Case studies

Success is at the heart of Step Up. Hear from real students about their experiences.

Getting a behind the scenes look into Ridgeons

Nine managers from across the Ridgeons Group from various functions each mentored two students from North Cambridge Academy in order to show them that there is much more to any organisation than there appears to be on the surface and that in turn offers many more career opportunities than they might expect.

The goal was that following the mentoring the students would be able to present the answers to four questions:

  • How would you describe Ridgeons, and the many different aspects, to someone who has never heard of them
  • What particular object typifies Ridgeons, for you, and why
  • What particular roles and positions in the Ridgeons business interested you most
  • What are the three most important things you have learned from the time spent with your mentor

Each Ridgeons manager spent one half day working with their two students at the school and three half days at Ridgeons Cambridge branch. During that time the students were given a tour of the branch, encouraged to research the company history, given copies of different role definitions, introduced to a range of staff in different roles and helped to prepare a presentation.

The activity culminated in the students presenting to NCA Head Teacher, Ridgeons Managing Director and L & D Manager and others.

Impacts and Outcomes

The outcome for the eighteen students was to learn more about Ridgeons as a company and in particular the range of career opportunities available including IT, HR, Marketing, Project Management, Administration, Finance etc. This had an impact on the students involved as they realised that any organisation is not just ‘the bit that you see’, but in fact has a range of other departments.

Next Steps

In agreement with the school (North Cambridge Academy) Ridgeons will be repeating the exercise next year with five new students

Top Tip

Make sure all parties are clear at the start of the activity what the outcomes should be and what the timescales are. It was very easy for the Ridgeons managers to get distracted and sidetracked in too much detail and then realise that they needed to help the students prepare a presentation.

"This was a good development opportunity for the managers involved to work with young people, and there was the added benefit of some training in mentoring provided by the BITC representative," said Angela Rushforth, Managing Director, Ridgeons.