Mutually Beneficial Relationship

As a college, we were invited to the DEN conference on 13 May 2022. Myself and fellow Business lecturer, Lee Kennedy, rounded up 7 learners to join us in representing the college and sharing our recent experiences with regard to a project and event that we planned and executed with a local charity: LVN. The event was a great success for all involved, but particularly for our learners who, for the very first time, were able to see exactly how to plan and manage an event from the event planner’s perspective. Pitching for investment and developing business relationships with local businesses was a task that our learners fully embraced and saw direct benefits from. This experience was the main source of inspiration in inviting our learners to partake in the DEN conference at Westminster University. Our main objective was for our learners to share their learned experiences and to gain some insight from established university students sharing their experiences too.

We entered the halls where the conference was taking place and immediately witnessed some of Westminster University’s brightest stars, who showcased their well-prepared and engaging presentations on subjects such as Geopolitics, Brexit, and the history of the Balkans. Our learners were very attentive, albeit slightly nervous. When it was finally their time to speak, I and Lee introduced them to the conference. Our learners took to the stage and shared their completely unique experiences with the very attentive audience in a confident and awe-inspiring manner. After their presentations, they were asked a number of questions and engaged with the audience in a very adept and professional way. The weeks leading up to this conference were filled with challenges for these learners; from pitching for investment to public speaking to large groups and managing an actual event, attended by over 600 people.

It was precisely these challenges that prepared our learners to meet with the Westminster University students and engage in this conference so diligently. To say that I was proud would be an understatement. But the accomplishments of these learners directly contribute to their human experiences and give them the tools to do much more with their lives. On the walk back to our respective destinations, we spoke about the past weeks and when listening to the learners speak, I could clearly see they had grown in their confidence and ability. This event presented our learners with opportunities to grow and so to create further opportunities, to which they were all very astute and positively invested. The host of the event was Farhang Morady, who had previously worked with City & Islington. He too had his own unique story about his teaching and learning journey and earnestly invited our learners to meet again and further our collaborative communication.

Overall, we were very thankful to be invited to partake in the conference and look forward to developing a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship with the university – its lecturers and learners alike.

Reuben Cape, Business lecturer, Capital City College Group, London

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