Students take on the Business Challenge


Earlier this month the college welcomed pupils from Ian Ramsey Church of England Academy and Northfield School for a special event run by ICAEW and Stockton Sixth Form.

The Business Challenge sees students assume the role of final year trainee chartered accountants working for a fictional accountancy firm Randolph Stewart LLP.

Their brief was that their client was Newbie Magazine Ltd, a successful publisher of lifestyle magazines for young audiences. The students first task was to complete a critical analysis of the client using the background information pack.

The main business challenge was that the students were told that Newbie’s board of directors had drawn up three different proposals for the company’s future direction. The proposals were as follows:

  • Push online presence as a ‘shop window’ – Increase online audience to drive subscriptions to Newbie magazine, moving away from retail sales.
  • Fully embrace the digital age – Make Newbie a digital magazine, relying on the surge in smartphone/tablet readership and online advertising.
  • Enter a new magazine market – Diversify the print offering by entering a new market, perhaps the lucrative 11-14-year-old demographic.

The students were then asked to assess the merits and flaws in each proposal and also the validity of the financial forecasts, considering what they learnt from the background information pack. The students then had to choose one of the proposals for recommendation to the Newbie board of directors (the judges) and present their findings.

We hope everyone involved had a great day!