`This opportunity will be invaluable in their respective careers

One Sixth Form College in partneship with the Institute of Directors.
Students, staff and IoD repre

One Sixth Form College in partneship with the Institute of Directors. Students, staff and IoD representatives outside One Sixth Form College, Ipswich Picture: ROBYN SADLER. - Credit: Robyn Sadler

A unique partnership between a Suffolk sixth form and a business organisation celebrated a six year anniversary.

In 2012, students from One Sixth Form College (ONE) in Ipswich were offered the chance of becoming the first group of 16 to 19 year- olds in the country to be offered membership with the Institute of Directors (IoD).

They are still the only sixth form in the UK to have this type of partnership

The link up continued when the latest group of One student’s met up with representatives from the IoD at an introductory event held in Ipswich.

During this first meeting of the academic year between the two organisations, Joe Fitzsimons (Institute of Directors student membership manager) from the IoD in London, emphasised the importance of networking and making links with directors in terms of gaining real world work experiences.


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A local IoD ambassador, Andy Tillman who works in the cyber security industry for 8ARC Ltd then discussed the importance of ‘making yourself stand out from the crowd’ by engaging with directors to get fresh insights into the world of business and commerce.

A short question and answer session between the guests and 14 ONE students who secured membership this year having been through a job interview style internal process in order to be given the opportunity.

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Paul Hinchcliffe is the head of curriculum for business and One IoD co-ordinator. He said: “ONE has a fantastic and unique relationship with the Institute of Directors and the association is a wonderful opportunity for 14 of our students to better themselves.

“We had over 40 applications, the final 14 students went through an interview process with representatives from the IoD to be finally selected for the scheme. This opportunity will be invaluable in their respective careers, particularly from the networking events they will be attending, the directors and businesses they will be engaging with and the skills they will be learning along the way.”

Debbie Afflu is one of this year’s IoD student members. She said: “I’m really looking forward to being an active IoD Student Member as it will allow me to make connections with business professionals who can help me to pursue my chosen future career.”

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