Friday 14th August 2020

Making Links - School Challenge

At this difficult time for everyone it is lovely to hear good news as one of our students, in isolation, entered a national competition and reached the final.

Halle Afflick, in year 12, entered the ‘Making Links School Challenge’, competing against students from across the whole country. On Thursday, 30th April, Halle gave an online presentation to the judges on the topic of ‘the benefits of immigration to business’. Mr. Dickinson said "On behalf of the College we offer our congratulations to Halle for using her initiative to enter the competition and sheer determination and intelligence to compete and reach the final. The speech was both very powerful and yet reflective. I expect this will be one of many successes Halle will experience in her life. Halle has been included in the Aspire programme for supporting students applying to Oxbridge". Halle, in conversation with Ms Mulhaney commented that ‘the competition pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped developed my confidence’. Congratulations again Halle.

Here is a copy of Halle’s speech:

Halle Afflick – Archbishop Beck Catholic College

What has been the single biggest disruption or innovation in the business world, within your lifetime?

Seventeen years is a long period of time and over the past few years- thanks to technology, I have been lucky enough to reflect upon how the business world really works. I have conducted an exploration into disruptions and innovations in the business world within my lifetime, and I have landed upon a conclusion.

Immigration has to be the most crucial innovation in the business world within my lifetime. Many small-minded, dogmatic individuals possess dismissive outlooks upon the world of immigration. The rigidity of societal opinions today, sway people to believe that immigrants are a burden upon taxpayers and that they threaten indigenous culture; yet I would predominantly argue otherwise. ‘The Harvard Business Review’ conveyed how the authors of a Harvard school study ,comparing immigrant-founded businesses to native-founded ones , concluded that immigrant-led companies grow at a faster rate and are more likely to survive long term than native-led companies . The author of this study William R. Kerr also argued “The very act of someone moving around the world, often leaving family behind, might select those who are very determined or more tolerant of business risk.” Therefore, it’s important to highlight that not all immigrants are the same, and there is obviously a tremendous amount of diversity between individuals. However, many of the qualities that appear to make immigrants more likely to succeed in the building of their own businesses, are reasons you should consider hiring them to help build yours. Immigrants bring a plethora of unique experiences, backgrounds, and knowledge to the workplace; and in addition, immigrants possess ‘’a growth mindset ’’; diversity; inclusion and global readiness. In the future, many businesses should utilise immigrants for the benefits they bring- they are ordinary people, who are willing to uproot their lives in search of something better and these are the types of people who are determined to make change happen themselves. One of the most frequently overlooked benefits that immigrants bring to a business context is that they have international experience and linguistic diversity. Knowledge of other cultures and languages might not seem critical for a business that isn’t yet selling outside of its home country, but in order to keep growing, nearly every business hits a point at which they need to expand beyond borders. And today, with most businesses having an online presence, they are global from day one.

Although I do fully understand that with economic turmoil and a wave of refugees around the world today, questions about the economics and ethics of immigration are again a focus of conversation; I still believe that everyone should be granted an equal chance in life – no matter where they are born! As, we wouldn’t be as fortunate and advanced as we are today without immigrants. For example Ian Goldin – professor of Globalisation and development at the University of Oxford, forcefully argued ’’Migration has always been one of the most important drivers of human progress and dynamism’’, which I also believe to be true, as the founder of Google Sergey Brin immigrated to the United States with his family from the Soviet Union at the age of 6. So businesses should not worry about problems surrounding immigration! They should remain excited and watch their company survive, thrive and flourish, due to the diversity and the adaptability posed by Immigrants.


Harvard Business Review/Harvard School Study – October 2018 – Authors: William R.Kerr and Sarl Pekkala Kerr

Ian Goldin (Professor of Globalisation and Development at University of Oxford)

Migration has always been one of the most important drivers of human progress and dynamism


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