How did you get involved with the University?
We linked up with Lynn Whiteside the Management School’s Employability Manager and investigated how we might provide an experience for students. It’s an evolving relationship, so we’re very excited.
Why did you decide to start working with students?
We had lots of good reasons. We know Stirling is a great university, not just academically, but culturally. It attracts the kind of people that we could tap into in terms of resource and capability. We were trying to raise the profile of DOGFI.SH as a potential employer, but also trying to provide some context for what the students are doing academically - to make it real.
What kind of initiatives have you been involved in?
Initially it was mostly projects and internships, but there are lots of chances to interact and it’s positive work - it’s work that gives a real insight and brings in an outside angle. This year we did a day session with the new MBA and MBM students. They’re here to learn about how a business operates and if we can influence the course by adding case studies or student experiences, that will have an impact for us in terms of potential resource.
How would you describe the students you’ve worked with?
Really good! When you have students applying for one on one internships or projects, you have the chance to really match their skills to what you need. One intern did her whole thesis around looking at a market for one of our products. She did a fantastic job and was a real delight to work with. The team were really sad to see her go.
How has working with students made a difference in your business?
We’ve employed a couple of students as a result of internships and those guys have made, and continue to make, a difference.
One has moved on, but while he was here he was doing some great stuff, and the one who’s still with us continues to go from strength to strength to strength. He’s pivotal to a couple of areas and a very valued member of the team.
What advice would you give to other businesses that are considering working with Stirling Management School students?
It’s an investment, so go for it. Go and build relationships with the staff, you never know what could come of it. The more you get talking, the more opportunities come up. People often expect it to be mutually beneficial immediately, but you need to work out the benefits. You need to recognise that there is an investment of people’s time, and overheads, but actually the return on that is hugely positive.