We’re delighted to announce that our very own Rajeeb Dey has been selected as one of this year’s Marketing Academy Scholars. A great recognition of young entrepreneurs; it hopefully will mean ever more promotion of the kind of impact graduates and emerging startups can make.
Now in its fourth year, The Marketing Academy’s ‘Hall Of Legends’ scheme selects 30 outstanding scholars for a year of intense training, mentoring and ideas-blasting. Partnered with some of the most amazing experts in the fields of marketing, communications and business, the scheme boosts the talents of their chosen 30, giving them invaluable tools and skills to go forth and change the world of marketing and business within their areas of industry.
Announced last night at a gala dinner hosted by the Emirates Stadium, amongst this year’s scholars are Alastair Johns, brand manager at Fox’s Biscuits, Liz Le Breton, global marketing manager for womenswear at ASOS, Ry Morgan, CEO of Pleasecycle, and of course, our own Rajeeb Dey. This amazing spread of talent means ever more opportunities to push entrepreneurship for students, graduates and startups, with increased access to the very latest in communications and promotion.
According to the Marketing Academy team:
“The Marketing Academy draws together a team of high profile industry movers and shakers to inspire, develop and coach the emerging talent who will go on to shape the future of marketing and business. We award a maximum of 30 free Scholarships each year to the fastest rising stars so they become the next generation of business leaders through a process of world class mentoring, coaching networking and personalised learning.”
For those in the industry of developing new strategies for getting students and grads access to amazing careers, it’s an exciting chance to explore innovative ways of reaching out to startups, universities, students, entrepreneurs and ideas-mongers around the world. Rajeeb had this to say about his acceptance onto the scheme:
“In this turbulent time, with youth unemployment at an all-time high, the work we in do the graduate recruitment area has never been more important. Marketing is an absolutely vital part of getting opportunities to young people across the UK, and working with the kind of experts the Marketing Academy will provide in this is an incredible prospect”
New mentors for this year’s scheme include Barclays marketing and customer director for retail and business Andy Brent, Paddy Power global marketing director Christian Woolfended, Dyson marketing director Clare Dunbar and many more.
We’d like to congratulate everyone selected for this year’s Marketing Academy Hall Of Legends scheme, and here’s to ever more growth in the graduate recruitment sector.
Enternships Community Manager
Today sees the second of the Lord Young’s reports in his capacity as the Prime Minister’s advisor on small business and enterprise. And we’re all over it. Whilst the first one (published May 2012) centred more on the trials and tribulations of setting up a business – as well as what could be done to make it easier for all involved– the second focusses more on growing a business. Buckle up; we’re giving you a whistle-stop tour of the key points, and what they’ll mean for you hearty, glorious entrepreneurs.
“If just half of the UK’s micro businesses (companies of 10 people or under) took on an additional member of staff, unemployment would be reduced to almost zero. We need to raise the aspirations and confidence of these businesses and give them the tools to grow.”
You certainly talk the talk, Lord Young. But considering we at Enternships are all about making sure our startups and SME’s have all the info they need, we better get down to the nitty gritty…
1. Small businesses are the future
First thing’s first – small businesses are where it’s at. Making up 95% of the private sector business stock, it’s clear that, now more than ever, we need to nurture our blossoming talent. With this in mind, Lord Young’s recommendation is to lift the age of the Start-Up loan scheme (which has already provided over 3,700 loans since launching in autumn), currently set at thirty years old. Not sure who it was that said ‘No-one has ideas past thirty, DAMMIT’, but whoever it was, they better pack their things.
2. Business Schools need to get involved
It looks like there’s a question looming over whether business school are doing enough to encourage local business growth - Lord Young has asked the Association of Business Schools to develop a new national ‘Supporting Small Business Charter’, to incentivise the growth of small companies.
3. £30 Million in Growth Vouchers to be introduced
To try and combat the number of road-blocks along the way to get a small business up and running, a £30 Million Growth Vouchers scheme is being launched; to find innovative ways of helps startups and SMEs overcome behavioural barriers to increasing growth. Areas the vouchers can help tackle will include; hiring a first employee, marketing, financial marketing and commercialising a site. Kitting you out with a pool table, probably not so much.
4. It’s time to open up procurement to small businesses
In order to help get SME’s increased access to business in local government and the public sector, it’s his recommendation that pre-qualification questionnaires (PQQ) be abolished on contracts under 200K euros. The current limit sits at 100K, so this would basically open out plenty more opportunities for small businesses, and create more of a ‘single market’ approach to bidding, advertising and recording contracts.
5. Targeted marketing of government schemes and private sector advice
With the shutting down of Business Link last year, it’s been difficult to know where best on the almighty gov.uk website to go to for top advice for start-ups and SME’s. It’s Lord Young’s opinion that we should open up the site to the private sector, letting companies post advice and help for those starting their own entrepreneurial journey, ensuring success stories get a chance to pass along their wisdom. In addition, he wants to see a real push in marketing for the government services and schemes currently available to small businesses – with a boost in the marketing budget, gearing towards letting SME’s know about what’s on offer.
Consider yourself knowledgable. Our CEO Rajeeb Dey is at Downing Street today for the launch - for live updates, follow him @rajdey
Natasha Hodgson, Enternships Community Manager
In our UnRecruitment mission statement, we said that we wanted to give power back to those applying for jobs, providing training and insight for everyone that took the time to apply for a role. Only fair, right? Teaming up with Havas and The Spring Project, we wanted to create a new system of employment in the hiring of 13 talented young digital interns. How did it go? Read on…
As I’m sure you know, being spectacularly informed young things, Havas is one of the largest integrated marketing communications agencies in the world. 316 offices across 75 countries, they are a digital behemoth, providing employment in the creative industries for thousands of people across the globe. Constantly pushing creative innovation and doing things differently, they seemed the perfect partners to kick off our UnRecruitment mission – the idea that we can change how young people enter the world of industry, and break down the barriers that so many face.
Havas were on the hunt for bright young things – 13 digital interns (with varying skill sets) that they would take on in their London offices (across 6 of their companies) for six months, providing invaluable experience, training and insight for the lucky few selected. They came to us for help, because they are very, very smart. This in itself seemed like a wonderful opportunity to provide to our eminently talented user-base. But we wanted to think bigger.
