Practising Business Rapport

Posted: 6th February 2017

Burgess Hill Girls Lower Sixth students, with prestigious invited guests, attended their annual, and highly respected, ‘Practising Business Rapport’ Dinner at Mid Sussex Golf Club. This is a truly unique event that combines a formal social gathering, with a wonderful learning experience. It enables the students to practise their business rapport and networking techniques in preparation for their future careers.

Networking is recognised by all to be an important element in many careers; however, at first it may appear quite daunting. Work related events in social settings such as formal dinners with clients and potential contacts are very common. For some, especially when starting out in a new firm or career, such events take individuals out of their comfort zone. This event introduces the Lower Sixth students at Burgess Hill Girls to just such an experience.

Guests from a range of businesses and professions were invited to this formal dinner to share their own experiences, whilst enjoying a splendid 3 course meal. The girls are given the opportunity to chat to a range of individuals from occupations ranging from Barristers, Cardiologists, Engineers, Managing Directors, Music Directors, Fashion Designers and many other exciting and successful professionals, to gain insight and guidance related to possible future careers. The girls are encouraged to exchange personalised business cards and make contact with those who are able to provide specific advice and possible work related opportunities for the future.

The after dinner speaker was Sally Kettle.  She is the first woman to have rowed across the Atlantic, east-west, twice. She first took to the oars in 2003. Following an initial set back to her first Atlantic attempt, she was joined by an unlikely rowing partner – her mother Sarah Kettle. 106 days later they made it into the record books as the world’s first mother and daughter to row an ocean.

Donations given the night go to support The Prince’s Trust, a charity which helps disadvantaged young people launch their own businesses through The Prince’s Trust Enterprise Programme.

Nell Sumners, student commented “This dinner was an invaluable opportunity for the Lower Sixth to meet new people and to have the initial introduction to the idea of ‘networking’. I found the whole experience so useful and it was great to meet people who could offer me opportunities for work experience or give advice in regard to my career aspirations.”

Charlotte Drew, Sales Manager at Brighton Harbour Hotel commented “We thoroughly enjoyed the company; the girls are a credit to the school and we are so impressed with the way they conducted themselves.”


‘The guests were approachable and even if they weren’t in the area you were interested in, they always offered helpful advice.’
– Emily H


‘Meeting people who have relevant experience was very interesting and enlightening. They brought a real insight into the world they work in.’
– Hannah G


‘After being slightly apprehensive, the ice was instantly broken and I found myself laughing and chatting my way through dinner. The guests were all lovely to chat to and have given me a new insight into the profession I have been considering.’
– Allegra C


‘Well done on running such an unusual and useful event – wish I had this when I was that age!’
– Anya Ledwith, ESHCon


‘It was a pleasure to spend time in the company of the girls, having chance to meet and chat with several of the girls, exchanging experiences and ideas about careers was set in a really good format.’
– Katherine Andrews, KLA Architects


‘The girls were a credit to the school and we were so impressed with the way they conducted themselves.’
– Charlotte Drew, Brighton Harbour Hotel


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