On Tuesday 29th January, Rosebery School in Epsom, Surrey was honoured to be one of the schools selected to host a Business workshop by Unilever – a global consumer goods company. The workshop consisted of a three-hour course which helped those who took part gain key employability skills such as team-building, organisation, creativity and communication. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to participate in this workshop.

The main purpose of the session was to apply our knowledge of Business Studies to the real world by creating our very own business. It was just a matter of assigning groups for the day before there were bursts of ideas for products coming from every corner of the hall – it very much felt like we were in the Apprentice. Some of the product ideas included lip balms, hair dye and shampoo.

However, after the planning and creating stage was over it was serious business. As part of the exercise, each group had to now think about how their product linked to the 4p’s of the marketing mix (price, product, place, promotion). This allowed us to explore key concepts like business plans, aims and objectives, marketing, logistics, sustainability of products etc. which are all factors that ensure the success of a business. This took up most of the day.

The workshop ended with each group pitching for their products – mimicking Dragon’s Den – where 3 people from each group sold the idea to 5 Unilever employees who had to decide which of the products was the best and most worthy of belonging in the Unilever brand portfolio. The prize was a basket full of Unilever goodies!

My group won the competition with our idea of lip balm trios. We had thought about everything from ingredients to pricing (which would have provided us with a huge profit margin per unit being 81.6%). Our sales executive and marketing manager worked closely together to design a fairly minimalistic packaging, whilst the supply chain executive was busy in deciding what the most suitable locations were to have our warehouses, factories and offices. Combining everyone’s skills in my group allowed us to be open to a variety of ideas, meaning we were efficient with timing and hence, produced a winning product.

A fellow team member of mine, Zara Paul, describes the day as an “excellent experience. It helped to build essential skills such as team work, communication, critical thinking and resilience which are key to building a successful future in our careers. We were lucky enough to have the chance to use these skills in a real-life business scenario, thus elevating our potential and widening our knowledge.”

The session allowed us to demonstrate our knowledge of Business Studies to the real world so we could get a practical experience away from the classroom. We now have a better understanding, amongst other things, of the roles each person undergoes on a day-to-day basis and how crucial it is for a business to recruit the most suitable person to fill a vacancy.

All in all, the workshop was not only an interactive way of getting us to think but was also a fun experience – one that I’m glad I didn’t miss out on.