Teaming up with The Spring Project – an empowering skills training group whose ethos is ‘radical employability’, we constructed an application process that allowed all candidates to self-select their skill bases, explain their reasons for applying and gave them a chance to show their enthusiasm for the companies on offer. Every application was not only read carefully, but each one was given individual feedback – and if unsuccessful for the next stage (more on that in just a minute), they were given key areas to improve, and how they could go about it. The fight against generic rejection letters may seem a small one, but it’s one we really would like to win.
85 talented candidates were invited for the second stage in the process: a reflection day where everyone would be given a chance to learn more about the companies, the roles, and – by far the most important – start building skills that would serve them brilliantly in the future, regardless of whether they were offered the job or not. Run by the fantastic Darius Norell and Andrew Armes of The Spring Project, the day was designed to build confidence, develop skills and help every candidate learn more about the type of jobs they should be applying for. As Darius himself said:
“Two things are at the heart of unRecruitment. One is the idea that it enables candidates’ brilliance to shine out and for them to be selected on that. That no matter which university a graduate went to or what degree result they got, if the experiences they have had have enabled their brilliance to develop, that unRecruitment will give us the best chance of seeing it. The other is is learning – that in every moment as far as possible to provide an opportunity for each person to be learning about themselves, others and the world around them.”
The results (not to mention the sandwiches provided) were overwhelmingly positive, with candidates both surprised and pleased by how much they learnt. Some responses on the day itself:
“Today was all about learning by doing, reflecting in different stages and seeing whether you’re really suitable for the roles. It’s really good, it’s like an action CV. It’s a great way of seeing whether the person in question has the passion, the enthusiasm for the role, and the skills to work with other people as well as individually.”
“It was a great event. I really enjoyed it a lot, I really learnt a lot. In the past three or four years I’ve not been given the chance to really present myself, and this process gave me the opportunity to do that.”
“I learnt a lot about myself, about how I react to a variety of different situations, and I would happily do it again.”
At the end of the first day, everyone was told that there would be no ‘elimination’ process at this stage. They were to go away, think about their own suitability for the roles available, and to come back for a second session on Friday ONLY if they thought they should. We wanted to allow the candidates to be just as much a part of this selection process as we were – and let them to use what they knew about themselves to judge whether these companies were the right places for them. Sensible, eh?
Friday rolled around, and things started to heat up. The exercises, which on Wednesday were more personal and inward-facing, became far more intense, based around research, analysis, and presentation. The candidates were put into groups (again, based on their individual skill-sets, not at random), and were given a fully integrated challenge (so, from concept to marketing to tech to business development) to present to the heads of the Havas companies. Every candidate was stretched, pushed to show the skills they offered on their CVs. There was nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. It was demonstrate, or die. Well, not die. Demonstrate, or eat more free sandwiches.
Again, the feedback was great – candidates felt empowered, inspired, and felt that no matter what the result, they had genuine valuable experience to take away and add to their arsenal.
Some splendid responses:
“I really enjoyed today’s session. Before I came here, I read the email thinking, ‘oh my God, group sessions, I’m going to be rubbish!’, but actually I finished here so much more confident than I was before. Now I feel like, ‘yes, I can do it, it’s not a big deal.’ Before I would have shied away from the spotlight, and worried about it, but after today I feel like I could easily do it again.”
“It’s been inspiring, amazing, exciting, challenging. The atmosphere was so supportive and inclusive, so much more so than a traditional interview, even one with ‘group’ elements, and I just felt like I could bring out the best parts of myself.”
“This has been a breath of fresh air – in that it’s difficult, but in the best possible way. You have to be able to adapt, you have to be versatile, in working with people you’ve never worked with before.”
On Friday night, once the candidates had bubbled and fizzed all the way home, the task of selecting the perfect interns began. What else are Friday nights for? The Havas representatives felt far more informed about how their candidates handled working in a team, demonstrating their creativity, their ability to perform under pressure as well as who seemed to be the best fit for the teams they knew so well. 13 trail-blazing candidates were selected, and offered positions. Everyone else was offered a free place on a subsequent Spring Project training sessions – after all, why shouldn’t the learning stop here?
It might sound slightly silly, but it was truly inspiring being present for a recruitment process that actively encourages learning for everyone involved. Although only 13 people were to be offered positions, watching the jubilation of the teams after they’d completed their presentation challenge it couldn’t be denied that everyone there felt like they had really achieved something. And not only that, had achieved something together. Job hunting can so often feel like a solitary, thankless task – and the Havas Internship scheme proved that it doesn’t have to be this way. Darius summed it up better than we could:
“It was brilliant working with Enternships to deliver this ground breaking programme for Havas. Through it, we were able to recruit 13 graduates into 6 different business divisions in just a few weeks.
It was a great example of the power of unRecruitment to both serve candidates, giving them a potentially life-changing experience, whilst enabling us to identify and develop top talent for Havas and leaving us inspired at the end of it all.”
For more information about the process, read one candidate’s experiences of the days themselves here. Interested in trying out UnRecruitment at your company? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s change the way we grow our young talent.
Enternships Community Manager
Sure, we bang on about how wonderful it is working in a startup like Enternships, but that’s not to say that it’s for everyone. Before you’ve even contemplated diving into the heady world of the entrepreneur, maybe turn your ear to what our very own Corissa Nunn has to say about the shift from corporate to startup…
Working for a startup isn’t all about beer at lunchtime and endless hilarious animal GIFs (don’t panic, we’d be lying if we said these things weren’t close to our hearts). In the startup environment, there are no comfy stones to hide under – every team member lives their life in the limelight. The old adage about only being as fast as your slowest team member echoes louder, the smaller the workforce. The following is worth bearing in mind not only for anyone who thinks they might like to work for a startup, but also for startups looking to expand their team with a Bright Young Thing.
There’s a fine art to striking the right balance when a startup takes on a new intern; when the members of a small team rely so closely on each other, there’s no room for error. The bottom line is that a healthy dose of entrepreneurial spirit needs to be tempered with unshakable self-discipline. A paradox? Perhaps. A tall order in terms of finding the perfect person? Definitely. But we all know that the things in life most worth having don’t come easy. All it takes is a little bit of elbow grease to make the impossible possible. As Gloria Pitzer, who quit her cushty job as a food editor in the 1970s to scrape a living by doing ironing until she established herself as an entrepreneur in the culinary communications space, once said: “about the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.”
