Wednesday, 23 November 2016

The Enactus Conference & benefits of joining

10 Royal Holloway students have just returned from the Enactus Grantham Weekend Conference.

It sounds like the students had an amazing time developing employability skills, meeting Company representatives / students from other universities and enjoying the food, entertainment and team building activities on offer . 

Read more in Sophie's report below:

Take two days, sixty-three workshops and four hundred students in one PGL centre… and voila! You have the Enactus Grantham Training Weekend.

Our strong team of ten arrived at Egham Train Station bright and early Friday morning; washed, groomed and fully-packed for the weekend ahead. Once at Grantham after a busy trek on the tube, we made our way to reception to check ourselves in and collect our schedules for the day. Fortunately, a few of the team had successful applications towards the Employability Centre which aimed to give an assessment centre style experience to students participating. Run by volunteers from Enactus’ well-known sponsor companies, the Employability Centre involved mock interviews, presentations and group exercises which were extremely helpful in teaching us how our Enactus experience could be applied to our future careers.

After spending some time with our sponsors and meeting other Enactus students, our team made their way to the employability and careers fair; an event allowing students to find out more about graduate schemes, year in business placements and summer internships. Many of our sponsors told us that being an Enactus student fast-tracks you during the application process, for example Enactus students applying for sponsored companies will have a 45-85% chance of being accepted compared to a mere 4-7% chance for those not! And of course, as with every careers fair, our team very much enjoyed picking up all the freebies from our sponsor companies – you can never have enough pens…

 Once the team had inhaled their well-earned dinner, we made our way to the bonfire, first stopping off at the bar to claim our free drinks. Full of mulled wine and cider, every Enactus member was in high-spirits and enjoying the buzzed atmosphere, making our first night at Grantham ever-the-more exciting. Despite the warmth of the bonfire and the transition to more hard-hitting music, in preparation for the second early start many of the team members decided to head back to their rooms, hopeful in claiming a top bunk.  


7am Saturday morning… Sounds of student alarms filled every room and hallway of the building. The only thing motivating every team out of bed was the thought of bacon, carbs and the busy morning of activities which lay ahead. With three breaks during the day, the Enactus teams had a choice of 44 workshops to attend, from nine in the morning to six in the evening. Workshops aimed to develop our members’ knowledge in four sectors including: team and leadership development; existing enterprises; starting a social enterprise; and Enactus essentials. The day was tiring, but the knowledge gained from Enactus alumni was invaluable in developing ourselves, our teams and our projects. Furthermore, sharing ideas and opinions between other Enactus teams from around the country allowed us to bring new discussions back to our meetings in university.

We are proud to say that all of our team members, except for one, made it to the last workshop… However, the day had not ended here. Despite finishing at six, teams had just over an hour to strip from their old, outdoor clothes into full formal attire, ready for the Gala dinner which took the highlight of Saturday night. As we arrived, we were overjoyed to find the canteen transformed, PGL style, into a formal dining hall. We found our assigned table and enjoyed a candle-lit three course meal, which much to our delight was accompanied by free wine and followed by Enactus Nottingham’s World Cup presentation. One of our members were especially appreciative of the starter, managing to consume eight bowls of soup on top of the main and dessert. For this reason, we let our food digest a little before heading to the bar, where our team may have bonded over a J├Ągerbomb or two. The rest of the night appears a bit of a blur… Students, alumni, and business advisors were forgetting about all stuff Enactus-y and letting their hair down, spending the rest of the night on the dancefloor.

 It was easy to say that the attendance of Sunday morning breakfast was a little lower than the day before, with many students not managing to arise from their bunk bed. For the ones that powered through, PGL activities took over the agenda throughout the morning, however one member may have found it a little too much to handle…

When the not-so-early risers found the energy to get up, our team worked through brain-storming everything we had learnt into one big document, discussing how the knowledge we had gained from the weekend could be applied to our projects and teams back at Royal Holloway.

Once it hit midday, everyone attending the weekend made their way to the sports hall for the group photo and World Cup idealisation session. I believe our team had the best ideas for the Enactus World Cup in London this year, including our proposal of Ant and Dec, Mary Berry and Stormzy making an appearance. After our brains, bodies and energy had well and truly died, we were all relieved, and sad, to finally hear the Weekend wrap up talk… However, this didn’t stop us from rushing to the canteen for our final meal at Grantham before the long trek home.

Enactus is an international non- profit organisation  dedicated to inspiring students to improve the world through entrepreneurial action. Furthermore, students are able to develop their own leadership and other core competency skills thereby helping them to demonstrate their own strengths when making applications for placement positions. As a result there are many reasons why YIB students (indeed all Management students) should consider signing up.

As part of Enactus at Royal Holloway, students can sign up to become involved in a whole range of community outreach projects both locally and internationally, implementing innovative solutions to societies' most challenging problems. Students are also invited to guest speaker events at the College including the recent presentation from Olio about their food sharing programme.

Enactus UK help to develop student leadership through the use of training events, projects and national competition. Students at 57 UK Universities are involved in such events. At Royal Holloway the current President of the Society is a Management, Year in Business student,  Alvaro Ferreira and Vice President Joy Timmer is also on the Year in Business programme.

Enactus says: "Our work transforms both the lives of the people we serve, and in turn, the lives of our students as they develop into more effective, value-driven leaders"

Enactus also have links with many companies (eg IBM, Unilever, GSK, Tesco, AIG, Barclays, KPMG, Accenture, Enterprise, Centrica etc ) which get involved in various training/ speaker events. A number of of these companies offer placements and are interested to hear if applicants are members of Enactus.
Find out more details on Enactus’ facebook, twitter or instagram account

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