Last summer Colton Bilsborrow was looking forward to Christmas. Not, however, for the usual reasons. Quite simply he was biding his time until he would be able to leave school. In his own words ‘school wasn’t really working’ for him. Then Colton entered and won The Recruit, an apprentice style challenge organised by Enterprise North East Trust (Enterprise). His prize, a twelve month paid internship with Enterprise began earlier this month (February).
Colton says, “Before entering the competition I didn’t really have any thoughts on what I want to do with my future. When I heard about The Recruit I thought it might be a good experience but it turned out to be much more than that.
“Taking part in The Recruit far exceeded my expectations. At first I thought it would be just like school and that it would all be classroom based and theory but this couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“We were given real business tasks to carry out and had to see them through to the end using our own initiative. We were helped by mentors from the Aberdeen business community; they provided advice and support as and when necessary. The fact that well known companies such as FirstGroup were involved in The Recruit added value to the experience as a whole.”
During the course of the competition Colton’s team produced a recipe calendar. “To achieve this we had to cold call restaurants and hotels to ask for recipes. This was different to anything I’d done before and was definitely outside my comfort zone. I felt a real sense of achievement on doing it though and it has made a big difference to my confidence levels and also helped to improve my communication skills.”
Colton has now started his internship at Enterprise and he is enjoying the experience. “I’ve had a very warm welcome from everyone I’ve come in to contact with at Enterprise. It’s great to be in a real work environment.”
Colton will spend time in different departments throughout Enterprise and will also undertake a SVQ in Business and Administration. “During the course of the year I think I’ll learn a great deal. I plan to continue to improve my confidence, build on my existing skills and learn new ones. I’m really pleased to be getting real life experience within the business world and also to have the chance to meet people from across the local business community.”
Gary McEwan, Chief Executive, of Enterprise comments, “Colton has exactly the right attitude to make the most of the opportunity he has won. He is open to learning new things and fully intends to reap optimum benefit from his internship. This outlook combined with the practical training and experience he’ll receive during the course of the internship will help to ensure he’s well equipped for working life.”
“I still don’t have any definite ideas about what I’d like to do once the internship comes to an end,” says Colton. “I am interested in sales and marketing and hope to learn more about this during my time with Enterprise. I definitely plan to make the most of the opportunity I have. Being able to spend time in the different aspects of the organisation including Business Gateway services and Enterprise property will give me the chance to find out more about different aspects of business and may well help me to decide what I would like to do.”
The Recruit was developed by Inverclyde Council and following its success was delivered in Aberdeen by Enterprise, with funding from Aberdeen City Council, Determined to Succeed and Awards for All Scotland. For further information on Enterprise visit www.enetrust.com.
Picture Caption: ***NAME AND POSITION** of Enterprise thinks that Colton will reap optimum benefit from his internship.
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