Enterprising Bangor Students’ FLUX Success

The successful Team- left-right: Bogdan Pop, ZhiHong Zhao, Alex Hopkins, Louise Ainsworth, Kate Isherwood  and Daniel Taylor.The successful Team- left-right: Bogdan Pop, ZhiHong Zhao, Alex Hopkins, Louise Ainsworth, Kate Isherwood and Daniel Taylor.A team from Bangor University have come second in the UK in the prestigious nationwide FLUX Competition, the higher education sector’s largest entrepreneurship competition which was held  recently.  Their challenge, which was designed to test business and commercial skills, was set by Costain; an international construction and engineering group.

One of the challenges was to find short and long term solutions in the event of a key bridge in Lancaster's one way system having to close due to security problems.  To address this challenge participating students were given the help of mentors and business experts.

The team narrowly missed out on the £500 prize money on offer from IBM but gained some valuable contacts with employers attending the event.

“This was an outstanding opportunity for students to access high profile businesses, judges and mentors from IBM, Deloitte, and also many smaller businesses representing HR, finance, legal, consultancy and service providers – areas where graduates can have a real impact,” said Chris Little, Head of Careers and Employability Services at Bangor University.

Three of the winning FLUX team -from left: ZhiHong Zhao, Daniel Taylor and Kate Ishwerwood, discsussing with James Johnston from Costain Ltd during one of the competition mentor meetings.Three of the winning FLUX team -from left: ZhiHong Zhao, Daniel Taylor and Kate Ishwerwood, discsussing with James Johnston from Costain Ltd during one of the competition mentor meetings.The Bangor team comprised Psychology undergraduates Kate Isherwood, Daniel Taylor and Alex Hopkins, Business undergraduates Bogdan Pop and Cassie Zhao and Psychology postgraduate Louise Ainsworth. The team had recently completed the Enterprise by Design challenge at Bangor University which gave them the confidence to compete in a national context. The 10 week Bangor course gave them the advantage of being able to work effectively in a multidisciplinary team, use a variety of innovative learning techniques to develop creative solutions to real life problems and pitch to a panel of professionals.

Kate Isherwood of the Bangor team said “Flux was a great experience. The competition was intense but thoroughly enjoyable and the amount of support we received was amazing! It is definitely a leg up on the CV.” 

Another team member, Daniel Taylor said “FLUX was a great opportunity to experience the real world whilst still in academia. To understand how my current learning will apply to my future career."

Charlotte Hey, Quality and Performance Manager at Costain, commented on the event:

“I was amazed by how committed all the students were and the drive and initiative that they showed throughout the competition. All of the judges from Costain praised the students for their enthusiastic approach and determination to complete the challenge.”

Flux team members- left-right Daniel Taylor, Louise Ainsworth, Alex Hopkins, Kate Isherwood, Bogdan Pop and, ZhiHong Zhao at an earlier Networking Dinner.Flux team members- left-right Daniel Taylor, Louise Ainsworth, Alex Hopkins, Kate Isherwood, Bogdan Pop and, ZhiHong Zhao at an earlier Networking Dinner.Abu Saleh from Deloitte, one of the event’s sponsors and a judge on the panel, said:

“Increasingly, graduates are required to demonstrate problem solving skills and commercial awareness. Events such as Flux provide great opportunities for participants to demonstrate that they possess such skills when interviewing.”

The Bangor Flux team were sponsored by the Welsh Government through the North West Wales Regional Hub which is a partnership between Grwp Llandrillo-Menai  and Bangor University. The entry was coordinated by Lowri Owen, Ceri Jones and Eirian Jones of the B-Enterprising Team which forms part of this partnership.

Images attached:

Three of the winning FLUX team from Bangor University ( from left ZhiHong Zhao, Daniel Taylor and Kate Ishwerwood) discsussing with James Johnston from Costain Ltd  during one of the competition mentor meetings.

At an earlier networking dinner are the successful Bangor University team members left-right Daniel Taylor, Louise Ainsworth, Alex Hopkins, Kate Isherwood, Bogdan Pop and, ZhiHong Zhao.

Publication date: 29 April 2014