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Pendragon Straight Talk: Australian Business Week

By 4 December 2017No Comments

JOHN GLOVER: Hello and welcome to another Pendragon Straight Talk. A lot of people often ask me what Pendragon, or how we get involved with the community. This week I’m actually doing Straight Talk from The Hills Grammar School where I help out during the week as a mentor for the Australian Business Week. This is where we assist students, and I’ve got Rebecca here who is one of the café managers, this year is a café theme, and we start from nothing and we throw the students into it and by the end of the week they are brilliant and they are running cafes and coming up with design and marketing.
But what I want to do is just ask Rebecca exactly what she thought of the week. So, first thing is what did you think of the week?
REBECCA: It’s actually pretty good. I was really surprised at how much fun it is. I thought it was going to be really stressful and a lot of pressure, but it’s not. It’s actually quite relaxing once you get the hang of it it’s really fun.
JOHN: Yeah, and what is the best bit so far that you’ve enjoyed about it?
REBECCA: I’ve actually, I’m quite a weird student, I actually enjoy learning, so I’ve enjoyed learning about how businesses actually work and it kind of makes me feel like an adult, in a completely different environment and a whole bunch of new terms to learn and it’s been amazing managing a team.
JOHN: Fantastic, and from the point of view of mentors that come along, we’ve got different types of mentors. We’ve got ex-students, we’ve got older mentors, younger mentors, how does that fit it? Do they help?
REBECCA: Definitely, they are so much help especially at the start of the week when we have zero idea how to manage a café they are always so kind and helpful to us, explaining everything and yet not giving us the exact answer, not telling us what to do, so they are letting us explore and discover things without actually feeling really, really stressed.
JOHN: Okay, so it’s a bit stressful?
REBECCA: At the beginning when we had no idea what to do and it was the first decision, that was very stressful, but my mentor was very helpful and he didn’t let me freak out which was really good.
JOHN: So, you’re the manager of the café, how did you get chosen?
REBECCA: At the beginning of the week we had like a survey thing where we had to answer a bunch of café or managing related questions and how we would respond in a workplace environment, so then we voted on which answers we thought were the best and I got chosen with the highest level of… I don’t know how to describe it.
JOHN: Correct answers or intelligence?
JOHN: So, all in all you find it a great week. You’re obviously with people you’re not normally with, you don’t pick the groups and you meet people you may not meet during normal school even though you’re in the same year, year 10 yeah. So, is that good fun to meet sort of new people and make friends?
REBECCA: Definitely, I’ve only worked with one or two people in my group before and I’ve discovered that I’ve made such great friendships with some of the other people in my group I never thought I would talk to. I’ve never had the confidence to talk to them before and now that we’re being forced to work together I’m discovering that they are actually really nice.
JOHN: Which is a good thing! So the whole thing about Australian Business Week is not just about learning about business and stuff like that, it’s also about you getting to know your cohort a little bit better before year 11 and 12.
REBECCA: Yeah, it’s a great team bonding thing.
JOHN: And what is the name of your cafe?
REBECCA: We had to go with a pun, its ‘CaribBEAN’.
JOHN: ‘CaribBEAN’, okay, so are you a vegetarian café or are you, is there anything specificly different about you?
REBECCA: We’re kind of a hippie café. We’ve gone with sort of reggae music, beachy vibes, just very relaxed and a family setting.
JOHN: Okay, so we’ll have to most probably leave it there because I know you’ve got to get back and I know you were not keen to come down here and waste too much time with me, you want to get back to your café and make sure it’s working.
At the school we have a live, all the cafes set up and sell the food, they’ve got all their marketing material, so the whole evening gets voted on who’s the best café on the evening, there is ten awards, the café manager, the team, best overall, they do a Shark Tank thing in the morning which I sit on which is quite interesting.
So, all in all, the mentors enjoy it, so thank you very much and thanks for interviewing and good luck.
REBECCA: Thank you.
JOHN: Any other comments you want to make just to end?
REBECCA: Not really, it’s just been a great week in general.
JOHN: Fantastic. Alright, thanks very much, I look forward to talking to you next week.

Purnima Kabra