Take a person with oodles of entrepreneurial spirit, for starters. It’s all very well being ideas-y but haplessly chaotic – bubbling over with brilliant plans and concepts, yet none of them coming to fruition. Startups attract budding entrepreneurs as a matter of course, but the bittersweet outcome of this might be someone who chases down opportunities without nailing the requisite solid groundwork, or dodges the more tedious day-to-day stuff in favour of the innovative stuff. On the flipside, a well-organised human workhorse who trudges on uncomplainingly but never takes the initiative is a wasted opportunity for the company. A constant half-eye always needs to be looking out for issues, solutions and improvements, regardless of whether or not they fall under one’s official remit.
This was particularly apparent to me when we launched our paid-only internship scheme (Wayra Enternships) in Dublin earlier this week. Everyone I met seemed to agree on the same thing - that life in a startup wasn’t for the faint of heart, but that the rewards were infinitely more satisfying than that of a big company. PayMins, a Dublin Wayra Startup that specialise in social e-commerce, are currently hiring three interns through our platform, and CEO Patrick Walsh talked about how Wayra regularly hosted talks from industry experts on a wide variety of topics for the inquisitive to feast upon:
“A startup provides you with a unique opportunity to take on a lot of responsibility and make a real impact - something you don’t always get in larger organisations. We look for people who have an ability to self-manage and a desire to get stuck in.”
When all is said and done, whatever job title you assign yourself when trying your luck with a beautiful stranger down the pub, every individual who works for a startup is a Jack-of-All-Trades. It’s not enough to be on standby to have a crack at something new… you have to revel in it and actively seek it out. In an ideal world, a member of the sales team is able to provide basic technical assistance to customers, and a project manager can deftly field a sales call. And most importantly – no ifs ‘n’ buts – everyone needs to lend a hand in evangelising about the company’s mission. Cue the ubiquitous battle-cry of SOCIAL MEDIA (Twitter-haters, prepare to take a long, hard look in the mirror and recalibrate).
In short: doctor’s orders are a razor-sharp focus on the task in hand, with reactive peripheral vision. Curiosity might kill the cat, but a lack of it stifles the startup.
By Corissa Nunn
Enternships European Development Executive
Remember that time we launched our Wayra Enternships site to get amazing new paid internships to the people of the UK? Well, we’re very excited to announce that we’re growing at a lovely and terrifying rate. This week, we launched in Dublin, promising amazing opportunities for the young entrepreneurs of Ireland.
As youth unemployment continues to rise in Ireland, Enternships and Wayra are determined to get great opportunities to the talented youth of Dublin. The Wayra Enternships platform now holds paid opportunities with Wayra’s Dublin startups, promising innovation and growth for the promising tech and creative sector of Ireland.
The Wayra/Enternships international partnership was created to give young people the chance to work in Wayra’s academies in Dublin, London, Munich, Madrid, Barcelona and Prague. Now launched in the UK and in Dublin, we will continue to roll out our paid internship programme across Europe, getting amazing opportunities to candidates across Europe.
Wayra is Telefónica’s startup accelerator programme, which promotes innovation and new tech talent, supporting entrepreneurs with tools, qualified mentors, a cutting-edge work space and the funding necessary to accelerate commercialisation. To date, Wayra has accelerated over 200 startups across 12 countries and currently has 11 projects working in its Dublin academy.
Opportunities in Wayra Dublin include working as a member of the Wayra accelerator team as well as joining a startup business. The online platform will also connect startups previously accelerated in Wayra who are looking for the next generation of talented young people to help grow their business.
The interns will have the opportunity to help some of Ireland’s most exciting digital startups and will be in an unparalleled position to learn from (and hopefully impress) some truly exceptional entrepreneurs.
Karl Aherne, Director of Wayra Dublin said:
“Interns have a key role to play in the startup ecosystem. They get a taste of the life of a founder and provide important skills to the startup team driving for commercial success. When Wayra Dublin opened last September 30 people across the various startups were working in the offices here. In a little over six months, this has grown to over 50 people.”
Rajeeb Dey, CEO and Founder of Enternships, added:
“We’re thrilled to be partnering with Wayra Dublin, and very excited to bring together the fantastic potential of the Dublin startup scene by connecting them with amazing graduates across Ireland. At Enternships we believe that the future of youth employment lies with our innovative startups, and we’re very proud to help spearhead this campaign in Ireland.
Over the past few years Dublin has established itself as one of the most exciting places in the world to set up entrepreneurial ventures, and at a time of high levels of youth and graduate unemployment we believe that nurturing the next generation of leaders in startups will benefit economic growth worldwide. We look forward to connecting exceptional graduate talent with Ireland’s most exciting entrepreneurs.”
Intrigued? Why wouldn’t you be. Visit wayra.enternships.com and start your adventure.
A Cambridge graduate with seven companies under his belt to date - it’s unlikely we’re going to find more practical entrepreneurship experience than in the young but brilliant Ivan Mazour. Set to launch his brand new ecommerce company, Ometria, and with a heap of advice for young job-seekers, we sat down with him to steal glorious magic from his brain…
Ivan Mazour, you are exhaustingly productive. Having set up companies such as Park Street Estates Innova Kapital and 42Tasks, you’re now turning your hand to ecommerce. So, what is the problem Ometria is setting out to solve?
E-commerce is an extremely competitive space right now – margins are small and competitors spring up on a weekly basis. The only way for an online store to beat the competition is to optimise through many incremental improvements, and to do this they need to understand the e-commerce technology landscape, and to have all of the necessary data directly in front of them. Ometria solves the problem of getting the right data, the right insights, and the right suggestions in front of the relevant people within an e-commerce operation, so that they can use it to optimise the performance of their business. Amazon is an amazing company and a great success story. We help online retailers be more like them.
You’ve headed up a lot of ventures in your time, what was it that made you decide ecommerce was the next project for you?
