Loreto College students quickly made their mark on Central Victorian Investments this week.
The six students more than doubled the number of staff when they moved in on Monday as part of the Mindshop Excellence program.
They were handed a real problem within the business – the lack of young investors – and told to have their best crack at fixing it.
Lauren Brodie explained their plan on Friday.
“(The goal) is increasing the number of younger investors,” she said.
“Our strategies were bus signage, Facebook...website updates.”
The hook for all this, Alexandra Toohey continued, was a simple slogan – “grow with us”.
While the program might seem like an easy way for employers to plug in to their next target market – as WIN News, the City of Ballarat and the Federation Business School also did – Mindshop founder Chris Mason said the year 10 and 11 students got much more out of it than they would from normal work experience.
“The benefit really is that the kids get exposed, particularly in regional schools, to different points of view,” he said.
Phoenix P-12 Community College, St Patrick’s College and Ballarat Grammar also took part.
Their ideas could soon be seen around Ballarat.
The Ballarat Grammar group called for better transport between shopping spots in town to stop young people abandoning local shops in favour of Melbourne or online retail.
Phoenix told WIN it needed better online engagement – social and on their website – and maybe even a whole new channel for that key 19-25 age bracket.
And St Patrick’s worked out a whole new campaign for the FedUni business school to attract more local students.
Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford said the businesses would be smart to embrace the ideas put forward.
"To be given a real problem and given a week to work on it, it’s just a fantastic opportunity (for the students),” she said.
“And the businesses should really consider the fresh perspectives.”
Central Victorian Investments general manager Brendan Gillett said he was impressed at how much they got out of the program.
”It was a great week,” he said.
“They worked really hard, and as you can see we’ve got some work to do over the next 12 months (on the plan), so it was a fantastic initiative run very well.”
The Mindshop Excellence program is in its 14th year in Ballarat and 21st overall.
This year is the first time it has been aligned with Commerce Ballarat’s B31 business month events.