There are plenty of unexpected things I have experienced during my career with Enterprise, but meeting Prince Charles and a trip to India are some of the highlights.
I entered the CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accounts) Global Business Challenge through the University of Leicester. The challenge involved studying a fictional case study involving a business with several problems and writing a realistic report on how to overcome these problems.
We entered in 2013 and came 2nd at the UK final, winning best report but narrowly losing out on first place.
We entered again in 2014, this time with me in the Team Leader role, and completed the report alongside our dissertations and final year exams. We made it to the UK final again, competed against 150 teams and not only did we beat the team that won the previous year, we also won best promotional video, meaning that we had won every accolade offered by the competition over the last two years.
This victory secured our place at the Global final in Mumbai, India. The competition was held at the Marriott in Mumbai, which is hands down the best building I’ve ever been in, and we competed against 23 teams from all over the word. The feedback we received was amazing! I was personally told by one of the judges that if I had just walked into the room; they would’ve thought I was a CFO not a student. Overall we came 7th, but the judging panel were hugely split over whether we should have placed in the top 6 to reach the final of the final.
Because of this, we were invited to the CFO Summit for Sustainability as special guests by the CIMA CEO, Charles Tilley. This involved a meet and greet at St James’ Palace and a conference of sustainable accounting practices such as accounting for the true cost of business practices. During the day I disocvered that all the knowledge I had picked up during my time at Enterprise was very useful when it came to networking. I was able to talk about the environmental benefits of rental cars over grey fleet, our carbon offset fee, and plenty of other topics I only knew about due to my Enterprise role.
Halfway through, we were ushered into a back room with several other specially selected delegates and awaited HRH Prince Charles himself! It was surreal when he walked into the room, drinking from a bone china cup as we politely introduced ourselves to him. We spoke about why we were selected to attend the Summit, what we were doing with our lives and some of the topics discussed that morning. He was charming and witty, as one would expect from someone who does this sort of thing regularly. After talking for nearly ten minutes, he politely excused himself to talk to some of the other delegates and we were left trying to comprehend what had just happened.
All in all it was an amazing experience, and I have learned the benefits of getting involved with university competitions. Working with such talented people whilst gaining some valuable skills, and being able to travel across the world has been a bonus! This year was particularly great, especially as I had met HRH Prince Andrew a couple of weeks prior whilst receiving my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award. So that’s two royals down, only a couple more to go before I’ve met them all!