Back in December, MT was one of the judges in the National Schools Business Competition, an annual contest run by the Enterprise Education Trust to find the most business-savvy sixth formers in the country. After a hard-fought battle, a trio from Leeds Girls High School (Zoe Benedict, Rachel Froebel and Sylvie Hall) walked off with the top prize of a five-day trip to New York – and now that they’ve finally got their A-levels out of the way, we asked Zoe to tell us how it all went.
‘New York was a fantastic city and the trip of a lifetime,’ says Zoe. ‘After visiting you can definitely see why it's described as the city that never sleeps. We spent our days sightseeing and shopping and our nights going to Broadway, eating at restaurants – or catching up on sleep. Personally my favourite part of the trip was going up the Empire State Building just in time for sunset, allowing us to see two perspectives of the city. However, going to the Statue of Liberty, watching the Knicks play basketball, shopping on 5th Avenue, jogging through Central Park and going to see Times Square all really added to the overall experience’.
But in between the luxury hotels (they were put up at the Waldorf Astoria next to Central Park, no less), frantic sightseeing and general excess, the girls did have some official business to attend to: as part of their prize, they were invited to attend a conference at New York University called ‘Business in America’. Zoe (dutifully, the cynic might suggest) reports that this turned out to be an interesting experience. ‘It opened our eyes to the differences between the UK and the US – but also the large Americanization we have experienced because of their power,’ she says.
So it sounds like they had a whale of a time. And this year three more young business tyros get to follow in their footsteps: the 2008 competition is already underway, with regional heats happening across the UK in June and July, and regional finals to follow in September – leading up to the national final down in London in December. Again, a trip to New York is up for grabs for the star performers...
For more details on this year's competition, click HERE.