Student makes final stop at Virgin Trains

Talented Business student, Oliver Brady, 17, from Nantwich has secured himself a dream job with Virgin Trains, following the completion of his six-week paid internship last year.

Oliver made his mark after he worked within the Customer Services Department at Crewe Train Station and has now been offered a full-time job as a Customer Services Assistant.

Oliver commented: “When I started studying at Cheshire College – South & West, my tutor encouraged me to apply for the internship with Virgin Trains. I hadn’t thought about doing an internship prior to that, or necessarily had an interest in working in the rail industry.

“However, I’m so glad I was accepted onto the programme as it’s been a fantastic experience and landed me a job. The team at Crewe made me feel so welcome throughout my time there and I learnt a lot. It’s given me the confidence now to feel positive and excited about taking on a full-time role.”

The internship was organised in conjunction with Career Ready, a UK-wide charity linking employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people.

“To have been offered full-time employment at Virgin Trains straight after completing my course has been incredible. At the end of this month I will be working as a Welcome Host, which means I will be working with revenue protection and ticketing operations as part of the Customer Services Team,” Oliver added.

Suzanne Davies, Business Lecturer at Cheshire College – South & West also said: “Our partnership with Career Ready has really helped our students grow in confidence and gain essential skills for work.

“The internship with Virgin Trains enabled our students to gain an insight into the opportunities available to them after College, and Oliver is a great example of someone who has taken hold of that opportunity to secure a full-time role.

“He has worked very hard and we are really proud of his achievements.”

For more information on studying Business at Cheshire College – South & West, or for details on the Career Ready Programme, visit or call the College hotline on 01270 654654.

Music loving business students win enterprise award for Festibag

Entrepreneurial students studying Business at Cheshire College – South & West’s Crewe campus have won a Young Enterprise award for their innovative new product called Festibag.

The team of 11 students, called Illuminite, won Best Trade Stand and Runner-Up for Best Company in the Young Enterprise Cheshire and Warrington Final held at Barclays Radbroke Hall in Knutsford.

With attendance at festivals in the UK at an all-time high, the team developed an idea to set up a business producing festival bags.

Jasmine Alsop, 18, from Tarporley, Managing Director of Illuminite, explains: “We were given the challenge by our tutor Suzanne Davies to create a business idea. As a team we all shared a love of music and had all attended festivals. So we came up with the concept of a festival bag which includes all your festival essentials.”

Ben Berry, 18, from Northwich, added: “It’s been a fantastic experience. My role is Operations Director and I’ve had the chance to work with everyone on the project. From finding wholesalers to ordering products to contributing to the presentation for the competition; I’ve been involved in every aspect of setting up the company which I’ve really enjoyed.”

The bag, branded Festibag, includes 16 essential products including rain poncho, portable charger, hair bobbles, toothbrushes, deodorant and hand sanitizer wipes. The company was set up with money invested by the Crewe and Nantwich Lions. The team have designed the product, bought stock, designed the brand and launched a website.

Suzanne Lockwood from Young Enterprise, the UK’s leading charity that empowers young people to harness their personal and business skills, said: “Our Young Enterprise Company Programme is an annual competition for 15 to 19 years olds to set up and run their own business. Over the course of a year groups of students create and run real profit-generating businesses under the guidance of an expert business volunteer, developing real and tangible skills to set up a business or take into their future career.”

The team will now progress to the competitions North West Regional Finals on 9 May in Liverpool.

Tom Dunlop, President of Crewe and Nantwich Lions, added: “The ethos of the local Lions Club is to support young people. We’re delighted to be able to help Cheshire College – South & West’s business students develop their business idea and it’s wonderful to see that they’ve already made such a success.”

To order a Festibag visit For more information about studying Business at Cheshire College – South & West, visit or call 01270 654654.

PwC give employability advice to students

Business Studies students at Cheshire College – South & West were given an invaluable insight into employability skills and career opportunities with one of the world’s largest professional services firms PwC.

Jack Phelps and Alex McKay, who are on PwC’s School Leavers programme, held a two-hour workshop with students currently studying BTEC Business Studies Level 3 at the College’s Crewe Campus.

Alex, who at 18 years old, joined PwC on the firm’s prestigious programme, explained: “The purpose of today was to introduce what employability skills means and the type of skills employers are looking for. At PwC there are lots of opportunities for young people to enter the workplace – the school leavers programme is ideal as you get on the job training as well as a professional qualification.”

One of the students who attended the workshop, Fabien Lenarcik, 17, from Crewe, said: “I’m in my first year at college and it was really interesting to hear about the whole application process for PwC, how it works and what they’re looking for. I’d definitely be interested in applying as it sounds like an amazing opportunity.”

Cindy Lo, 17, from Market Drayton, who is studying Business Studies alongside A Level Economics, said: “It was really refreshing to hear that there are different ways of getting into business. I had just assumed that I would go to university but I would now consider potentially applying to somewhere like PwC where I would get a qualification at the same time.”

Suzanne Davies, Business Lecturer at Cheshire College – South & West, said: “We were delighted to welcome PwC to our Crewe Campus. It was a great opportunity for our students to hear and learn about their experiences, as well as to know more about the amazing opportunities that are out there in the workplace.”

Students on track with Virgin Trains

Three talented business students from South Cheshire College made the most of their summer holidays by completing a six-week paid internship with Virgin Trains over the summer.

The students, Daria Bialynska, 18, from Crewe; Oliver Brady, 17, from Nantwich and Georgia Owen, 18, from Woore, are all studying a BTEC National Diploma in Business Studies at the College’s Crewe Campus.

The internship was organised in conjunction with Career Ready, a UK wide charity linking employers with schools and colleges to open up the world of work to young people.

Oliver, who spent his internship working at Crewe Station, said: “It’s been a fantastic experience. I worked in customer services either on the platform or the kiosk. The team at Crewe station made me feel really welcome.

“I’ve learnt so much – in particular how to cope under pressure and to remain calm whilst looking after and helping our customers. When I finish my course at South Cheshire College I definitely feel more confident about getting a job.”

Daria and Georgia spent their six week internship at Virgin Trains Talent Academy based in Crewe.

Daria, who is hoping to study event management at university, explains: “Every new member of staff for Virgin Trains comes through the Talent Academy. My role was office based and I worked on reception as well as other areas of the company such as HR.

“One of my highlights was organising an event for 30 new starters – I put a lot of effort and planning into the event and received some great feedback from senior managers at Virgin Trains.”

Georgia adds: “As well as working at the Talent Academy we got the chance to shadow an ‘on board’ crew on a train down to London Euston as well as visit the control station in Birmingham. It’s been an amazing experience to see what goes on behind the scenes of a company like Virgin Trains. I’m really hoping to now secure an Apprenticeship in Business – ideally with Virgin – when I finish my course.”

Suzanne Davies, Business Lecturer at South Cheshire College, said: “The internship with Virgin Trains has been a fantastic opportunity for our students. Our partnership with Career Ready really helps our students grow in confidence and gain essential skills for work. It also opens their eyes to what opportunities are out there after college – either going to university, securing an Apprenticeship or going straight into a job.”