I had been following the progress of successful web analytics companies like KISSmetrics for a few years, watching businesses in the space grow very quickly. That market was highly competitive and by 2012 it was too late to enter it. I’m a part-time angel investor and having invested in a few e-commerce businesses I noticed one issue they were all facing. They were trying to get access to vitally important data, but it was taking them days to use Google Analytics and Excel spreadsheets to achieve something that should have been instantly available to them. The e-commerce market was large, growing quickly, and really needed this product – the exact environment you need when launching a new startup.
As an entrepreneur from a young age, what is it you value in the people you work with?
There is only one thing that matters, and that’s the team. When starting a company, you go through a long period of balancing a lack of an idea and a lack of a team. You need an idea to inspire a good team, but you also need the team to turn an initial idea into something of real value. I knew that I could not make Ometria a success as a sole founder, so I networked full-time until I successfully put together a team of four co-founders with highly complementary skills.
I’ve founded some companies myself, and others with co-founders, and it’s amazing how wrong my expectations of people have been. Initial impressions are not always correct – it takes years of working with people to truly understand their character. So I guess what I value the most is that people act and perform better over time than how they initially present themselves when you first meet them – that they are more loyal, more honest, more professional and more diligent than I originally expected.
If someone was desperate to work for you, what would be the way to impress you?
We actually used Enternships to make our first hire for Ometria. It was for a research analyst internship position, a three months placement to produce a full report on technology providers to online retailers. We shortlisted ten people from the applications and got them in for interview. Some had MBAs and experience, but made it seem like they felt like they should be providing strategic guidance. Others had no experience or skills but came with completely unreasonable salary expectations.
The person who got the role impressed for three reasons. He clearly had entrepreneurial flair, but knew that this was the time for him to gain experience – he was willing to contribute to any level of discussion, but let other people get on with their jobs when necessary. He did not argue about salary – he knew that exceeding expectations and performing tasks of increasing responsibility would lead to higher salaries automatically. And finally, he wouldn’t stop until he learned every aspect of whichever task was given to him. Retail analytics is not an area that many people understand, let alone are passionate about, but within the first few weeks it was clear that he was as keen to understand every detail of it as the rest of us were.
We are currently hiring a marketing manager, and I’m looking for the same character traits – understanding how a startup works on every level while knowing to focus on the part that they are responsible for, letting the value they add come before salary expectations, and having a perfectionist approach to learning everything about the role they are performing.
Do you think the future of economic growth lies with young entrepreneurs?
Absolutely. And luckily so does our government. The United Kingdom has run out of options – other major economies have recovered quickly, but we are facing yet another dip. Retail, manufacturing and financial services have all but disappeared, leaving tourism and property as the main reasons for foreign investment. The country needs to rebuild from the ground up, and we are in the extremely fortunate position of having a fantastic environment to do this in.
The EIS and SEIS scheme mean that angel investors are willing to take huge risks and fund companies based on just a concept. The ER scheme means that entrepreneurs who succeed get enough personal capital to be able to reinvest it further into the economy. Many startup loans, grants and prizes are available to help great young entrepreneurs develop businesses from their ideas. A huge variety of courses, events and meetups allow people to learn every aspect of running and growing a business without spending two years at an MBA programme, to learn to program and develop their own application themselves, or to find the perfect co-founder and build a team.
My own long term vision centres around the idea that in twenty years’ time I see London being a hive of successful technology entrepreneurs, and this group will have both the skills and the capital to create even greater businesses which will rival those coming out of Silicon Valley. This is the future, and it will position the United Kingdom as the global leader in science and technology that it deserves to be.
What do you love best about your day to day?
What I love best, actually, is knowing that I love being in the office. This is probably the best barometer of success – no matter how disciplined you are, if you do not enjoy what you do then ultimately your patience and attitude will be worn down and it will be hard to succeed. Every morning, I jump out of bed – I look forward to being surrounded by the people I work with. Knowing that this is true, knowing that I can’t wait to get on with my work, gives me the energy and the faith to continue building my company.
On a daily basis I am quietly impressed by each person in my team, as they do something that I know I would not be able to do as well. We are at the cutting edge of an industry – our technology is brand new, our mathematical models are highly complex, and our interface has been carefully crafted to exceed today’s UX expectations. I have studied and understand each of these areas myself, but the people responsible for each one are at the top of their game – so I get the opportunity to learn, and the peace of mind of being able to rely on them.
And what was/is the hardest thing about setting up on your own?
The fear of failure. When leaving Cambridge after my degree I noticed that most people felt that they were so good at taking exams, they didn’t want to leave academia because it meant that there was a chance that they would fail. By staying for a further degree, they would remain in an environment they understood and were successful in. The same is true if you are in a career, and you are good at it. There is no way of knowing if you will you succeed on your own.
My solution has been to accept failure as part of the process, and enjoy the journey while doing everything I can to succeed. I have had many failures and my blog has a detailed story of my companies, including the ones that have succeeded and the ones that have failed. I have no fear of failure anymore – if it goes wrong, I will learn from my mistakes and start again. And if it goes right, I will also learn from my mistakes and start again. You will always make mistakes and you will always fail. Ometria is my 7th company - you just have to keep going. Long-term, if you learn, focus and work hard, the trend will be an upward one.
Any words of advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Keep learning. The world moves too quickly now to rely on anything you studied at school, at university or in your last job. Every morning, set aside an hour to do an online course or read a relevant book. When you do it, take notes, and approach it like you are studying for an exam. Think about how this will position you long-term, compared to other people who do not do this.
Find the right team. Don’t just find a team – many people set up a company with someone they know, or with the first person they meet who wants to work with them. This is a short term strategy. Think long term – keep networking until you find people who are genuinely great, who complement your skills, who push you to achieve more than you already do.
Just do it. I don’t mean this motivationally in the Nike sense. I mean go out and fail. By doing something, even if it turns out to be a bad idea, you will build relationships, you will get knowledge and you will understand more about how starting a business works. The next time you do it, it will be easier, you will have a better team, and you will have a better understanding of which ideas to run with. Don’t expect to succeed and get upset when things don’t go as planned - enjoy the journey, and the success which comes will be an added bonus.
