Coventry students put through their paces by business experts
January 11, 2023

Coventry students put through their paces by business experts

Please note: This article was published on January 11, 2023 and may contain information that is no longer current or up to date.
Barclays Finance Challenge Class

Business students in Coventry have been put to the test by finance experts to see how their cost-cutting skills fare in real-world scenarios.

Level 3 Business students at Coventry College joined forces to take on the Barclays Finance Challenge – working in groups to create plans to reduce energy costs on five different building types.

The event started off with an introduction from the Barclays team, who explained the challenge, as students were split into groups and asked to devise a strategy, research potential issues and benefits, and deliver a five-minute presentation in front of the expert panel.

Inês Araújo, Engagement Manager with Barclays, said: “It was an enjoyable experience understanding how the students were thinking about the challenge that was set to them.

“I loved the fact that the students had put so much thought and work into their challenge and they all presented extremely well and they had very good, understandable power points.”

Josh Patterson, Jayesh Prinja and Samuel Gibbons were announced as the winners and received Amazon vouchers for their efforts.

Their presentation on ‘Reducing Energy Costs for a Shopping Centre’ used Coventry’s West Orchards Shopping Centre as a model, and discussed changing the bulbs to LEDs with motion sensors, which use seven-times less energy, and investing in solar panels.

Coventry College student Kieran Collins said: “It was amazing. I gathered a lot of experience, and it was a good learning curve”.

Thomas Wilkinson added: “It was a very enjoyable and eye opening experience.”

The Barclays team gave constructive feedback to all of the groups, and praised the level of detail in their research. They also provided a range of tips for presenting.

Another group – Annesah Ayub, Mahisha Chowdhury and Milly Vyskocil – presented ‘How to Save Energy in a School’, and suggested the use of solar panels, including the preferred location for solar panels and the costs for installing them.

Daisy Hine and Saira Ahmed presented ‘Energy Strategies for Restaurants’, offering the panel two strategies to address a variety of costs, including a streamlined menu in the week and keeping the extended menu for weekends only to reduce food waste and energy use, as well as using energy efficient appliances with a large up-front cost but potential savings in the long term.
Kieran Collins, Derrie Union, Josie Gray and Vinay Bhatti discussed the type of costs a gym faces including the upkeep of gym equipment and staff salaries.

They advised to install timers on the showers and motion sensor lights in less used areas such as classrooms and changing rooms to offset other expenses, and suggested shorter opening hours to reduce energy use in off-peak times.

‘Saving Energy in an Office Building’ was presented by Paulo Santos and Thomas Wilkinson, who listed multiple options such as closing floors that are not in use and improving insulation to keep warmth in and use smart heating controls, and motion-sensor lighting.

They also outlined a monthly reward system to the office team who save the most energy each month.