Five reasons why you should take part in the Mosaic Enterprise Challenge

Fiona Campbell, a trainee solicitor at the Leeds office of Squire Patton Boggs, shared her top five reasons for why you should take part in this year’s Mosaic Business Enterprise Challenge.

When researching law firms to apply to for solicitor training, I was attracted by Squire Patton Boggs’ because of how they encourage employees to get involved in their corporate social responsibility programme. Many of the activities run by Business in the Community are in this programme and in January I had the pleasure of taking part in the Mosaic Business Enterprise Challenge.

As part of the Enterprise Challenge, two of my colleagues and I acted as mentors to three groups of students at Lawnswood High School in Leeds. The Challenge was split into two parts: an exploration into ethical business and completion of an online business simulation game.

It was fantastic to watch the students develop their knowledge and understanding of business throughout the sessions and, on a personal level, I took a great deal from the experience.

I would absolutely recommend taking part in the competition and below are my top 5 reasons for doing so:

1. That moment when the pupils ‘get’ the business concepts

In addition to learning about ethical business, students partake in an online business simulation where they must select a product to take to market and sell. This exposes students to business concepts ranging from how to market a product to reducing costs in the supply chain. 

Despite not being a 'normal' school game, the delight was clear on one boy’s face when he discovered the long term benefits of investing in extra factory space. The fun of the game made the experience particularly rewarding.

2. Stretching your own business knowledge

As part of the challenge, students are required to complete a short quiz on ethical business. Mosaic provides ready-made presentation slides which mentors use to take students through the aspects of ethical business covered in the quiz and this includes exploration of one case study.

We chose to use the McDonald’s case study which I found fascinating; did you know that McDonald’s recycles used cooking oil and converts it into biodiesel which is then used by its delivery fleets? Or that McDonald’s operates litter patrols which cover 150,000 miles every year? That’s the same distance as walking around the world six times!      

3. Getting out of the office

The initial stage of the challenge is six hours of mentoring. Any further involvement in the competition depends on whether the students achieve a high enough score on the business simulation game and ethical business quiz to take them through to the regional finals.

Mentoring the students was a fantastic way to spend my time. Even on the days where my to-do list at work seemed long, I always returned from the sessions feeling positive.

4. Relationship with the pupils

We were able to develop a relationship with the students in our teams and, as the sessions went on, the students’ trust in us increased. On arriving for one of the later sessions, I was met at the school reception by two boys from my group, both desperate to tell me about the great scores they had managed to achieve on the simulation game since the previous week. That really put a smile on my face.

5. It’s fun!   

By the end of the six hours, an immense level of competition had built up, not only between the students, but between myself and my colleagues!

We became loyal to and proud of our respective teams and on the journey back to the office we would often chat and compare high scores for the business simulation game. These relationships certainly improved as a result of the Challenge.

Overall, being involved in the Mosaic Business Enterprise Challenge is a fantastic way to give some time back to the community in a way which develops the ambition and entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of business men and women. It provides a fantastic sense of achievement and is thoroughly enjoyable.       

Mosaic was founded by the Prince of Wales in 2007 as a mentoring programme creating opportunities for young people growing up in our most deprived communities.  It was run by Business in the Community until July 2016, when it became part of the Prince's Trust.