Want to feature as our CEO Of The Week? Drop our Community Manager an email at email@example.com
So, as you may or may not know, we’re trying out a new system called UnRecruitment - a method of employment that puts the power in the hands of those applying for the job. Along with The Spring Project, we helped Havas Worldwide (one of the largest digital agencies in the world) find 14 spanking new interns for a 6 month digital scheme, using a method that hoped to be mutually beneficial for all involved. So what actually happened on the two fateful UnRecruitment days? We asked one candidate, Jenny Mullinder, to take us through it…
I walked into the Havas offices in London on Wednesday afternoon a complete bag of nerves. I’d spilt coffee, got lost and walked the wrong way up some stairs before I found the basement where the unrecruitment for the 14 internships was taking place.
Immediately I relaxed slightly, the room was large, open and people were walking around talking and laughing. This didn’t seem like a normal job interview.
We had to pick a quote from a selection on the floor - one that we felt the biggest connection to - and get into a group to make a presentation. My group was friendly, and we quickly got stuck into the task. The next two and a half hours continued the relaxed, fun and interesting activities designed to make us think - in between which we were given information about the roles and also given the opportunity to reflect on our own skills and relevant qualities for the internships. This was a really helpful process, as it meant that I could get into the heart of the job descriptions, and how I matched up to it.
As job-seekers, all too often we’re met with a list of desirable skills and experience, and more likely than not as students or graduates we simply don’t posses all of them. But when you think about the attributes and personality needed, that is when you discover if you have the right mindset for the role. Internships are all about learning, and a two way relationship where you contribute to the organisation, but also gain something back. If you don’t have the right sort of personality this won’t be very effective, so it was great to actually have an opportunity to think about how I matched up to what was wanted.
At the end of the day we were told that everybody was through to the next round, and it was up to us to decide if we wanted to come back or not; based on what we had learnt about the roles and how well suited we thought we were for them.
I went home feeling so much more positive about myself, my strengths and skills, and my ability to enter the working world after university. I spent a while thinking about if I wanted to go back on the Friday; just from the short session I felt more confident and empowered as a candidate and as a person. Eventually, I decided that I was going to go for it and see how far I could get in this amazing process.
Friday started with a few little exercises, and then did one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done - staring at someone for 30 seconds whilst they talked, with a completely blank and neutral facial expression. It sounds pretty simple, but the desire to nod or smile or reply is really hard to ignore! It was all about being an engaged and effective listener. Sometimes we can get very distracted whilst listening to someone, thinking about our reply, the bit of fluff on their jacket or even what we’re going to have for dinner. By being forced to focus entirely on what the other person was saying, we could really take it in. It was all about being an engaged and effective listener, and it was really interesting to try.
The main task for the day was to split into six groups and come up with a 20 minute presentation to present to The Spring Project based on our findings from a set of data. We had two data analysts, two creative content designers, two social media gurus and two writers in our team, and we quickly got to work on a plan. It was like something from The Apprentice, and I was really excited to get stuck in.
I came up with the overarching concept for our campaign proposal: Discover. I thought this up as over the whole unrecruitment process I had discovered so much; about myself, my skills and strengths, about the internships and the companies offering them, and about The Spring Project and Enternships. During the pitch I spoke about the “discover” concept and how we would apply it across the marketing and social media channels to engage people.
At the end of the day I was so much more confident in myself, I had taken a lead within my team co-ordinating everyone and helping to bring all of the separate parts together to create the final pitch. I thought that the quality of the other candidates was amazing, and whilst I was incredibly hopeful I’d be offered a position, realistically I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t. However either way I felt like the experience had been incredibly positive and I was proud of everything I’d done.
Fast forward a few days, several emails and phone calls, and a lot of nerves and I was incredibly pleased to find out that I had in fact been chosen and offered an internship, which was the perfect end to an unforgettable experience.
The obvious thing which I’ve got out of the unrecruitment process is this amazing opportunity, but I cannot stress enough the confidence, insight and positivity which I picked up along with it. I would really recommend The Spring Project to all graduates and students, and also Enternships, who are pioneering the employment market for young people with their schemes and ideas. Thank you so much Enternships for giving me this amazing experience, and ultimately helping me to land a dream internship!
Interested in trying UnRecruitment in your company? Get in touch with us at Will@enternships.com.
So, exactly how important is it that we really enjoy our careers? Matthew Jennings, author of The Career Bible, has a few goodly words to say on the topic…
If you meet someone who loves their job, you will find that 9 out of 10 times they are happy in the whole of their life. These people don’t look forward to their retirement, they don’t dread Mondays – in fact they don’t see what they do as ‘work’ at all.
Not everyone loves their jobs though. In fact, 84% are dissatisfied with their choice of career (CBS News 2012). You will be amazed how many people do a certain kind of job, all of their lives because it was the first job they came into contact with.
“My friend’s dad had an opening in his office and it went on from there…”
In conservative figures we will spend 50,000 hours of our lives at work. The decision as to how to spend those 50,000 hours deserves a bit of effort and thought.
If you can find your passion, you will have found your life’s work.
What do you enjoy doing for fun? If money was no object and time was limitless what would you do for fun?
“Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it.”
Once you have found what you like to do, you need to ‘suck it and see’. It might not feel, look the same from the inside as it does from the outside.
You need to make friends in the industry you want to work in, by attending conferences, exhibitions, open meetings, commenting on blogs etc and then see if these are your sort of people.
The ultimate ‘suck it and see’ test is an internship, or work experience/ volunteer placement. It might seem like a big sacrifice of your time and effort, but compared to 50,000 hours of your life, it’s not such a big deal.
If you aren’t sure what you want to do then get some help from everyone else in the world. A test you can do, which is kind of fun, is to type things you enjoy doing into Google and add the word ‘job’. For example ‘outdoors’, ‘fun’, ‘adventurous’, ‘job’ reveals: forest ranger, ski instructor, oil rig diver, adventure holiday team leader and many more as potential job choices. Use the rest of the world’s experiences to help you find your passion.
I firmly believe that if you love what you do it isn’t work at all. One hour doing something that bores you, will seem longer than twelve hours doing something you love. It’s worthwhile finding something you love.
