Blowing up balloons and building Lego model cars may sound more like fun than hard work. In one sense it is.
But there was a serious message as well for the hundred or so sixth formers from Horsham’s College of Richard Collyer taking part in the annual Challenge of Management day.
Held at the Holbrook Club, the event is now in its 27th year and is more popular than ever amongst students, with a record number of applications to take part.
Students are given a taste of the world of work, undertaking Apprentice-style challenges, better to understand critical business thinking.
The day is designed to be fun.
But it is dynamic too - with role play of a contentious board meeting and talks from the business community, central to it.
Indeed, local firms are at the heart of the event - with volunteer advisors guiding students through each aspect.
This year’s day was chaired by Mark Goodson and Simon Charman (Accenture, RSA), supported by advisors: Paula Viner (Sojourn Hotels LLP), Steve Spurling (Int Com Manager HSBC), Colin Eley (Powersoft), Gary Shipton (Editor in Chief West Sussex County Times), Jenny Dance (HR South Lodge Hotel), Ian Woodland (Assurity Consulting), Rosemary French (Gatwick Diamond), Lorraine Nugent (Media Word Waves), Paul Stoggles (Area Link Officer WSCC), and James Ormiston (Commercial Manager M&S).
From Collyer’s, the CoM co-ordinator was Ian McAlister CoM, with conference co-ordinators Barbara Wootton, Jane French and Nicola Algar.
Production Challenge co-ordinators were David Buchanan, Kirsty Young and Ellen Bateman.
Tributes were paid to Darren Hawley who was the longest serving member of the Challenge team having participated for 15 of its 27 years as an advisor and energetic speaker.
He died suddenly this year aged 46. Beginning in the banking industry he moved eventually to GSI Wealth Management Ltd.
He always said that Challenge was an immovable date in his calendar.