introduce business skills to the students but it also sought, by inviting a mixture of Catholic and Protestant schools, to provide an opportunity to make new friends and encourage taking down the sectarian divide. The schools were mixed from the beginning of the day into random teams for their various challenges, before being reunited with their school for a final briefing on their main selling challenge. For a week each school must sell bottled water (delivered by QUB Enactus to the schools on the day of the event) in their school and local community using the business skills they learned at the event. It must be said, once students realised they were keeping half the profits creativity levels rose exponentially.
Students were able to design their own action plan for selling, encompassing their preferred promotion, place, price and target market. Invited guests including MLA Basil McCrea and Professor Tony Gallagher (a Pro-Vice Chancellor at Queens) were impressed with the event and the participating students, taking the opportunity to speak to the various teams and Enactus members present. Junior Minister Jonathan Bell gave a few words of encouragement at the end of the event, also being impressed with the level of enthusiasm and creativity on the day. After months of hard work, preparation and frantic phone-calling the great success of the event was a relief to the members of QUB Enactus involved who thoroughly deserved their drink in Filthy McNasty’s afterwards!