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Havant & South Downs College Business and Art students explore the Big Apple

A Level Business, Art and Photography students jetted off to the Big Apple this month to explore the offices of social media giants and famous art galleries.

Havant & South Downs College (HSDC) students landed in New York on 1 March for a five-day trip. This is the tenth year HSDC has held a trip to the tourist hotspot, and this year proved to be just as inspiring.

Whilst they joined forces to experience the main sights, the Art and Business students split off on the Monday for a day out specific to their course.

Talking about the Business side to the trip, Business lecturer Jamie Harrison said: “Fortunately, I know a lot of people who work in New York so each year I am able to organise visits to the offices of Facebook and Pinterest, which people can’t normally get into. On other years we have also visited the Google offices, which we will be doing again next year.

“The trips were based around areas the students have been studying on the course, for instance we were looking at marketing whilst at Facebook and when we were at Pinterest, we were looking at it from a market segmentation position. Again, that links into what we have been doing on the course. It’s brilliant for students to have fun as well as bringing something valuable back to the classroom after seeing what they study in the real world.

“We’re looking at next year to do even more activities along the side – students get a lot of free time to go and explore. Apart from the one day visiting the offices we all went out together as one big group, which is great for building new friendships too.”

Speaking about the trip, student Marie Cresswell-Thomas said: “Going to New York with HSDC was an experience of a lifetime. From going on a seven-hour flight, to seeing the greatest parts of New York City and travelling with new people – each moment was one to remember. I’m very grateful to have had this experience which would never have been possible if it wasn’t for the staff at HSDC!”

Student Beth Jones said: “I really enjoyed the trip and I felt like we got to do things we wouldn’t have done if we hadn’t gone with the College, such as the Facebook and Pinterest visits. It was a once in a lifetime experience that I will always be grateful for.”

Whilst Business students were experiencing the offices of Pinterest and Facebook, Art and Photography students were roaming the halls of famous art galleries. Fine Art Lecturer, Mark Kellett, spoke about his experience.

He said: “This trip was my third time in New York, and I can honestly say one of the most enjoyable.

“To experience the city with the fresh eyes of the students is something the students and I will remember forever. As soon as we came out of the tunnel into the Manhattan streets the echoes of ‘wows’ from the students filled the coach!

“The highlight for me was on the Monday, where I took the Photography and Art students to the Metropolitan museum of Art and The Guggenheim. One student mentioned she wanted to see a real-life Edward Hopper painting and she was very emotional seeing this work of art first-hand after studying it for long periods of time on the internet and books.

“After the galleries we walked through Central Park across the reservoir to Strawberry Fields – the John Lennon Memorial. A busker was strumming his guitar along to the Beatles song ‘Help’ and some of the music students joined in. On the last day we walked along the skyline and visited the Chelsea Markets and some contemporary art galleries.”

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