A North East college has joined forces with a top championship basketball club to help the brightest business brains gain valuable employment skills and work experience.
Gateshead College teamed up with Newcastle Eagles to launch an initiative which recently saw 15 level three business students take control of the club ahead of a recent match.
Students were tasked with increasing ticket sales, boosting the team’s social media following and increasing the number of sign-ups to the club’s database.
Paul Blake, managing director of Newcastle Eagles, said: “It has been great to welcome students from Gateshead College to work with us. The students came along with innovative, unique ideas and a genuine enthusiasm to achieve the goals I set them.
“The tasks were designed to give students a realistic view of the range of things the club is responsible for, including selling match tickets and merchandise, as well as working at a match. I hope that the experience has given them an insight into the type of job they could take on in the future, as well as allowing them to gain and develop new skills that employers are seeking.”
The students worked together to devise and implement a seven-day marketing plan, to help them achieve the tasks set out by Paul, which included taking over the club’s social media channels – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.
Alongside managing the social media, students were also responsible for sourcing and selling additional club merchandise and pre-match activities, including organising photo opportunities with Swoop, the club’s mascot at the match.
Gateshead College student Kieron Savage, 17, described the initiative as an “invaluable experience”.
He said: “I’m so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Newcastle Eagles. It has given us all something to put on our CV’s to impress potential employers.
“We’ve also had the chance to put forward ideas and see them come to life, as well as seeing what goes into planning and organising events and developing our communication and teamwork skills.”
Chris Toon, Deputy Principal for Gateshead College said: “Our students have taken so much away from this project with Newcastle Eagles. They’ve been able to get hands-on event and project management experience in a fast-paced environment with challenging targets and have really made the most of the opportunity.
“We’re lucky to have the support of so many businesses like the Eagles who work with us to give students experiences outside of their lessons. This along with their qualifications really prepares them for work and gives them the best chance of getting a job.”
To find out more about Gateshead College and the courses on offer, visit www.gateshead.ac.uk/employer