When 22 Year 11 Business Management students began the Commonwealth Bank Partner a Class Program at the start of 2017, none of them really knew what they were getting themselves into.

That very first session saw students build structures out of drinking straws and spaghetti; building a mini empire to a strict budget and timeline.

Eighteen months later, they found themselves being interviewed by Comm Bank executives at the bank’s head office in Melbourne. A steep learning curve, but one that Partner a Class had supported them with at every step. Over the past two years, students have put into practice the theories and principles they’ve learnt and received expert coaching from CBA staff as they progressed.

Today students received their Certificates of Completion from Director of Market Positioning and Engagement at Comm Bank, Andrew Roberts, and Analyst, Adam Rose, who have been their mentors over the past two years. Executive Manager Tom Robinson was also on hand to congratulate students on being the first Bendigo participants to complete the program.

“Today is all about recognising your hard work and persistence,” Mr Roberts said. “This is not really the end of your Partner a Class journey… Know what your strengths are and take them out into the market. You will impress!

Mr Rose also congratulated the students on their professionalism and perseverance.

“Two words that come to mind today are resilience and curiosity,” he said. “If you take those attributes with you into your work or further study I know you’ll succeed.”

Riley Hillier was awarded the inaugural Partner a Class Scholarship, a $1000 award to help fund further study. The award was nominated by CBA staff and BSSC’s Business Management teachers and rewarded Riley for applying himself wholeheartedly to the program, developing his self-confidence and communication skills, and seeking feedback from his mentors and teachers throughout the program.