6 March, 2012/
As you know in our previous post we’ve begun a programme of events aimed at building a relationship with Mossbourne – one of the academies in our local London community.
This week we had the immense pleasure of being invited to present at Mossbourne Academy’s sixth form assembly. A sort of ‘show and tell’ on Xoomworks learning how to engage during 6th formers Assembly
With over 100 bright-eyed sixth formers in the auditorium the 09:00a.m. session was kicked-off with briefings by staff on the good (amazing opportunity for one sixth former to take up an intern placement at Yale University), bad (that sixth formers needed to do more to try and take advantage of work experience) and the decidedly ugly (reality of the hardships of the job market and the new unemployment figures)
On that happy note we were introduced by John Walter (Head of Year 12) and asked to give an overview of Xoomworks in 15-20 minutes.
A big shift for us at Xoomworks in recent times has been to “drop the powerpoint” and roll with a ‘What would give you the most value from this session” approach. So after the gentle (jokey!) introductions we asked the audience ‘Who are the funny kids/the comedians (maybe the class clowns)’ and out came the pointy fingers and three “volunteers” brought onto the stage. Next up we asked for the ‘creatives, thinkers, the uber-intelligentsia’ and then we looked for the ‘quiet/head-down ones’ and respectfully asked if they would kindly join us. With our nine fresh faced volunteers we asked them to set the ‘agenda’ by writing on a set of colured post-it notes what questions they would like us to answer – with the emphasis on questions that they felt would drive the most value from the session.
First question was ‘What do you do at Xoomworks‘
In order to answer this it was time to dust-off the Elevator Pitch and to acquire a new volunteer. If you don’t know it already an elevator pitch is a short summary of what your organisation does that hypothetically can be delivered off-pat to someone you meet in an elevator and have something like 30 seconds of face-time. Up came Emanuel a man after my own heart resplendent in ‘Fresh Prince’ regalia and like a true professional he started up the banter in the hotel foyer – “So you’re from Xoomworks – what does Xoomworks do”. I wont tell you the pitch (save it for a moment in the Hilton) but the main part was to ask the sixth formers what the main words were that stuck out from them and they kindly shouted ‘CPOs, Value, Control, Momentum‘. Maybe not so loud were the words ‘Business Intelligence’ and ‘Procurement’ and so we will have to go back to the drawing board on how we pitch this next time we come back.
Next up the question gave us a great opportunity to explore what we mean by ‘engagement’ at Xoomworks and why its so important to us. Out came the ball-of-wool props and Mr Walter kindly ‘cherry-picked’ another handful of contestants (I have a feeling that his choice may have included a few of his feisty and quiet students). If you don’t know how this game works drop us a note and we will share all.
Final few minutes were spent sharing our vision for how we would like to see the relationship with Mossbourne develop and then taking questions from students keen to explore work experience opportunities.
One student Matthew (see below) is raising funds for Marie Curie by allowing fellow colleagues to ‘wax his legs’!!! If you want to help us help Matthew drop us a sponsorship I.O.U