You’re standing in front of a room full of 15-year old students who are about to make some very important decisions that will set them on their course for the future. Heavy stuff at such a young age. What would you like to say to them, knowing what you know now?
It’s not so much a question of what, but where do you start.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to speak to a group of year 10 English students this month at the Pingle Academy in Swadlincote, just a few miles from our offices in Derbyshire.
Following a chat about what we do here at Papillon, the students bravely read aloud a press release they had prepared on a hypothetical charity event at the local running club. Based on my feedback, I then set the students the challenge of coming up with their own headline for their event. We heard some very clever headlines that revealed the local, charity and personal aspect of the story.
My main objective of the session was to put into context how the students learning in the classroom translates into the workplace, such as thinking about who you are writing for, what they would be interested in, what will make them read on and tailoring the angle of your story to fit.
Here at Papillon, we’re real advocates of going beyond standard educational practices to look at ways in which we can engage young people, so when Forum Talent Potential, an organisation that aims to link employers with curriculum projects to create meaningful learning experiences for students within schools, approached us with the idea of a small workshop to get the pupils involved with local businesses, we were quick to jump at the chance.
Without practical experience it can be hard to relate how your learning will help you beyond school and into the workplace, so I wanted to address this by talking about the transferable skills they already have. At 15, they have some big decisions ahead of them as they start to make plans for their futures and it was great to have the opportunity to speak to them at this stage of their lives to hopefully help make their choices a little clearer.
Papillon is actively advocating opportunities to prepare students for the ‘real world’ of work and we will be planning more visits to local education settings in the future.
You never know – we may inspire some PR professionals of the future!
Sarah is our account director extraordinaire, overseeing the entire Papillon portfolio. Her time working with multi-national brands, independent retailers and in-house at a national childcare provider has taught her to be calm, cool and collected, combining a relentless focus on business objectives with sparks of creative genius. She also knows more about the private lives of celebrities than the rest of us combined.