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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School

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GCSE Business

Business talk from high achieving Chief Executive.

Our Year 11 GCSE Business Studies pupils were treated to a talk on Tuesday 10 November from Jonathan Cowie, Chief Executive of CityWest Homes, a social housing company serving the people of Westminster, London.

speakers for schoolsJonathan came to Deer Park as part of the Speakers for Schools programme, founded by Robert Peston. The speakers are "experts and leaders in their fields; some of the country’s highest achieving individuals across government, business, sport, technology, science and the arts. These talks allow them to give their time to share their insights and unique experiences with young people as someone at the top of their field, aiming to help broaden students’ horizons, make them feel confident about the possibilities for their future and motivate them to reach their maximum potential. The talks help complement efforts of educators to raise attainment, aspirations and get students thinking about the wider world."

Jonathan's talk to our Year 11 Business Studies pupils focused on Customer Service and the importance this has in the success of a business. The content directly supported pupils’ learning in class and they will be able to reflect on this when revising for their exams. 

Miles said "Jonathan’s talk was very informative and gave me a good inspiration as to what I may want to do in the future" and Amy commented "His talk was very inspiring. It made me open my eyes to what opportunities there are available in the future.  It also made me understand customer service and reliability in organisations more."

With the advances in technology, the focus of delivering service has shifted, with consumers having access to a wider choice than ever before. Access to social media has had a huge influence how we judge products and services, which has resulted in changes to how businesses respond to the needs of customers. The power of the Internet has enabled businesses to offer products to a wider audience. It took 75 years for 50 million people to own a telephone, 3.5 years for 50 million users to sign up to Facebook, yet only 3 days for the same number to download Pokémon Go. Artificial intelligence tracks buying habits so customers are offered tailored products and services in a bid to gain custom.

People expect more than ever from service providers, whether it be utility companies or supermarkets, and technology is at the heart of that; whether smart meters to eliminate estimated bills or apps to turn on the heating whilst you are on the way home. 

Jonathan talked about what he looks for when employing young people; having a positive attitude was at the top of his list, closely following by effort and drive. These are attributes that, as a school, we have been highlighting to pupils, especially in the run up to mock exams and post 16 applications. 

"Thank you for the invite to the school today... I was really impressed with their level of interaction and the quality of the questions – a real credit to the way you are encouraging and developing their learning." Jonathan Cowie, CEO CityWest Homes

"We are grateful to Jonathan for spending time with our Year 11 pupils and for highlighting developments within the customer service sector. Our thanks too for the encouragement he gave them."  Chris Germaine, Business Studies Teacher.