Year 11 Economics students had an exciting preview of the 18 months ahead when the Commonwealth Bank Partner a Class program kicked off for 2020.

The program provides business experiences and practical hands-on lessons that compliment classroom theory and challenge students to think beyond their own environment and circles of influence. The students will be coached over an 18-month period by experienced CBA senior executives working in CommSec, Human Resources, Business Finance and Lending and Marketing.

Director of Market Positioning and Engagement at Comm Bank, Andrew Roberts, said the program could give participants a real edge over other students studying VCE Economics, and highlighted what an incredible opportunity it was to build their strengths and step into the world of finance.

“We’re here to work with you and help you, but also to take you to the edge of your comfort zone,” he said. “We’ll give you access to leaders in the world of finance and marketing; people like Tom Piotrowski, Juliana Roadley and Senior Executives from the bank. You’ll have the chance to really grill them… ask as many questions as you like.”

The students leapt straight into the program with a group exercise run by Andrew and CommBank Analyst Adam Rose.

Students worked in groups of four to build a “Tower of Power”—a structure built from drinking straws, spaghetti, string, sticky tape, and foil—each with a specific market value.

Each group chose a CEO and a CFO and had 15 minutes to construct a building that was then judged on height, cost-effectiveness, and the group’s final pitch. It was the perfect metaphor for the importance of a strong foundation and students playing to their strengths.

“Over the next 18 months we’ll help you discover the things you’re really good at,” Adam Rose said. “It’s about learning the skills most relevant to your strengths and running with those.”

Partner a Class participants will have their next big learning opportunity before the end of Term 1—a five-minute group presentation in Bendigo’s CBA boardroom.

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