Building on the success of the two ‘Meet the SMEs’ events last year, Tuesday 27 January saw 25 local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) meet with over 100 of Salford Business School students and graduates, our biggest turn out yet.
These events help to match students and employers for short-term internships: offering our students relevant work experience that is now so vital when embarking on a graduate job search.
The event was organised by the Salford Business School Employability Hub team, of which I am a part of, alongside my colleagues Pam Mullin and Kerry Moores. The Employability Hub houses two fantastic schemes, Unite with Business and Business Innovation Projects, which give our students and graduates access to short-term opportunities within a wide range of organisations from local small businesses to multinational companies.
The SMEs who attended the event are all looking to grow their businesses and are looking for assistance from talented students and graduates to help with this. Some of the typical examples of internships in Manchester and Salford based SMEs include – market research for the fast growing online platform Wakelet, founded by University of Salford alumni Jamil Khalil and an events management project for the North West Finance Awards.
We have received great feedback from both the companies and potential interns and nearly half of the companies attending have since appointed interns with some projects already under way.
Fadi Anani is one of our many success stories and shows that those who benefit from this scheme also want to share it with others – Fadi says:
“There were some really quite amazing students at a brilliant event and we are looking forward to taking them on.”
Fadi Anani is a Salford Business School graduate, who undertook a Unite with Business internship in 2014 with fashion wholesaler La Vision. Fadi has since been employed by the company and came to the ‘Meet the SMEs’ event to recruit further interns for La Vision’s sister companies who are looking to expand rapidly.
Saadia Mahmood, University of Salford graduate said:
“The event was fantastic! A great networking event and step to the real world of work! I gained so much more confidence in myself and built contacts.”
Saadia undertook a Unite with Business internship with Trafford Media and Communications in 2014 and is back to look for further experience.
Manchester city centre based creative agency, Nuttersons, have put together this short video about their experience at the event which includes some top tips for potential interns – www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAvp37HQiuk.
Unite with Business is funded by the European Regional Development Fund. In partnership with five other North West Universities Salford Business School places students and graduates with North West based SMEs for 20 day / 150 hour internships. The scheme pays the intern £975 in two instalments for the work undertaken.
Unite at the University of Salford has funded over 200 internships in Manchester and surrounding areas since 2010. Unite with Business has now filled all 10 confirmed internships for 2015, however companies looking for interns can still access Masters level talent via the Business Innovation Projects.
Salford Business School offers one of the most flexible suites of postgraduate taught programmes in the UK. Business Innovation Projects allow students the opportunity to enhance their employability by providing the option of undertaking an assessed live industry brief set by businesses over a 3 or 6 month period as an alternative to a traditional dissertation. Since their introduction, this option has proved extremely popular with both students and employers.
The Employability Hub has plans to hold similar events as part of a wider employability programme, if you would be interested in getting involved email me firstname.lastname@example.org.