Networking and Negotiation with Columbia Threadneedle

23 Year 9 and Year 10 students from Cumberland School visited Columbia Threadneedle’s offices for a networking and negotiation workshop. The opportunity to network with established working individuals and to strengthen communication skills by learning how to negotiate is an extremely beneficial experience.

The idea of networking and negotiation is a novel idea to students. Introducing them to these concepts is important to prepare them for finding a future job and career. The students had the unique opportunity to talk to a range of business volunteers about their educational experiences and routes to work, as well as work on their communication skills. It is never too early to begin networking and improving communication skills, so this workshop is preparing the students to make the most out of every experience they get.

I would be able to use this when I make my decisions about the choices in school for the subjects and with my future job.

Year 9 student
Cumberland School, December 2017

The students participated in a two-part workshop. The first part of the workshop involved networking with business volunteers from Columbia Threadneedle. Students were given the opportunity to ask questions to the volunteers; these ranged from questions about day-to-day job roles and career paths, to educational choices and work experience.

The second part of the workshop was 15billionebp’s bespoke ‘Takeover Challenge’. Students are split into two main teams Pineapple and Redberry; Pineapple are looking to takeover Redberry but there are six issues to negotiate before a deal can be struck! In smaller groups the students negotiate out two issues each, with the support of a business volunteer.

I found the negotiation most enjoyable as I got to work on my communication skills.

Year 9 student
Cumberland School, December 2017

Before and after our workshops, students were asked to fill out an evaluation on their skills.

Prior to the workshop 34.78% of students strongly agreed that they felt confident in making decisions about their subject choices, compared to 61.90% after the workshop.

With regards to confidence in communication and negotiation skills we saw an increase from 30.43%, who strongly agreed, to 55.00%. Not only are they able to practise communicating with their peers but also with business volunteers, which is not something regularly available in the school environment.

A positive outcome of the program was that students really enjoyed the negotiation workshop and felt they had developed their communication skills. They felt they would be able to transfer what they learned to their future careers. Given the success of this workshop, we would like to provide more programs like this.