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London Business Trip

(June 2016): a student’s perspective

A party consisting of around 30 Lower Sixth students, many of whom are keen on entering a world of finance, travelled to the nation’s capital, to experience a taste of life in a range of commercial environments. After a three hour journey through thick traffic, we left the coach at Silicon Roundabout and were treated to a guided tour around Shoreditch on the edge of the city. As we twisted our way through East End streets, we learnt about the cutthroat competition in the area and heard tales about the astronomic gains of some wheeler-dealing investments. Along the way, most of us sampled the delights of the Cereal Killer Café and the chocolates on offer at Dark Sugars, but still managed to retain our focus on the business end of the trip. A stop at NikeLab, for instance, included a presentation about the extent to which big corporations are dependent on the ingenuity and commercial success of small businesses.

As we walked towards the heart of the city, we found ourselves on Threadneedle Street, famous of course for being the location of the Bank of England. Time spent exploring its museum allowed us to appreciate the historic importance of the Bank over its three hundred year existence and how some of its more prominent governors had steered it through waters both troubled and smooth. The Bank offered a wide range of interactive activities to build awareness of its role and the climax of the tour presented itself in the opportunity to lift a £400,000 bar of gold, which was predictably, but still unfeasibly, heavy. An informative talk at the museum enlightened us more about the Bank’s role, ranging from how the Monetary Policy Committee strives to keep inflation on target and how technology is making the production of fraudulent bank notes an almost impossible task. With the day drawing to a close, we were welcomed into the headquarters of CBRE and enjoyed an extended period of productive networking with London based Old Warwickians.