Bid to unlock students’ full potential

STUDENTS from Priestley College have visited some of the world’s most successful and innovative businesses to help raise their own aspirations.

Priestley has teamed up with Bryanston Square and entrepreneur Marcus Orlovsky to give 10 young people the chance to learn from inspirational leaders beyond Warrington’s borders as part of the Unlock programme.

They started their whistle-stop tour of London by meeting Dan Ison who helped create the BBC iPlayer and is now Media and Entertainment Lead Partner at auditors Deloitte UK.

Next stop was the offices of Lucky Generals marketing agency where they met the team who produced a Superbowl halftime advert for Amazon and who have worked with the likes of Hollywood star Jeff Bridges and singer Mariah Carey.

“What we found out is that the businesses don’t want people from any particular background so I can see myself working for one of them,” said former Sir Thomas Boteler pupil Harry James.

“They are looking for a range of skills and backgrounds because they think they can do their job better that way.”

Also during the packed day they met a team from Metro Bank, the UK’s fastest growing bank.

Lunch was hosted by award-winning Brigade, a restaurant that trains and employs homeless people to give them a chance in life, while the final appointment was with Andrew Buisson, a Senior Partner at the international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Mark Salmon, a Senior Tutor at Priestley College, said: “I was so impressed with the range and diverse experiences of the hosts.

“Particularly captivating was Dan at Deloitte who talked so candidly about the discipline, skill and motivation that drove him in his childhood to pursue his ambition to become an actor, attributes that he now uses in his current career.”

Following the trip the students presented back to senior staff at Priestley College about their experience and also wanted to share their findings with peers so gave two presentations to classmates.

Over the next few months further opportunities are being organised with leaders of organisations from the North West as the students develop their skills, confidence and professional networks further.

Marcus – and the team at Bryanston Square – arranged the London ‘Immersion Day’ and he also gave an inspiring speech to 200 students at Priestley College.

“The Priestley students have been a credit to Warrington and the way their confidence has grown in such a short space of time has been truly inspiring,” said Marcus.

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