On Wednesday, 60 GCSE students from Seaford Head Community College visited the American Express Community Stadium as part of an initiative run by Albion in the Community (AITC) in partnership with American Express.
The aim of the 'Schools' Masterclass' programme is to give young people the opportunity to better understand the breadth of careers open to them, whilst developing core business skills with a hands-on practical experience and coaching support.
Students took part in a series of 'Apprentice' style tasks designed to teach practical business concepts. AITC staff, supported by 25 American Express volunteers, worked with the students sharing their knowledge and understanding of the business environment and coaching them on the varied skills required to run the business of a Championship football club.
Brighton & Hove Albion player, Inigo Calderon ? lauded for his work in the community ? was also on hand to provide encouragement for the students and demonstrated essential skills of team work and effective communication. The degree educated defender has previously lectured students on sports psychology at the American Express Community Stadium.
The students were tasked with designing a smart phone app that would enhance the experience of visitors to the American Express Community Stadium with consideration to commercial benefit and revenue.
Using iPads, students developed ideas for a new app by discussing marketing ideas to inform their business plans. The students then presented their business concepts to the group, with the winning design being handed to the club for selection of an overall winner amongst the schools related to its commercial viability of becoming a marketed app.
Michael Edwards, Senior Vice President, American Express said: "This is the second year we have run the Schools' Masterclass programme in partnership with Albion in the Community. The initiative presents the perfect opportunity to support young students as they prepare for the workplace. We are delighted that so many of our American Express volunteers were able to add value to the students' experiences by sharing their practical experience and business insights. And we are proud to be working in partnership with AITC to provide young people with the opportunity to learn new skills that will be of long-term benefit to themselves, the wider community and the local economy."
AITC Head of Education, Matt Mead, explained: "We are keen to engage young people through technology to inspire them to meet set challenges in the most innovative and thought-provoking ways. We have been impressed with the standards the students have aspired to and thank American Express for imparting their business know-how. We feel confident the club management will be equally impressed with the potential app developments wepresent them with at the end of this programme."
Albion right-back Inigo Calderon said; "It's important for the kids to get involved and it's great to see them making an app for supporters. It's more interesting to be involved with the club at the stadium instead of the classroom. It's a fantastic environment because they feel part of the club."
The programme will run throughout the autumn term and will see six schools from across Sussex visit the stadium, including: Tanbridge House School (Horsham); Ratton School (Eastbourne); Portslade Aldridge Community Academy; Davison CE High School for Girls (Worthing) and The St Leonards Academy (St Leonards-on-Sea).