This month we asked UWS SIE intern to tell us about her role with SIE and how it is helping her gain key employability skills for the future…
I am a first year Web and Mobile Development student at UWS. Right after starting my university experience I learnt that good grades alone are not enough. What an employer wants is someone bold, able to handle responsibilities and step out from their comfort zone.
Soon after starting classes in September, I started to look for an opportunity to develop my transferable skills. Being a first year student I didn’t expect to find a great internship in my field right away, therefore volunteering for different organisations looked like the best option. This is how I came across The Scottish Institute for Enterprise. SIE is a charity organisation that gives free business advice to students and also helps them develop employability skills through workshops, events and competitions – both locally and all around Scotland.
I first got involved with SIE as a volunteer ambassador after my module coordinator forwarded to his students the flyer promoting the ambassador position. After a couple of months, the SIE paid intern position at UWS became available and I decided to apply. SIE employs one student in every Scottish university and this role is to promote the organisation through stalls, lecture shout-outs, social media and events. I got the role and I had the chance to engage with a large number of students coming from all different backgrounds. It inspired me so much to witness how brave some of them were to challenge themselves by opening their own business in their early 20’s while still studying.
I am aware that I still have a long way ahead of me before graduating, but after this experience with SIE I feel more confident and inspired by my own ideas and possibilities.
There are many ways to get involved with SIE:
• Participate to the monthly competitions. All a student needs to do it is to have an idea that they believe could evolve into a business.
• Come along to one of the free workshops organised in the UWS campuses. These are held by a trainer and are extremely interactive and interesting. They are a great way to develop new skills.
• The intern’s role is also to organise and run small events – in the past months the Paisley campus held a Game Jam competition and a Movie Night organised by the intern and the ambassadors.
• SIE also has a big event open to all students in Scotland: the annual SIE SUMMIT. At this year’s event, the students had the opportunity to listen to business owners that started as entrepreneurs themselves, ask questions to an employability panel and to network with other students.
It is often wrongly assumed that SIE can only be useful for business students! What’s extremely important to understand is how the Scottish Institute for Enterprise welcomes students from every field of study.
By Angela Castellano