THREE local students attended an all-expenses-paid trip to the Institute of Directors Annual Convention 2013 at the Royal Albert Hall last week, as part of the Ana Leaf Foundation’s ‘Directors of Tomorrow’ scheme.
Former A-level students Jake Delbridge, Jonathan Spicer and Lydia Collas were accompanied on the trip by Mark Palfrey, chairman of the Guernsey Institute of Directors and Kieran James of Guernsey Grammar School and joined thousands of other delegates at the event.
The students earned the opportunity after attending the IoD debate in Guernsey alongside seven other students and authoring the three most impressive blogs about the experience.
During the day-long event they enjoyed back-to-back presentations from leading figures in business and politics such as Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group; Boris Johnson, Major of London; George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer; Dan Cobley, managing director of Google in the UK and Ireland; and US business magnate Jack Welch, who joined via satellite link.
Mr Delbridge was impressed by the diversity of the event’s line-up and particularly fascinated by the focus on technology.
‘It was a very interesting day and a great opportunity to learn from the many speakers with very varied backgrounds.’
‘Dan Cobley from Google was my favourite speaker; Google’s approach to running a business is very unique and it epitomises the digital age we live in.’
Miss Collas was also motivated by the focus on changing technologies and appreciated the range of ages of those who presented.
‘The younger speakers have had a very different journey to those who found their success some time ago, partly due to changing technology and the internet. The way to approach business is also evolving.’
‘The most captivating speaker in my opinion was Joanna Shields from Tech City. She was vibrant and inspiring, with useful and detailed ideas. My favourite personality was Richard Branson, he can take an idea that nobody else believes in and do amazing things.’
Mr Spicer also found the convention appealed to his interest in technology.
‘I tried to approach the event with an open mind and it was very eye-opening to hear the views of some top level politicians and business leaders.’
‘The Directors of Tomorrow scheme has been great. The London trip alone was incredible, including the tour of the IoD headquarters in Pall Mall, but equally the earlier parts of the scheme, when we went to the Guernsey IoD debate and had lunch with Nick Ross.’
‘It’s a very valuable experience and I would advise other students on the scheme to use the opportunity to engage with as many people as possible that you wouldn’t get to meet under normal circumstances,’ said Mr Spicer.
Mark Palfrey, chairman of the Guernsey Institute of Directors said:
‘It is clear how rewarding the experience was for the students and we are very grateful that the Ana Leaf Foundation makes opportunities such as this available. ‘The speakers were of a very high calibre and the topics enlightening – I have no doubt that they will take some important messages away from this.
‘The scheme, created by Hayley de Putron of the Ana Leaf Foundation, is designed for students who are intelligent, driven and eager to learn about business and current affairs. It is about recognising the potential leaders of the future and fuelling their inspiration.’
The Directors of Tomorrow scheme will begin again this October, with 11 students who have been nominated by their teachers to attend the IoD Guernsey debate and compose blogs for the chance to visit next year’s Annual Convention. They will also have the opportunity to meet Sarah Montague, this year’s moderator and the voice of BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, at an information lunch the same day.