Young Enterprise is a education charity which delivers an thrilling, handy, hand-on business experience to young people. The organisation is locally run by volunteers from the industry and education that form the Young Enterprise Boards.
This module is a real business experience not a business game. It's been revealed through the Graduate Programme how a corporation functions. This experience provided an exclusive prospect to build information in all areas of business with new skills such as working as part of a team, leadership, influencing others, building relationship, business planning, financial management and control. Furthermore, taking responsibility for the actions done, customer satisfaction and recognising the need for quality.
We were divided into groups, the main purpose as a group is to set up a business plan, achieve cohesiveness and a sense of understanding amongst one another. By doing this, it was hoped to attain a sense of unity and one which helped the team to work together closely. This was done in a free state of mind so that group members would not hesitate when wanting to state their opinion. Less major group goals existed of developing support and trusting within the group of colleagues. Furthermore, gaining knowledge and ideas from other members.
One of the first activities which was undertaken to do was to introduce ourselves to each other and give information about what major skills we have. The process of this helped us to gain an insight into the personnel of the group and the characteristics of different individuals. Some of the other tasks included us creating new ideas by encouraging confidence, trust and synergy within the group. Furthermore, attaining a target of deploying members correctly and encouraging determination within the group.
Personal Development skills and experience
There are many key skills that this programme provided and gave me as progressing through it. Some of the skills and experiences that I believe that I have obtained from doing this Young Enterprise Graduate Programme are listed below: -
Team working consisted of taking part in identifying and agreeing on the team's objectives. Me as an individual agreeing with each team members tasks and working effectively with others. I did this by supporting them to reach the goals for the whole group.
Problem solving where problems were being identified and analysed. Moreover, choosing solutions and implementing procedures appropriately.
Communication had to be made by me and team members effectively to agree on objectives and procedures. I took part in meetings, discussions and successfully interacting with customers and colleagues. Moreover, producing clear concise written work and presentations by using appropriate and profession ICT techniques.
Marketing and Sales skills were earned by creating and carrying out a market research plan. Then identifying customer target groups and developing the appropriate marketing approach. Furthermore, I choose the appropriate marketing and sales strategies to sell and distribute to target groups.
Operations skills were achieved by maintaining systems to meet quality standards and evaluating environmental impact. Also setting up procedures to meet operational targets and developing evaluation systems.
The Finance experience was achieved by me when carrying out a financial audit and selecting strategies to improve financial performance. I recorded financial information using ICT as appropriately as possible.
Directing and Managing was developed by negotiating with others and influencing the outcomes of the company. By managing a complex set of tasks in an uncertain environment and directing individuals, teams or tasks to achieve agreed targets. Furthermore, managing colleagues, business consultants, stakeholders, customers and building effective relationships.
Leadership was a difficult skill to achieve for me because at times it was required to pull the company together in times of crisis and some colleagues didn't understand why. Furthermore, I encouraged colleagues to achieve their full potential in the way they contributed to the company's overall performance.
Learning was a skill which was achieved throughout this programme from understanding key learning preferences by engaging it in much more effective ways. Furthermore, I improved my ability to learn from everyday of this programme experience. I have also identifying personal learning solutions and needs.
I believe that throughout this year my communication skills, business ideas and protocols were developed and strengthened. My experience was gained in working in a team based culture. This was like in a business organisation which involved planning, commitment, organisation and flexibility to achieve results. Firstly I disbelieved about the module importance to my degree course and was not exactly fascinated about working as part of a team. However I was wrong after the first couple of weeks I got to know my team members much more. I often wonder if I hadn't taken the module, I would have passed the opportunity of meeting and making five new strong friends.
Some issues which I had were to stick up for others whenever there was an argument going to form as I thought it would be better to sort it out by talking not arguing. As I started to develop my power and skill to issue clear and brief instructions in a considerate manner during meetings and understanding our business I believed we could become a successful business.
Belbin's theory indicates to me that I am a "company worker" who is socially oriented, rather than mild sensitive with the ability to respond to people and in any given situation.
Maslow's hierarchy needs is a theory in psychology that states people in life. Maslow identified "A hierarchy needs as one level becomes fairly, or partly, pleased the net becomes stronger"
Everybody in the group I got to know better and felt more comfortable in the supportive environment once settled down. Team members without fear were motivated as one of the elements of SCHEINIS learning culture states learning to support team work, there must be a shared belief that co-operation will be necessary that it will work and also shared belief that all people can and will learn matching McGregor's theory.  
Our mentor we met was called 'Malcolm' he had a business and one of our group members gave him a call and we arranged a meeting with him. We got the SWOT analysis and ideas down on what we are looking into to become a business. After a few more meetings we were told that our mentor could not see us anymore as his business was at risk.
I set myself a personal goal and it was to encourage all team members and take part in setting goals. According to Locke (1968) goals affect motivation .
Challenging but achievable goals motivates" individuals have basic requirements or potential which, when displeased stimulates manners fixed towards fulfilment. I researched and studied as I was committed to learn and achieving high-quality marks. "Specific goals motivates additional than unclear" known group roles as each group members had particular roles and duty.
