February 21, 2019, by Postgraduate Placements Nottingham
Saving the World, One House at a Time
This week we hear from Cobalt Carbon Free about their experience of hosting two Postgraduate Placements Nottingham (PPN) students.
Here at Cobalt Carbon Free, we are a small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) who specialise in damp-proofing, insulation, and extensions/renovations. Our goal is to transform our customers’ homes and we use low-carbon building technology and environmentally friendly materials in order to create a more sustainable living environment. We want to save the world, one house at a time.
Our company was at a pivotal point in its journey of expansion when we decided to take part in the University of Nottingham’s Postgraduates Placement Programme. It made perfect sense; two heads are always better than one – and the bright minds of Tanya and Mariana were perfectly suited to help us get to grips with our future vision, business plan and future growth projections. We had additional assistance from a star under-grad, Matt, who also worked on the project as part of the Nottingham Internship Scheme. Following his amazing contribution to the project, Matt went on to work for us part-time, alongside his degree – and still does!
For the project, Tanya and Mariana were tasked with conducting internal and external analysis on the company and the wider industry in order to help us evaluate our position in the market. In addition to this, Tanya was tasked with putting together recommendations for the long-term strategy of the company and tasked with discovering a unique position and market niche on which we could focus our hearts, minds and finite recourses. Mariana was responsible for getting to grips with the financials of the company and drawing everything from the Internship Scheme and the Postgraduate Placement and articulating this into a business plan for the organisation. Matt set out a short-term business strategy and completely redesigned our website.
Having the students work on this project was a fantastic decision. It provided us with access to eager, motivated and intelligent individuals and provided the students with valuable work experience. During the project Mariana designed a costing tool for the company which has proved invaluable ever since embedded this into our organisation. Tanya provided a lot of stimulating thoughts for our company with regards to new markets and opportunities, as well as proving our business strategy for the future.
The project proved a ‘Win/Win’ arrangement, offering opportunities and unique experiences to the students they couldn’t get elsewhere, such as testing individual, entrepreneurial and creative expression. Taking real time business risks, laying new knowledge and skills open to exposure, understanding and feeling that positive and progressive vibe throughout the entirety of a business, which can’t always be easily obtained, particularly in larger companies. To any students looking to apply for a post-grad placement; don’t underestimate your talent or your value to a company, and don’t underestimate the benefit of real-world work-life experience when it comes to job hunting after university and building your confidence to take on those real time challenges!
To businesses looking to get involved – we would strongly recommend the postgraduate placement scheme; it gave our company a new lease of life and brought fresh perspective. We have gained an invaluable longer-term association with the university and built lasting friendships with some very bright and enthusiastic people not to mention tapping into a rich vein of talent and employee potential as with Matt. It is an extremely useful opportunity for any company looking to develop themselves or an area of their business. A huge thanks to the University of Nottingham – the PPN placements team, employer engagement team, and faculty staff, but most importantly Tanya, Mariana and Matt in particular!