On Thursday 5th December, Level 2 Business Studies students at The Henley College were lucky enough to learn about retail trade from James Lingard, General Manager of the 4th largest Tesco in UK. James is also a Governor at The Henley College.

At The Henley College, we see great value in bringing in external speakers regularly to talk to students about a variety of different topics. This can really bring their studies to life and with real working examples, our students are able to understand how the work they carry out can and will become relevant for them when they move on after college. It is also an incredibly engaging way to teach units of work to students and the differentiation provided by our speakers provides a brilliant working environment.

Recently, James Lingard, General Manager of the 4th largest Tesco in UK and Henley College governor, gave a talk to our Level 2 Business Studies students to give them the opportunity to learn about retail trade.

The 2-hour session was relating to a unit called ‘People in Organisations’. Through this unit, students learn about various aspects relating to organisational structures, job roles within each department, and how various teams work together towards a common goal in an organisation. James linked all these aspects to Tesco, discussing real-life examples, which undoubtedly helped our students meet the requirements of their assessed work.

Students clearly valued the learning from this session, as seen from some of their comments below:

Lemar Hepburn states: “I learnt about the difference between Team Managers and Lead Managers at Tesco. My future aspirations are to work for an organisation like Tesco and to help them achieve their goals and targets”

Richeal Owusu explained that she “learnt about departments within Tesco, the different levels within each department and the importance of them all. We went through the structures of the organisation and the job roles of the departments; we found about and the managerial and other senior leadership roles at Tesco, such as the Directors.”

James emailed afterwards to express his delight at conducting the session. He wrote, “I Just wanted to drop you a note to say I really enjoyed my time with your Level 2 students today - a quiet start but once "warmed up", thought they were fab. Hopefully I imparted some knowledge. It was really great to see the potential of these kids who are battling their way through what to do - great job”.

Clearly, this was a very successful session overall.

Going forward, James and his Tesco colleagues have promised to conduct individual interview sessions with students, which will not only give them experience of practising interview skills but will also help them to complete their assessed work for the unit.

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