The Career Bible ‘Finding, getting and keeping the career you want’ is written by Matthew Jennings and Shaun Van Wyk and combines in depth career coaching skills, recruitment know how, top level sports psychology and experience in climbing the corporate ladder. The Career Bible is available at all good bookstores. More details at www.thecareerbible.com
We are ecstatic to announce that our 27-year-old CEO Rajeeb Dey has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion. The Award, bestowed by The Queen on advice of the Prime Minister to up to ten individuals, recognises those who have played an important role in promoting enterprise skills and supporting entrepreneurs. Changing the world? It does rather seem like he is.
Having worked tirelessly to inspire young people to pursue entrepreneurial career paths and tackling youth unemployment in the UK over the past nine years, Enternships CEO Rajeeb Dey is amongst the youngest honourees in this year’s list.
Not only does the award stand as testament to the work we’re doing over at Enternships, it also honours his other past achievements - setting up the social enterprise Student Voice working to empower school students by giving them a voice in education, as well as co-founding StartUp Britain, the national campaign to inspire, accelerate and celebrate entrepreneurship that was launched by the Prime Minister in March 2011. Other work recognised include his various voluntary roles, such as being a trustee of UnLtd - the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs and the Phoenix Education Trust.
Upon learning of the award, Rajeeb said:
“It is an absolute honour to receive such a prestigious award. At a time of unprecedented levels of youth unemployment its essential we all play our part in supporting young people in seeing entrepreneurship as a viable and rewarding career path. Through Enternships we have been able to connect students to entrepreneurial internships in thousands of businesses, many of whom have gone on to launch their own ventures
To be acknowledged by Her Majesty for my work in this arena is testament to the fact that young people in the UK are more than able to make a difference to the future of the British economy. We’re in the midst of a movement that sees young people not just taking a job but making a job, and I am proud to count myself a part of that.
One such young person who has benefited from Dey’s work is 24 year old former ‘entern’ Ry Morgan, a University of St Andrews graduate who is now CEO of his own sustainability enterprise PleaseCycle, who said
“I met my co-founder whilst doing an “Enternship” with Curb Media. Two years later, PleaseCycle is profitable, creating jobs, and expanding worldwide. It’s thanks to the experience of working within a startup that I was confident launching my own venture upon graduating.”
Rajeeb will be presented his Award by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP, followed by a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. We could not be more proud of him.
About The Queen’s Awards For Enterprise Promotion
Launched in 2004, The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion recognises individuals who have encouraged others into enterprise, by promoting enterprise skills and attitudes in others. Each year up to ten individuals are given the award. The award takes the form of an engraved crystal chalice and a ceremonial Grant of Appointment, which gives details of the award and bears a copy of HM The Queen’s and the Prime Minister’s signatures.
Break into a cold sweat at the mention of the word ‘networking’? You’re not alone. Luckily, tech expert, journalist and author of the brilliant Working The Cloud Kate Russell is here to save the day…
Some people are born naturals when it comes to networking. For others it’s a chore fraught with the constant risk of making a social faux pas like forgetting someone’s name (or worse still forgetting your own – it can happen under pressure). Meeting someone for the first time at a conference or networking event is always a bit awkward, and that’s when I usually turn to the Internet for help.
I’m not talking about throwing in a couple of killer ice-breakers like a screenshot of a breaded cats search on your smartphone (or the infinitely more disturbing dogs in tights), though ice-breakers are a great tool in the right kind of situation.
For a more business-like approach however there are plenty of free tools you can use to ease networking fatigue. I think most people have trouble remembering faces when they meet a lot of them, so it’s useful to have some kind of contact management system setup right from the start.
Card Cloud is a free app for Android and Apple smartphones that acts as a virtual business card you can swap with other users. If your contact doesn’t want to download the Card Cloud app to swap information you can send it via email or through the mobile site. In this instance their details can be entered into your contacts list by hand, using the location marker and comments to add important context about where and why you met.
With Google’s Gmail being such a widely used service there are oodles of great browser add-ons that give you a more personalised and streamlined email experience. Add-ons are quick and easy to install as they just make a tweak to an existing programme – in the case of Rapportive that’s your online email interface when viewed in Firefox or Chrome browsers. This plugin joins up all the dots by letting you see your Gmail contacts’ social connections, pulling up a photo, location and job description beside every incoming message.
With social media being so ubiquitous it’s possible you’re already connected to someone who can help with your business ambitions but you don’t even know it. GetLunched.com is a networking site that lets you browse your LinkedIn contacts and registered users to see if anyone local has the skills you need to progress your idea. If you see someone of interest you can offer to buy them lunch for a meeting and a chat. The website will make the approach for you and will even help find a discounted restaurant or suitable venue close by, though you’re not obligated to choose their suggestions. Now hopefully that accountant you vaguely know through LinkedIn can be persuaded to give you advice on setting up your company for the cost of a £30 lunch? You might even make a new friend and ally too.
BIOGRAPHY: Kate Russell has been writing about technology, gaming and the Internet since 1995 and now appears weekly on BBC2 and BBC World News, reporting for technology programme Click. A regular expert on the sofa at ITV’s Daybreak and various other TV and radio stations, she writes columns for National Geographic Traveller magazine and Web User magazine. Her book ‘Working the Cloud’ and companion website workingthecloud.biz is the ultimate collection of online tips, tricks and resources for small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs who want to get ahead online. You can order it at http://bit.ly/orderworkingthecloud, or just come along to http://workingthecloud.biz to read the latest news and features. See you there!
Judging by the current weather, it would be easy to assume that an encroaching summer is a myth rather than a certainty. However, rain-misted or not, August is most definitely on the way. For many companies, summer internships are the perfect way to recruit great new talent - the pool of graduates and students on holiday is never bigger, and with a few months to spare (and far too many parties to avoid), the more entrepreneurially minded among them are ready and willing to throw themselves into the world of work.
A great intern can be terrific source of innovation and inspiration to young companies, offering new insights, a ferocious desire to learn and usually a selection of terrible sunglasses to your existing team. For those companies on the cusp of expansion, a summer internship programme is a brilliant way to size up what areas of growth should be focussed on, as well as judging whether now is the right time for the team to expand. So, how exactly should you go about it? Fear not, we’re here to take you through the whole process.
Summer Internships: A How To Guide
When should I start hiring?
Trust us, it comes around sooner than you think.
