Industrious students from Liverpool Hope University’s Business School were presented with coveted work experience placements at this year’s Insight to Business Awards.
The annual event, now in its fourth year, saw a selection of the region’s most influential firms and organisations offering short-term placements for students following a thorough nomination, shortlist and interview process.
Owing to the fact that last year’s Awards were cancelled, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, this year’s winners were made up of both current students and recent graduates.
The ceremony - hosted by Head of Hope’s Business School Ian McKenna, Assistant Head Brian Ricketts and Assistant Head Jo Whittingham - also moved online for the first time ever, presented from the MSP Studios in Bootle, north Liverpool.
But the virtual backdrop did nothing to dampen the excitement, as leading figures of industry praised the valuable input they’d received from Hope students in previous years.
Ian McKenna commented: “The lucky, but deserving, recipients of the awards will benefit from some high quality and high profile internships amongst our partner organisations and this will undoubtedly give them an edge as they look towards their employability, either for those who’ve just entered into employment, or for our current students who are making their first steps on the ladder.”
Addressing the students and graduates in the Business School, he added: “Whether you’ve been nominated for an award or not, this event is about acknowledging your brilliance and the skills and knowledge that you have.
“Even if you’re not a recipient of an award today, the process of going through the nomination and interview is ‘money in the bank’ for you as you set out on your career.
“We hope other students will be inspired by these awards, and will do their utmost to receive a nomination in the future, or to explore other opportunities for increasing their employability levels through appropriate work opportunities, as they move forward in their student experience.”
Speaking about the impact graduates can have on an organisation, Ian Taylor, Partner and North West Regional Head of Real Estate and Construction at RSM UK - a global firm specialising in audit, tax and consulting services - said: “The students that have come to us in the past have been invaluable and we really enjoy working with them.
“Graduates are a really important part of our business because, fundamentally, we are a training organisation and last year alone we took on more than 400 graduates nationally. We intend to do the same going forward into next year and into the future.
“So having close contacts with the universities in Liverpool, and the graduates coming through, is incredibly important to us.”
Student Melissa Paylor was the winner of the placement with RSM UK.
Among the other winners was recent Hope graduate Nathan Brown, who will be welcomed by Everton FC and will spend his time predominantly working with the club’s finance team.
(Winner Nathan Brown, above)
Meanwhile several organisations - including The Brain Charity - were simply unable to choose between Hope’s talented candidates, and opted to offer placement opportunities to both nominated students instead.
Praising the partnerships between Hope and industry, Professor Gerald Pillay, Vice-Chancellor and Rector of Liverpool Hope, closed the ceremony and said: “Just like Schools of medicine need hospitals to form a doctor, and good Schools of education need actual schools to form the teachers, a Business School needs partners in industry to form the future business leader. It can’t be done in an ivory tower and it can’t be done on our campus alone - as beautiful as it is.
“The next five to ten years are going to be centred on the recovery of our economy. Not only have we been hit by side-winds like Brexit, Covid then came and all of us had to rethink our positions.
“We’ve shrunk as an economy. It’s going to take many years to build back better.
“So employability, and preparing our graduates to take their places in industry with confidence, is absolutely crucial, as is developing the professional know-how that will make them successful.”
Full list of winners and their placement opportunities:
Student winner – Nathan Brown
The Brain Charity
Student winners – Jason Stocks, Nichola Wilding
Student winner – Ronak Patric
Student winners – Louis Iandoli and Julia Konopka
Student winner – Adam Guthy
Student winner – Melissa Paylor
Student winner – Wiktoria Grzech
Liverpool Chamber of Commerce
Student winner – Joe Parry
Student winner – David Williams
Student winner – Peter Chard
Student winners – Lucy Slater and Charlotte Price
** You can watch a recording of the event here.