This week, 20 students from Waterpark College received awards for having completed the GROWTHhub Café Transition Year Entrepreneurship programme at South East Technological University (SETU).
This innovative program aims to support the development of entrepreneurial mindsets and skills in transition year students. Learning by doing is a key strength of the programme.
Students were presented with their awards on Wednesday, 29 November at SETU’s Cork Road campus in Waterford on completion of the outreach project, which demonstrates SETU’s connectivity and engagement in the local community. Dr Joanne Malone and Dr Aileen Murphy delivered the programme, while Dr Susan Flynn Head of Department of Arts presented the awards.
SETU lecturer, Dr Joanne Malone explained that 20 students from Waterpark College gained valuable entrepreneurial experience through practical workshops where they ran the GROWTHhub Café in SETU.
“Students learned key elements of how a hospitality business is run. In the day-to-day running of GROWTHhub Café, students learned through experience enhancing student confidence and self-efficacy,” Dr Malone said.
Working in groups of five, each student group came up with a team name and designed posters promoting GROWTHhub Café. The team names were ‘Down to the Ground Café’, ‘Thanks A Latte’, ‘Grá Café’, and ‘Rise and Grind’.
Dr Aileen Murphy, Programme Leader HC in Business (Tourism) at SETU commented, “The programme provides transition year students with valuable practical entrepreneurship experience in a hospitality setting.”
About the programme, Dr Tynan said, “GROWTHhub is delighted to support this innovative initiative, which immersed TY students in the experience of running, marketing, and managing the café. It was wonderful to see students grow in confidence and experiment with tactics to maximise café sales and generate footfall.”
Deputy Principal of Waterpark College, Michael Rice said the TY students enjoyed working in the Growthhub Café at SETU. “It was a great experience that allowed the students to learn a variety of skills that are valuable in both professional and personal contexts. Apart from the baking aspect the students also learned the importance of customer service, which very much helped their communication and interpersonal skills. Teamwork was at the forefront of their experience as they worked with their classmates, and the team in SETU. These transferable skills will no doubt be of great benefit in their future career endeavours.”
GROWTH HUB is a Higher Education Authority Human Capital Initiative Pillar 3 collaborative project involving Technological University Dublin and SETU. Led locally by Dr Margaret Tynan, its mission is to encourage growth and entrepreneurial mindsets amongst students.