A North East college has teamed up with a local football team to help its students kick on in the world of employment.
Gateshead College joined forces with national league side Gateshead FC on an initiative which recently saw 30 business students take control of the club ahead of a recent game against Leyton Orient.
As part of the scheme, the business bright sparks were tasked with boosting the number of followers on the ‘Heed’s social media channels, increasing ticket sales and creating an event to encourage more families to attend the match.
The students devised a social media campaign to generate interest from families and football fanatics, as well as laying on a family-friendly event which saw several pop-up shops selling sweet treats, as well as Geordie-inspired gifts from local shop HandPicked.
The students also hosted a number of activities for the young fans, including crossbar and kick-up challenges and a penalty shootout against Rooney the goat, the Tynesider’s mascot.
Brian Waites, managing director at Gateshead FC, said: “It was a pleasure to work with the business students from Gateshead College. Initiatives like this are extremely useful for students in allowing them to see that the matchday experience is the final element of the process; a lot goes on behind the scenes to make that happen.
“It’s fantastic that they made the most of the opportunity which, as well as giving them the skills employers look for, really showcased their forward-thinking, creative ideas.”
The students have been working with the club since September last year, carrying out activities to hone their communication, planning, teamwork and time management skills while gaining valuable experience working to on live business projects.
Gateshead College student Georgina Knight,18, from Whitley Bay, described the matchday takeover as ‘’an incredible opportunity”.
She said: “I had never really considered a career in events management until I took part in the takeover. Being part of the scheme has given me a real insight into the events industry and opened my eyes to a possible future career path.
“I’m so grateful to Gateshead FC and Gateshead College for giving me such an incredible opportunity and I’ve found the experience really beneficial.”
Chris Toon, deputy principal of Gateshead College, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our business students to gain valuable work experience to supplement their classroom-based learning. They’ve embraced the challenges they’ve been set and discovered how to meet deadlines and solve problems that they’d encounter in everyday business life.
“Experiences such as this will really help them to stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting a job.”