First meets Formatio Private School
The 'Business Basics' course was launched in February 2021 in collaboration with Formatio Private School, aimed at familiarizing pupils with business studies. Divided into two groups, and largely via remote learning, the students, almost 30 in number, were acquainted with a wide range of stimulating economics-related subjects.
On crusaders and the complexity of a business enterprise
In the first lesson, with the aim of explaining the structure of the First Advisory Group itself, Dr Thomas Zwiefelhofer, Member of the Group Board, related details of the Group's formation, how the Group companies came into being, and the composition of the management. The students swiftly grasped how, with the First Advisory Group, cross-sectoral cooperation determines the organization's success. It is equally important for employees to be able to rely on one another, facilitating provision of an optimum service to our clients.
Indeed, even back in the Middle Ages, reliance on other people was vital. While crusaders went off to war, they entrusted those close to them with the protection of their families' lives as well as their property and possessions. In the broadest sense, we are doing exactly the same thing on a daily basis in the service of our clients.
Delving into the world of business studies
After setting out all manner of detail on the history of trusts and the First Advisory Group, as the weeks progressed, the students delved deeper into the world of business studies. Topics such as globalization, division of labour, corporate forms and organizational structures were taught, adopting a light-hearted and fun approach. Group work was also included, even though the course took place almost entirely via remote learning. As a side topic, the theme of 'economic policy' also proved enlivening. Thomas Zwiefelhofer gave some insight into his activities as Minister for Home Affairs, Justice and Economic Affairs, and inspired the students with his descriptions of a typical day at work.
Course marks focusing on creativity
The First Advisory Group aims to promote the creativity of every employee, which means we have been equally focused on the creativity of our students. The basis of course assessment consisted of an assignment with a broad remit, enabling pupils to give free rein to their ideas. At the end of the course, in the context of a large-scale exhibition, we were delighted to see the students' fabulous imaginative work and hear their stimulating presentations.
For both parties, the past few months have been a new experience. Both the concept and the content of the course had never been executed in this manner before. Similarly, the First Advisory Group had never before operated as an education provider. The circumstances surrounding the protective measures necessitated by the pandemic initially presented us with huge challenges. Since the students could only participate virtually, there was a lack of personal interaction. At the outset, it was difficult to assess the extent to which the content had been clearly explained and presented. However, an open culture of feedback with the students and their teacher, Julia Wagner, swiftly served to alleviate this and, as a result, our own uncertainty was rapidly dispelled.
We are already looking forward to the next term of 'Business Basics', and hope to be able to present the next series of sessions in person at the school.
May we express our warmest thanks to Formatio Private School for its confidence in our teaching, to Julia Wagner for her unwavering support, to the pupils at Formatio for their commitment to the course, and finally also to Dr. Thomas Zwiefelhofer for his engagement and teaching, as well as Max Merk for his support in tailoring and executing the course.