In order to give yourself enough time for a generous application process, some interview time, and then an internship that benefits both sides (ideally over 8 weeks long), you need to start thinking about putting together a job description for your summer internships in April or early May. This allows you a bit of time to really evaluate how and where an intern would be of most benefit to you, gives you 30 days to gather the shiniest talent, lets you secure the deal before your intern finishes at their respective place of study, and leaves you time to plan the internship properly before they arrive on your doorstep. Whew. Remember, most students will be finished with their final exams by mid-June – many of them will want to be on a placement by July.
How long should my summer internships be?
Though there’s never going to be a set ‘best’ amount of time for an internship, it’s generally worth keeping your intern around for at least a couple of months, in order for you to really integrate them into your working practices, and glean some real value for both them and your company. The other thing is that you may want to be slightly flexible with your start and end dates, because different applicants will have different commitments (especially if they are still in full-time education and have to return to university come October). At the end of the day, you want to find someone fantastic. If you can consider adapting the length of your internship to suit your favoured candidate, all the better.
Should I pay my intern?
The ol’ conundrum. Now, leaving aside all of the self-evident ‘you’ll get a better quality of candidate if you pay them’ stuff - you know all that stuff - all we can really do is point you in the direction of the legal state of the matter. In order to stay on the right side of the law, you need to decide whether what the work your intern will be doing falls on the side of volunteer work, or that of a worker.
So, if your intern’s work consists of shadowing other members of your team and receiving training, they do NOT have any set responsibilities or deadlines and they don’t have a set number of hours they must complete per week you might NOT have to pay them. Similarly, if the work experience they complete for you is completed as part of their higher education course, you may not have to fully remunerate them.
If, however, this internship is nothing to do with their university or higher education course, you plan on giving them real responsibility, assigning them tasks with deadlines, expect them to provide genuine value to the company and require them to work a set amount of hours, they may be technically ‘workers’, and legally deserve remuneration. For more information on this (it’s a tricky issue, to be sure), see the official government stance.
Should my summer internships lead to a full-time role?
This is a slightly tricky one, because for those who have just graduated, the idea of embarking on an internship that has full-time prospects is a very good thing. But for those students looking for some great experience before returning to education, it’s a no-go. The short answer is that you should simply be as honest as possible; if you’re hoping that this role will turn into a full-time position, state that on the job description, but don’t necessarily rule out those who can only commit to the internship as it stands. After all, the best possible outcome of any internship is that the new talent proves themselves indispensable - if the biggest tragedy is that your intern is too good to lose, then you know you’re doing something right.
Start thinking about your summer internships scheme now, and get ahead of other companies scrambling for the best graduate talent. For more information about placing a listing, head here, and if you have any questions about setting up an internship, feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
By Natasha Hodgson, Enternships Community Manager
We always appreciate the chance to poke around in the past, present and futures of our inspiring startups, and today we’re talking to Kal Di Paola, CEO of BuyMyWardrobe. When her first business seemed to be slowing down, she took the initiative to look at the fashion industry from an entirely new angle - and now her collaborative style brand is booming. So how does one go about becoming the eBay of the pre-loved fashion world? We wanted to find out…
BuyMyWardrobe began life as an event back in 2008, for fashion-loving women to sell on loved items of their designer wardrobe. Fast-forward 7 years, and – along with some Angel investment – BuyMyWardrobe is a thriving site with thousands of enthusiastic members all looking to buy and sell from like-minded style gurus…
Where did the idea come from for BuyMyWardrobe?
It was 2008, I had been running my own fashion label for the past 11 years. The country was in recession, the over consumption of the past decade was being highlighted in the media and I like many people I had started to reign in my spending. Faced with a wardrobe that would barely close, I realised I needed to change my shopping habits and the first step was to clear my wardrobe of years of hoarding.
My options to do that were limited. Ebay wasn’t the right place for niche labels and dress agencies were too picky- I wanted somewhere I could set up shop for the day and nobody provided that- so I decided to host my own event and asked myself who would buy my wardrobe?
BuyMyWardrobe as an event was born in Feb 2008 and later (August 2012) evolved into an online marketplace.
What was the impetus to take the plunge and start this business?
I don’t think I thought about it much – it started with a desire to set up a brilliant event for like-minded people. My thinking was that I had nothing to lose; the worst case scenario was that the event would be a flop and I wouldn’t continue with them. Fortunately, it seemed that I had hit on an idea that resonated with a lot of people — it was clear there was an audience for luxury recycling and the audience were hungry! It was also clear that there was no shortage of ladies with wardrobes bursting at the seams, desperate to find a fun way to re-house their loved and cherished but no longer worn fashion pieces- at the very first event we had 17 different girls all ready and willing to sell their wardrobes alongside me!
What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting out?
TIME! I already had a fashion business, and at first thought that these events I was organising would be a great side project - I had no idea that they would take off in the way that they did. Trying to decide what to prioritise - between focussing on the business I’d spent so much time on, versus a new idea that seems to be flying high - it made life very hectic!
You deal with a luxury industry – did you find being a start-up help or hinder with that?
I was already in the fashion industry and it was definitely an advantage. One of the most important things about being a young company is growing a network of people who trust and champion you. For me, already having established those contacts in my previous ventures, that was a massive help.
What excites you about the future of your company?
We are move towards a more collaborative economy- I’m excited that by making selling your wardrobe as exciting as buying it BuyMyWardrobe can change the way we consume forever!
What do you look for in members of your team?
Passion, enthusiasm and an ability to get things done (and if they can read my mind it’s a bonus).
If someone was to apply to you for a job, what would really impress you?
A really personalised application – a covering letter that shows they’ve really studied what we’re about, read our blog, taken time to sign up and know what our offering is.
It’s amazing how many people don’t do their homework.. I would really only want people to apply for a job if they really really wanted it! If that didn’t come across I wouldn’t hire them no matter how good they might be academically.
Any words of wisdom for those thinking of starting a venture of their own?
If you belief in something don’t take no for an answer but equally don’t start a business blindly. You need to make a start and test your market by learning, adapting, changing, failing and continuing to nail down your value proposition BEFORE you scale. Then find mentors, ask questions, listen learn and continue to face every challenge as a manifestor.
