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Four Business students from the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London’s Enfield Centre were invited to meet Marks and Spencers chairman Sir Stuart Rose and the chief executives of a number of leading UK businesses, on Thursday 21 October.

Leidy Camilo, Stephen Mafolabomi, Ryhan Anwar and Egzon Aliu are all second year students on the Business National Extended Diploma, which is the equivalent of three A Levels. All four are members of the College's Career Academy in Business which offers students a six week paid internship with a leading international company, as well as the chance to meet a variety of people from the world of business. Stephen worked at the Bank of New York Mellon, Ryhan at F & C Asset Management, Egzon at the Halifax Bank and Leidy at the Citizenship Foundation.

The meeting was part of 'The Prince's Seeing is Believing' programme run by Business in the Community (BITC). Career Academies UK is a partner in BITC's Work Inspiration Campaign whose stated aim is to ‘turn work experience into work inspiration’.

The College’s students were chosen, along with Career Academy members from two other colleges, to represent Career Academies UK and to discuss with business leaders how their internships had inspired and motivated them to achieve their ambitions and how they thought the world of business could support business students. Career Academies UK has around 110 affiliated schools and colleges.

The meeting took the form of a 'speed networking' session in which the College’s students spoke to as many business delegates as possible in the available time. As well as Sir Stuart Rose, the delegates included Mark Bolland – Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Marks and Spencer; Adrian Ewer - CEO, John Laing; Robert Higginson - Managing Director (MD), Warburtons; Robin Pinchbeck - Director of Strategy and Corporate Development, Petrofac; Mei-Li Tan MD, Franchise Initiative Global Transaction Services, Citigroup and Fiona Wilkinson, Senior Vice President of  Corporate Communications, Visa Europe.

After the meeting students and delegates expressed their delight at how well the event had gone. “I felt privileged to meet such outstanding business leaders,” said Leidy Camilo “and I really felt I learned from the very best in business today.”

Peter Eskesen, Business Curriculum Manager and Career Academy coordinator at the College’s Enfield Centre spoke to Sir Stuart Rose after the meeting: “Sir Stuart met two of our Business students. He described the Career Academy students as articulate, ambitious and full of ideas about how contact with the real world of business can inspire young people.”

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