Students win internships with social enterprises

11 December 2014

The students applied to work on a real-life task for a social enterprise

The students applied to work on a real-life task for a social enterprise

The winners of GCU’s Real World Employability Competition were announced at an event on campus last week.

The competition, now in its third year, gives students from the University’s three academic schools the chance to improve their employability skills and develop an enterprising attitude. 

The students applied to work on a real-life task for one of 10 social enterprises, including The GalGael Trust, Glasgow City of Science and Young Enterprise Scotland. They worked individually or in a team on a project brief set by the organisation for the equivalent of four days (32 hours) over a four-week period.

Given the high standard of the candidates, the decision was made to award two first and two second prizes, as well as two commendations. The first prizes went to Pedro Miguel Rosalis dos Santos (MSc Social Business and Microfinance) and Graham Allan (BSc Enivronmental Civil Engineering), who worked with The GalGael Trust, and Rachel Lawrie (MSc International Business) and Natalia Leitnerova (BA International Business and Marketing), who worked with Events for Charities. BA Business students Gillian Tannahill and Gillian Rae took one of the second prizes, following their work with TRAM Direct Theatre Company, and BSc Biomedical Science student Eleanor Schyma, the youngest participant, was awarded the second prize for her work with Glasgow City of Science.

All winners won a cash prize and a short internship with the employers they delivered the brief for.

First prize winners Natalie and Rachel designed a marketing campaign for Events for Charities. Natalie said: “Rachel and I were very surprised to win, but it was great to hear feedback from the employer.

“We had never worked together previously, but we worked well together and brought different skills and ideas to the task.

“It was a great experience and it feels good to know that we have helped out a social enterprise.”

Stephen McDougall, Executive Director of Events for Charities, was impressed with the students’ work. He said: ”We are delighted with what the students put together. It allowed us to look at our events from a totally different and even more constructive view.”

Senior Lecturer in Academic Development Sabine McKinnon project managed the competition. She said: “The Real World Employability Competition is a collaboration between GCU LEAD and the GCU Students’ Association.

“At GCU, we aim to enhance our students’ employability skills to the highest possible standard and the competition is one way of doing this. It gives the students an opportunity to experience a real-world workplace and shows them what they can do with their skills and knowledge in this situation.”