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Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School Horncastle

Lower Sixth at the Business Conference

Thursday 4th July was the Lower Sixth’s annual business day. We dressed smart, worked hard, became competitive (some of us more than others) and generally had a useful, productive day.

Different from other years, our business day did not only consist of branding, product design and finance, but we physically had to make our own products, in this case: cupcakes. The 8 competing groups, therefore, also had to go head-to-head in the kitchen, where the intensity of decorating and baking was all too known. But first, the start of the day…

After a de-briefing from Mr Randman in the Main Hall, groups got to meet their mentors for the day and set up base in their allocated rooms. The idea behind the business day is to give the Lower Sixth – most of whom will progress to university or further their education in a year’s time – a sense of responsibility in ‘the business world’. In fact, the day imitates the popular TV show ‘The Apprentice’, where entrepreneurs are challenged on a weekly basis to create, design and be innovative. It’s safe to say though, we did a much better job than those seen on TV. In our respective groups therefore, we had to decide, simply, who was doing what. The team in which I was a part of sorted our roles fairly quickly; it helped that we all had different talents which we could apply to the job. After meeting our mentor Chris Prince, we decided on our ‘project managers’ being Connor Graves and Dan Webb; our finance team consisted of Aaron Marshall and James Clay; Charlotte Harvey and Sam Newton took on the roles of packaging designers; Alicia Woods and Viv Bone did market research and branding, including promoting our product on social media platforms; and Alice Verdon and myself did both the baking of the cupcakes as well as designing and pitching our presentation at the end of the day. In other words, we had a good team.

Throughout the day we spread ourselves out around the school, each with our own jobs and responsibilities. As the only group with three people having certain intolerances, we decided to make our cupcakes glucose and lactose free, which of course threw a spanner in the works of our production line, as ingredients had to be checked for any allergens. This also meant that packaging, branding and our pitch had to be altered to fully promote the product.

Shortly before 2 o’clock, our team had a final meeting to organise and prepare everything for the pitch, including any last minute alterations. Chris gave us further tips on public speaking, a useful skill to have not only for this particular project, but for years to come as we start to leave QEGS, a perfect example of why such a business day exists. After rehearsing our speech, our group went into the Main Hall along with the others, where we showcased our product next to other beautifully designed cupcakes in one big display. After that, it was time for the speeches: most were funny, some very cleverly planned through, and some where the maths calculations were COMPLETELY out, but in total it was amazing to witness everyone’s creative visions. After it was discovered that there were indeed three groups in 1st place, Mrs Payne was called upon to pick the overall winning group, and ‘Liberty Cupcakes’- our group - were victorious.

The Lower Sixth as a whole found the day very enjoyable and successful. Connor Graves stated that “everyone was able to carry out their roles effectively” and judging by the end pictures of all the teams, the day was thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to Mr Randman and all the members of staff who helped in organising this event, and to all the mentors who gave up their time to give us aid throughout the day. It was very much appreciated.

Jessica Rocci, L6C