Reflecting On Our First Student Training Experience

By Jessica van Thiel

When we came across the Surrey Business School’s renowned Professional Training placement programme last year, we immediately wanted to participate. The opportunity to train and work with the best students was one that we were passionate about. And so, we became one of more than 2,300 organizations that have partnered with the University to give students valuable work placements around the world.

We are passionate and committed to what we do so it was important to us to engage someone who reflected the same values and work ethic as we did. After finding the right fit, we selected a student for the position of Business Development Analyst who started in the autumn of 2016 to work with us in Canada and France, at each of our offices, with each of our founding partners.

The economics major worked closely with us on various tasks from business development and outreach, research and industry applications, to investment summaries of our partner projects in India, Nepal and Namibia, and Ghana.

The experience was rewarding as we all learned a lot throughout the year. We learned about our teaching and training styles, how to work efficiently and effectively in a team, re-evaluating our priorities and how to best communicate them, and so much more.

The most enriching part of the experience came after our student completed her placement. Upon returning to the UK, we heard from her family, who conveyed their appreciation for the experience:

It was wonderful to hear her speaking so enthusiastically about her future. You have definitely inspired her. She speaks with such admiration and I truly believe you have been an excellent role model to her during this rather crucial time. She is now speaking about finding a good job, doing a Masters Degree and her focus is in a much better place than before she left for France. You have contributed to her more positive mindset. As parents we just wanted to send you both a sincere thank you.”

It’s incredibly rewarding to know that we’ve made an impact on someone’s life. If she’s left the experience even a little more aware, a little more inspired, and a little more committed, we are grateful. Because every person we are able to reach means the world to us!

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