Guest post by Dr Mattia Fosci
Last week we featured in the University of Nottingham blog for an unusual reason. Our offices at Research Consulting are only a stone’s throw from the University’s Jubilee campus, and the University is one of our long-standing clients. But this blogpost tells the story of an instance in which Research Consulting was on the receiving end of a service from the University, rather than the other way around.
The University’s Postgraduate Placement scheme helped us grow while minimising the risk of taking up a new member of staff. In the post, Rob gives a brief account of why the scheme worked for the business and how it helped support further growth. It worked so well, in fact, that Research Consulting has taken three more postgraduate students since my original placement in early 2015.
It’s interesting to think that my journey at Research Consulting started with a postgraduate scheme. Having just finished my PhD, I was looking for a part-time job to support me while setting up my own business. I was prepared to be flexible in terms of the kinds of jobs I could have found, but clearly I would have liked a job where I could learn something and use some of the skills that I had acquired at university (as well as in my previous experience). It turned out that this was exactly the case, and I consider myself lucky to have found such a challenging and rewarding opportunity the moment I started looking for one.
But clearly, that is not always the case – and this is why the Postgraduate Placement scheme is equally advantageous for employers and job seekers. At its worst, it minimises the risk of employing someone who is unfit for the role or of getting stuck in a job that does not match one’s expectations. At its best, the placement is a very effective way of acquiring employment skills, getting to learn a job and then potentially remaining as a member of staff. A win-win or at least a no-lose scenario.
Personally, and on behalf of the company, I’d like to thank the University of Nottingham for arranging this marriage (and the EU for funding it!). Long live the hardworking postgraduates and the small businesses that employ them!