If you see an opportunity act on it, if something needs doing, do it, if something needs changing, change it, and if you don’t know something, learn it.
Interview by Natasha Hodgson, Community Manager at Enternships
With the number of unemployed youth in Ireland rising by the month, we’re proud to announce we’ll be launching there on the 23rd April, with the hope of creating hundreds of opportunities for Ireland’s talented youth.
30% of Ireland’s under 25s are currently unemployed, and yet the Dublin startup scene has never been more vibrant. Along with Dubstarts, the fantastic Ireland jobs fair, we hope to connect the flourishing tech potential with Ireland’s graduate talent, creating amazing opportunities for talented young entrepreneurs across the country. We’ll be launching brand new roles for Ireland, creating hundreds of new internship and job opportunities for the growing unemployed youth.
Rajeeb Dey - CEO of Enternships - said:
“There’s never been a better time to bring together the fantastic potential of the Dublin startup scene with the amazing graduates across Ireland. At Enternships we believe that the future of youth employment lies with our innovative startups, and we’re very proud to spearhead this campaign in Ireland.
Over the past couple of years Dublin has established itself as one of the most exciting places to set up entrepreneurial ventures - you only have to look at the companies it now houses: Google, Dropbox, Twitter, LinkedIn, to name but a few - to see that it’s the perfect place to get young entrepreneurial graduates into work. We think that our partnership with startup experts Dubstarts will spark a lot of new opportunities, and provide the perfect way for emerging young companies to find the talent they need.”
We’ll be pairing with Dubstarts - an innovative job fair that connects talented young people hoping to break into the tech scene with some of the most exciting startups in Ireland - with plans to help provide many more opportunities in the next year.
Dubstarts CEO Vincent Lyons said:
“At Dubstarts, we’re delighted to have been able to help some of Ireland’s most exciting startups and talented graduates find each other. Seeing conversations which begin at our jobs fairs over a beer and some live music develop into solid relationships and sharing of mutual dreams is what matters to us.
Enternships is a perfect partner for Dubstarts, due to our common goal of creating incredible opportunities for people to come together to create something special.”
There’s only one headline in the UK this week, and it belongs to Maggie Thatcher. With both plaudits and vitriol being poured on the late Iron Lady, no matter what your political leaning it’s undeniably a great time to look back at her legacy, and see how entrepreneurs today felt about growing up under - arguably - the most impressive, not to mention infamous, go-getter the nation has ever seen.
A staunch believer in the positive effect of competition, of the idea that anyone can rise from their beginnings to claim power, and of celebrating the individual rather than the society, Thatcher’s core beliefs did and will continue to split the opinion of the nation. The question is, do our greatest entrepreneurs views’ align with hers?
“I met Margaret Thatcher quite a few times during her time in government, and she was a great advocate of competition. She pushed for Virgin Atlantic to be allowed to fly from Heathrow in competition with British Airways, despite herself being quite a champion of British Airways at that stage. She allowed Malcolm Rifkind to let us get up and fly and I think if that hadn’t happened, I don’t think we’d be around today.”
“Baroness Thatcher in the 80’s kicked started the entrepreneurial revolution that allowed chirpy chappies to succeed and not just the elite.”
John Timpson CBE, chairman of Timpson
“She made more of a difference than any other politician in my lifetime, apart from Winston Churchill. She changed the way that politicians thought about business and she did a lot for the cause of women by achieving such a lot.
Looking back today it is difficult to realise what a strangle hold the unions used to have on business. She took them on and that made a tremendous difference. She also did so much for Britain’s reputation overseas and that made her a wonderful exports earner.”
Michael Oglesby CBE, chairman of Bruntwood
“The trade unions had a strangle hold on the country and she stood up to them through a whole series of battles and brought in legislation to make this country financially governable.
There is no question that she also hastened the demise of manufacturing and heavy industry in this country, but, on the other hand, these were industries that had no future anyway.”
Charlotte Phillips (director of Babycalm)
“As a teenage girl she made me see no limits (when there were!) and Thatcherism inspired my boundless approach to entrepreneurism.”
Mark Pearson, (founder of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk)
“While she may not have been the most popular person among some communities, I think Baroness Thatcher will be thought of highly by entrepreneurs both current and future for the doors she opened which boosted self employment and entrepreneurship.”
Alex McCann, owner of http://altrinchamhq.co.uk/
“I run a successful business here in Manchester, but the devastation that Thatcher and the influence she had on successive prime ministers Blair and Cameron still has an effect now here in the north. Many of the issues we face today are the impact of Thatcher’s policies and simply because i’m doing OK is no reason to forget all this.”
Got an opinion about whether Thatcher’s policies were positive or negative for young entrepreneurs? Chat with us about it @enternships.
Here it is again, the one day of the year that finally celebrates lying on the internet. The online world has been fibbing gloriously all morning, and we’re proud to dive enthusiastically into its falsehoods. Look no further for all your untruthful needs, we’ve selected the best of the day for your delectation.
Youtube Closing Its ‘Competition’.
Opening its doors in 2005, Youtube are proud to announce that their competition to find the best video is finally closed. Next up, a decade of reviewing the footage and selecting a winner. Brilliant stuff.
Boden’s Marlyebone Man Skirt
“Trousers made sense when men rode horses, ploughed fields and trawled for fish.But now that so many of us are sat in front of a computer monitor all day the man skirt is a smart choice”. Is it wrong that it sounds sort of right?
The Google Treasure map
Kind of have to just see this one for yourself.
Twitter today announced that it would be launching a ‘two-tier system’, whereby use of consonants would be free, but that they would start charging for vowels. Their blog reads: “We’re doing this because we believe that by eliminating vowels, we’ll encourage a more efficient and “dense” form of communication. We also see an opportunity to diversify our revenue stream.” Hly crp.
Google Nose (beta)
We’re giving Google a lot of love today, but who can resist this? “What does a ghost smell like? Google knows.”
and to finish
Battersea Dogs Home Unveils Housework Hounds
After all, it would be April Fool’s Day without a stint from The Battersea Dogs Home, right? Announcing a new training programme for homeless dogs to make them more useful around the house, including cooking, cleaning and hoovering. Is it… is it a bad idea?