Wed 30 Aug 17
Based on Parkside Office Village, Abdul provides academic and corporate services for students and businesses. This includes translation and interpretation services; professional development training; educational trips and admissions advice for international students. He has maintained strong links with the University and is the largest student employer on Parkside. Here Abdul talks about the benefits of employing students – both for the individuals and his flourishing business.
How many students have you employed?
Twenty-four so far – but we’ll be recruiting for more soon. We hope to have eight people on internships by the end of October.
What sort of jobs have they done?
Everything from general admin work and answering queries to specific projects, where we set them a business challenge such as working on a strategy for digital marketing and social media; identifying like-minded businesses in the UK and overseas for collaboration and identifying ways to raise capital.
The language students have been a real asset in helping us to expand our translation and interpretation service. Our own website is now available in 10 languages – soon to be 11 – and I see this as a particular area of growth. Businesses don’t necessarily need to translate their whole website, but having key pages available in different languages, would really set them apart and could put them in a very strong position post-Brexit.
Having accesses to a talented pool of students, with both language and technical skills, has meant we have been able to take on much more work in this area. Students have also been involved in developing training modules and putting together the relevant training materials.
Have they all been students from the Essex Business School?
Not at all – we have obviously had a lot of language students, but we have also taken on people from different departments: international relations, economics, psychology, history, sociology and accounting and management.
How has employing students from the University helped your business?
Apart from the obvious – having extra staff means we can take on more work – we have also benefitted from their enthusiasm and ideas. Having access to an endless pool of talent, means we have been able to expand much more quickly than we could have done without them.
I would thoroughly recommend others to take on students, either through an internship or a placement. They can be a real asset to your company and can help with everything from everyday tasks, which frees up other members of staff, to working on a specific project, which might otherwise never get off the ground.
How has it benefitted the students?
They have gained valuable hands-on work-experience which will be great on their CV and make them much more employable in the future. It has also given them the opportunity to understand how start-ups operate and to learn about the life-cycle of different projects in different areas. And lastly, it has meant they have earned some money - which is always welcomed by students!