Day 2 began in the office of Osborne & King as the students engaged in Commerce Week were plunged into the ‘Dragons Den’; a challenge with a virtual investment of £30 million in a variety of property portfolios. The boys were mentored to develop communication skills, work as a team and to deploy skills in data analysis and financial investment.
The second visit of the morning to meet the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Alderman Brian Kingston brought together the roles of Council and Commerce, enhancing not only the boys’ knowledge and understanding of the history of Belfast, but of most relevance the importance of entrepreneurship to the NI economy. The Lord Mayor addressed the boys on ‘the growth and wealth created by the new knowledge-based economy’. The Lord Mayor reflected that “this is a good time for Belfast, with investment and growth in what is now an International City. As a Council we are committed to city growth and Belfast City centre is critical to growth in Northern Ireland.”
The pupils’ increased appreciation of the economic and cultural opportunities in Belfast and Northern Ireland is contributing to their collective and individual knowledge and experience.
Commerce Week Day 2: A Pupil’s Account
Day two started with a meeting at Osborne King, where we were introduced to Paul Henry, Director & Martin McDowell, Mangaing Director & RBAI Governor. They discussed the commercial property market, giving us a valuable insight to how it all works. The second half of the meeting involved an 'Apprentice Style' task in which the 10 boys were split into 2 teams with each team having to research several commercial opportunities. We then had to present a 'pitch' to Martin, Paul, the Principal and Colin Johnston on a property of the team's choice and explain why they should invest £30million. Team Medallion came out victors with one member of Team School's Cup being 'fired’ from the process! All the boys had a worthwhile experience at Osborne King and walked away with new found knowledge.
Next was a visit to the the Lord Mayor's Office to see Lord Mayor Brian Kingston. He gave the group a talk on Belfast City Council's viewpoint on commerce businesses. He also discussed what projects the council have invested in regarding the regeneration of both local businesses and areas around Belfast. The meeting was followed by a 40 minute tour of City Hall and it was revealed that Luke Greenway's Great Uncle, John Luke, painted a mural within City Hall that is reportedly worth £250,000.
The day continued with a meeting at Deloitte led by Stephen Wray. Despite only being at the company for 6 months, Stephen was able to share a wealth of experience and knowledge regarding the world's Cyber Security and Deloitte's role in providing this service. The group hung on Mr. Wray’s every word as he even gave advice on interview strategies; his top tip was to look eager and keen during an interview.
The final stop for Tuesday was Catalyst Inc, formerly known as the Northern Ireland Science Park. Here the 10 boys were given a tour of Catalyst with insights into companies such as TitanIC - a company that creates computer chips to detect computer software viruses. The tour also included a visit to a company that have created a revolutionary way of testing for chest infections. Some of the boys who do science subjects were particularly interested and asked many questions.
Day 2 was as thrilling and engaging as Day 1 and gave us all an unparalleled insight into industries in Belfast. Thank you to all of our contributors today, we all appreciate your time and effort; everyone is invigorated and looking forward to tomorrow!
David Mitchell 13K
The boys enjoy a meeting at Deloitte led by Stephen Wray.
Proaxis at Catalyst Inc
The boys ready for their tour of Catalyst Inc