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Staff who develop your entrepreneurial side

Our business experts teach industry-trending practical skills that build up your entrepreneurial acumen, provide real networking opportunities and connect you with work experience placements.

An award-winning department

As a business student at Abingdon & Witney College you will benefit from taking part in social action projects that teach valuable business skills and have gained national industry recognition.

Through our high-quality Business & Enterprise programme, we teach and train future entrepreneurs.

The programme uses a mix of traditional teaching, employer engagement and social action projects with a high level of community engagement. With this in mind we start the year with a 'Dragon's Den' style Venture Vortex ideas generator workshop.

Are you excited by the idea of brainstorming business ideas?

All industries need people with a head for how business works, whether it's finance, retail, property, entertainment – whichever career path interests you the most!

We will teach you the core skills that apply across all the different business careers that are out there. Visits to organisations like the Vodafone HQ in Newbury, along with bringing in guest speakers from companies such as BMW Oxford, gives you career insights directly from the major business players.

These experiences will develop your teamwork skills, test your ability to strategise and communicate plans, and reward your efforts as your successful business projects achieve real-life results.

Staff Profile: Fiona Eriksen-Coats

Staff Profile: Fiona Eriksen-Coats

Fiona's academic background includes graduating from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, with an honours degree in Business Science and majoring in accounting, economics and marketing. Not stopping there, she also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Marketing and is currently a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

The focus of her career has been on marketing and business across a range of different industries, including B2B, charity, pharma, and fast-moving consumer goods such as Birds Eye, Wall's and Smirnoff.

Fiona's most recent role before joining the College has been as a Marketing Capability Manager at Britvic, alongside teaching CIM certificate and diploma courses.

"I only started at the College in August 2019, and already it feels I've been here for years!

I enjoy sharing my knowledge with young people who wish to become successful in business and help them to be the best they can be, and building the future entrepreneurs and senior managers of the future is an exciting challenge. Everyday in the classroom brings new ideas and thoughts, which I love.

Abingdon & Witney College focus on developing well-rounded individuals, not just their vocational knowledge, but other life skills. For example, learning to work together as a team and take responsibility for their own actions; these, and others, are important skills to develop for students so they can go out into the world and be productive, happy and successful students."

Did you know?

A third of UK businesses are in London or the South East (1.1 million in London and 874,000 in the South East)

You can study to degree-level at the College, including the BA (Hons) Business, Management and Communication

At the start of term every year, new students take part in Venture Vortex, a 'Dragon's Den' style event that provides entrepreneurial tests and networking opportunities.

In 2019 Venture Vortex, took place at the Hilton Garden Inn, Abingdon. The course made full use of the facilities including having an outdoor barbecue lunch.


Previous school:
St Birinus School

The structure of studying here really suits me rather than A Levels, as there are opportunities to improve on what you enjoy doing most.

I like that it is a broad course and that it provides lots of options for you once you're finished - if you don't have a specific idea within business what to do, this can help you to build a specialism.

My highlights so far would be the guest speakers from BMW and Vodafone coming in to talk about apprenticeships, giving us an insight into what you need to give to get into these places.

Studying Business Management at university is my next step.


Previous school:
Burford School

I came to a college open day and a business taster day, and I really liked it - that and my siblings also came here and recommended it!

Being here, I feel like I have more freedom as I can have a part-time job alongside studying. There's more time to balance things in your life, as I get to focus on just one subject. Jill, our tutor, motivates us and is really approachable and everyone wants to be on the course.

Even though I'm still unsure which exact career to go into, I know I'm getting a good qualification. Business gives you insights into some of the different careers out there, but for now I'm going to do the second year of the course, then look into university or apprenticeships.


Previous school:
St. Birinus School

During my time at college I developed valuable commercial skills such as communication, negotiation, personal organisation and customer focus. I feel I developed a lot as an individual and became much more independent and effective at communicating with people at all different levels.

In my current role as Apprenticeships Training Co-ordinator, I am responsible for overseeing apprentices in management, team leading and managing the training for Unipart. I apply much of what I learnt in college, especially when it comes to problem-solving, using my own initiative and time management.

I also utilise my negotiation skills and always try and give excellent customer service to the apprentices and organisations I work with.

Your future career

Events Co-ordinator

Finance Manager


Human Resources Officer

Marketing Manager

Office Manager

Public Relations Officer

Retail Manager

Sales Manager