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Hazel Chalk-Pope, The Talent Tap 2014 & 2015

The Talent Tap 2014 lasted for two weeks, and involved working with various companies completing a series of tasks within different deadlines.

Firstly, we spent a day meeting various business men and women. This was insightful as we were able to learn about different roles within the business sector and the different ways to approach the business world. We met with Charlie Coode, who explained the importance of first impressions, simple things such as firm handshakes, smiling and standing upon someone’s entrance. These things may have seemed obvious, but when you’re in the moment, you can sometimes forget. He taught us of the importance of appearance and mannerisms, which would potentially make us more approachable and employable. This was very useful and allowed me to reflect upon myself and how I would like others to see me.

We worked with a company called ‘Rentify’ for a couple of days, ran by George Spencer; this was an incredible experience as we were able to see how different offices functioned. We were then given a task to create a phone app in a day. This was a great yet challenging activity, as it meant we had to come together as a team to work towards a deadline. At the end of the day, we created a presentation and presented our app. I learnt how to pitch a business idea to an audience, and it gave me an understanding about business shares and how to go about getting funding for a new idea.

We worked in Balderton Capital for the rest of the week, who had a very different approach to business. Here we were given the task to create a business plan for a shop on the corner of Oxford Street. They gave us the tools we needed, including the correct outline for the plan. They provided us with our own office space where we worked closely as a team to come up with an idea and put this into action. To make the project more real, we visited the venue to see the location and the surrounding shops. We also asked members of the public which types of shops they thought were missing from such a high-­end shopping street. We collated all of this information to then come up with the idea of “Baby Baby”­ an affordable baby enterprise. We put together a presentation, which we then presented at the end of the week. I learnt from this about formal pitches, and how to create a business plan.

The second week was very different, working with Future Cinema, a theatre company. This experience gave me the opportunity to strengthen networks and gain an insight into the professional performing arts industry, with a more hands ­on approach. We worked with the company as volunteer actors in their show “Back to the Future”. It was an invaluable experience. I even got the opportunity to perform in the last three shows. The performance was incredible and it provided me with the contacts to potentially work with Future Cinema in future projects.

I was very surprised at how much I learnt over the two weeks, and how much I enjoyed taking part in the business elements of the scheme; it is definitely something that I would like to expand on and learn more about. Each company and person we met and worked with were very different in their approach to business and their role within the field. This gave me an insight into what I would like to do in the future and how I would like to go about it.

Hazel Chalk-Pope, Testimonial, The Talent Tap