Pitch perfect: how volunteers can help students get ahead in business

Pitch perfect: how volunteers can help students get ahead in business

Published on: 
Thursday, 21 February 2019

Since the start of 2019, over one hundred Business Studies students from City & Islington College have been preparing to pitch to local businesses on behalf of London Village Network (LVN). Students are asking employees for one hour of their time to help with the following:

  1. To encourage employee volunteering and awareness of LVN’s app
  2. To promote the “Power of Giving an Hour” event on Friday 1st March
  3. To consider buying a sponsorship package at the event

In order to support the students’ preparation, BIG Alliance members Expedia Group and Euromonitor International hosted a total of three pitching practice sessions over a 2 week period in January 2019. Sessions focused on developing students’ presentation and interpersonal skills, alongside offering an insight into the world of work at the two companies. The 12 volunteers were able to provide constructive feedback and encouragement, allowing students to hone their message, build confidence in themselves and their pitch about LVN.

After reflecting on their experiences, the students shared the following message:

“As a team, we feel that the educational trip to Euromonitor and Expedia has not only been successful in that our presentation went smoothly, but it also inspired us to gain work experience at the companies. We also think that being able to talk one to-one with volunteers at both companies increased our knowledge of the business world, and the tour of the headquarters allowed us to imagine ourselves in the position of working for a larger company. We’re happy and grateful that we were able to experience this, as it widens our perspective of different businesses.”

In addition, Rachael Box, founder and CEO of London Village Network, is clear on the benefits to the charity following the students’ involvement:

“The LVN message, when delivered to businesses direct from the students has so much power. The students resonate with employers. They represent the young people that LVN was set up to support. Having the students promote LVN helps make everything real. Personalising the message means that companies are more likely to get behind LVN. It also helps to showcase to employers the incredible talent that they have on their doorstep.”

And specifically on the support that the volunteers provided to the students:

“The students were very impressive and articulate. They came up with lots of suggestions for how we can improve and perfect our offer including some great tips for celebrity endorsements.”

Volunteers also valued the opportunity to speak directly with young people and hear about their aspirations. One volunteer said, “Today was a fantastic event and I really enjoyed it! I hope our feedback was useful for the students and they enjoyed their visit too! I am looking forward to getting involved in more similar initiatives in the near future.”

About London Village Network

London Village Network (LVN) is an Islington-based, grassroots charity working to effect positive change in the lives of disadvantaged 16-24 year olds. LVN was founded in 2015 by CEO, Rachael Box, to help stem the rise in anti-social behaviour and knife crime in her local borough of Islington and to tackle network poverty.

Interested in doing something similar with your company or educational institution? For more information please contact tom.browne@thebigalliance.org.uk