I developed my interpersonal and communication skills by e-mailing team members over the Christmas holidays and congratulating them on the tasks that all of had done before the holidays even though we had no mentor. Furthermore, we got an email regarding us getting a new mentor from one of the Enterprise staff called 'Andy'.
"Contribution in setting goals is appealing" each member of the group set an individual goal as to inspire and stay on track. "Significant results of earlier period piece is crucial to motivation"
When Christmas passed we started to get our business plan ready for handing in on the 6th February 2010. We met with Andy and talked things through and what we have so far. It was noticed that we were very far behind through the module also Andy tried to arrange a new mentor for our group. If I was in control I would have got the entire group together and divided the parts that needed doing together equally.
However as our group was in this meeting with Andy only three of us were present, two were on their way and one couldn't make it. In this meeting the sections weren't divided equally and when asked who would like to do certain parts some of the group members weren't at all interested. It finally came to the conclusion that everyone had something to do except one member who had no task but to help other members get there tasks done. Finally, the group held another meeting to ask this member for help to finish the tasks off and hand in our business report. We met our new mentor she was called 'Debbie' she helped us understand and know what was to be put into a business report.
Time was against us and we only had less than a week left to finish the report. I feel once again that if the group was managed properly this would have not happened at all. Luckily we got a week extension, even though this extension was set still some members weren't at all bothered.
After handing in the report on the 15th February 2010 only three members came to hand it in. Now we as a business started to get prepared for the presentation. When talking about presentations two of the members opted out. They didn't want to present at all, I felt very angry and thought well this is what you have to accept in a business. I experienced throughout this module the real experiences and worst of being in a real life business.
After practicing and presenting the presentation it was the day to present. The group and I were so amazed after delivering the presentation and also we were able to reply to the whole questions from both the spectators and the panel of judges. I felt our collective effort had paid off and was proud of our work.
Our grades were given two weeks later which was on the 17th March. I noticed that none of my team members attended only I did even though I was a few minutes late for the class. However, I was able to pick up the feedback. I gave the group a text message informing them of the results of past performances which motivated us all into doing the next mission. Maslow theory encourages advice; I learnt regarding past success and can follow the manners again.
Plain principles of actions were received by all members of the group. When a member had a problem, there was always someone to talk to and logic of togetherness ran throughout the group. Firstly, the impression was familiar, calm and this helped individuals to state their opinions without having to concern about being judged by their members.
Each member listened to each other and the conflict of ideas was brought usefully into the open. Decisions were commonly reached by an agreement so that everybody or the majority were pleased by the result.
At this stage the group was more effective and cohesive to a large extent. There was an important growth in the behaviour of individuals and progress. One issue which concerned us was when one member seemed to feel disheartened. This situation was understood by the rest of the group so it was discussed by therefore resolving it viewing that we had grown from a group of individuals and into a group.
In the near future
It has been really enjoyable doing this module as quite a lot of it was new. A lot of its qualities and useful skills will be taken away from this module and course. As doing this course it has given a strong base for the capability to be able to work alone. Furthermore, working as part of a team and also having gained superior contact skills.
After completing this module I have become highly motivated and have become a creative individual. Furthermore, I am a talented and active person with necessary practical and theoretical formal knowledge in Engineering.
I am able to bring a record of teamwork and leadership, and strong analytical skills which will enable me to perform excellently in the business world. I have refined my analytical, communication and problem solving skills both inside and outside the academic environment. My recent experience has taught me the importance of working with a detail orientated approach and made me accustomed to producing results while working under pressure.
This module has helped prepare me for interviews as the group presentation was 30% of the module. Presenting in front of audience and awaiting designated questions. I will be using this opportunity as a practise for a summer placement. From the group presentation I have gained, commercial awareness, insight of the field and self confidence.
It helped in developing my skills on software tools as I took the role of putting slides on PowerPoint. The structure and layout of presentation was formal accurate, detailed and valuable. I certainly could not have done this entirely on my own as an individual. Boots The Chemist Company uses cross- functional teams to work on problems stuck in the conventional organisation. A talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championship. The effectiveness of team work was surprising. I am more aware of consistency, accuracy meeting targets and deadlines in business world. I will like to put all the skills and knowledge acquired into practise. When I complete my degree I am thinking of going into the business aspect of telecommunication engineering which is definitely an option for me. I could work in sales or in the marketing sector.
Am interested in doing a postgraduate degree such as Masters in Business Administration (MBA) this will enlighten me more and I will have the qualifications required. The work of 'McMclland's acquired need theory (1985)' proposed that some important needs are not inherited but are learned. Team work is the key element to success in a business world.
Overall the Young Enterprise graduates programme has enabled me to be a goal orientated individual. It has given me a clear vision of future objectives, ability to listen and utilise effective communication skills. It helped me as an engineering student to develop positive attitudes and skills necessary for personal success, practical skills, employability and lifelong learning. It encouraged me as an individual in gaining an understanding the potential of future employer also considering self-employment and business creation as possible future career options. I am good at creating innovation solution to achieve goals. There is a great deal of emphasis on self directed learning in the module. This module has been a great experience as I have enjoyed the tasks developed skills for the world of work.