“I was really shocked, I didn’t expect it if I am being honest. It was an enjoyable week I learned a lot about myself and definitely improved in some areas, like my team work and being more creative.”
Raquel Lopez, BA(Hons) Tourism Management
A business student heard the words ‘you’re hired’ after winning a week-long apprentice-style challenge as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
Raquel Lopez, a BA(Hons) Tourism Management student from Staffordshire University fought-off stiff competition among fellow students, landing herself a prestigious all-expenses paid internship with international brand, Gandys.
“I was really shocked, I didn’t expect it if I am being honest. It was an enjoyable week I learned a lot about myself and definitely improved in some areas, like my team work and being more creative,” explained Raquel from Galicia, Spain.
“The internship is going to allow me to experience lots of different aspects of the business and working in a place like London will be a great experience.
“Before the week I didn’t know anything about Gandys, now I know a lot,” she said.
The week-long challenge was run by graduate start-up company Youth Enterprise CIC, founded by Ben and Mike Dyer, who are also responsible for The National Enterprise Challenge which seeks to promote enterprise among school children.
“We were split into two teams on Tuesday and our first task was to create a snack using SuperJam,” Raquel explained.
Students were given an inspiring talk by SuperJam founder Fraser Doherty prior to the challenge.
“We made sweet balls using dates and other fruits and the SuperJam which worked really well.”
The second challenge was to create a Christmas advert for Tesco, with the task used as a measure of the candidates’ creativity.
The 25-year-old said: “This was probably the hardest task of the week for me, I had to act in it and play a girl who was writing a Christmas list.”
Raquel, who can speak four languages and has ambitions of working for a cruise business, was part of the successful sales team on the final task before the interviews.
“We had to sell chocolate bars made by Chocolatier Louis Barnett. We went around the University and into Hanley.
“The group that I was in made £152 profit and the other team made around £50, we sold ours for a higher price, near to £1.20 a bar.”
The final day saw candidates interviewed before a panel of three that included Mike, Ben and Taz Khan from Gandys.
Michael Dyer CEO of Youth Enterprise, said: “Raquel showed great passion and enthusiasm towards each task and her personality shone through during the interviews at the end of the week. Her passion for travelling and her infectious energy made her the ideal candidate for an internship at Gandys.”
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