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News article

18th April 2024

When it comes to work experience opportunities our students are spoilt for choice thanks to our wonderful Careers team! One of the recent placements was 5-days of work experience at Yeo Valley, the market leading, family run farm and dairy business.

During their week with Yeo Valley, our students got the opportunity to meet members from across the organisation, including the CEO, explore their facilities, and find out all the elements that are needed for such a successful business. To end the week our students were split into teams and given a project to develop and present.

We caught up with our team of champions, Esther, Risha and Vanessa, to hear all about their recipe for success.

What was the presentation brief you received from Yeo Valley?

RISHA: We were tasked with making a product – either a breakfast cereal or a dessert. We decided to make a dessert. Within the brief we were asked to think about who it would be catered to, what our product would look like, how we would advertise it and so on. So there was a lot to plan and think about!

Cool! Did you guys feel like you were in an episode of The Apprentice?

VANESSA: It definitely felt like a competition when we found out that all of the other groups had decided to make a dessert as well!

Did each team announce their plans or how did you find out?

ESTHER: We had to do some investigating to work it out. By finding out what everyone else was planning we were able to make sure our product offered something different and stood out from the rest.

Great business thinking! So what did you do to design the best dessert?

VANESSA: During our “market research” we found out that one of the teams were creating a cake and the other wanted to focus on ice cream, so we thought “hey, why don’t we create the best of both worlds?!” We designed an ice cream pot that had layers of cake and a range of syrups so people could choose their favourite flavour.

Sounds delicious! Were you guys nervous about presenting?

ESTHER: We felt really confident about our product but we had a small challenge to overcome… Due to other commitments I wasn’t able to present in person, so we came up with a plan to work around this. I recorded videos for my sections of the presentation and then Risha worked her magic to weave them into the presentation.

RISHA: Yeah I had to connect my phone to the screen as we were presenting to play the videos to the group. It was a little nerve wracking but it all worked out in the end!

Wow you guys must have impressed them staying cool under pressure. Did you have a recording of your acceptance speech ready for when you won?

ESTHER: Unfortunately not but I’ll plan that in next time!

Finally, I know winning must have been a big highlight but what was your favourite part of the week you spent with Yeo Valley?

ESTHER: It was the factory visit for me, I found it really interesting seeing all of the steps it takes to make the product. The best bit was getting to take loads of samples home!

RISHA: Going inside the massive fridge was really cool, and getting to grab as many freebie tasters was great! Although it was tense at times my favourite thing was presenting, and winning!

VANESSA: I loved how well all of our research came together and seeing how impressed people were with our idea and presentation!


Each week our Careers team update their online hub with the latest opportunities available to all of our students. You can find it here. As well as work experience, our Careers team offer 1 to 1 sessions to provide tailored support to help our students discover the right pathway for them.