Zalia Ali and Connor Gillam, both year 13 A Level Business Studies students at Felpham Community College, were successfully chosen recently to work with the Senior Management Team at Portsmouth Water, as part of their ‘Future Customer Panel’.
This is the first year the panel has been recruited, to bring in the views of young adults into the decision making the company do to plan their future operations. The initiative is being run by Blue Marble Research – a specialist research and engagement agency.
Portsmouth Water recruited 20 individuals from a mix of schools and colleges within the Portsmouth Water region. They received a huge number of applications with successful applicants going through a vigorous selection process to be chosen.
Since being successfully appointed as consultants, Zalia and Connor have attended two workshops at Portsmouth Water, seeing first-hand the workings of the business and receiving briefings from senior executives about the company and the challenges it faces to facilitate problem-solving exercises. They have also had time for networking with the other students who are part of the committee and taking part in workshops to gauge opinion and customer value on decisions Portsmouth Water currently face. On the second event day they also presented their ideas to a panel of judges comprising senior executives from the company.
Zalia Ali, year 13 student commented: “I am part of the Student Leadership Team at Felpham, I am Deputy Head Student, and this gave me the confidence to apply for this position. I wanted the chance to voice opinion for young adults in local issues and initiatives. It has been a great opportunity to see how a large company operates and networks and to meet students from around the area. I am doing my A levels and finishing my university applications so this is a good thing to be able to use as evidence. I was the leader of my group on the second workshop day and had to delegate tasks within my team which was really good for improving my leadership skills.”