University students gain work-place insight from Ashridge Group
The Buckinghamshire Business Awards Company of the Year 2018 has maintained its commitment to the local community by collaborating with The University of Buckingham to provide work experience opportunities for students.
Nadia Sylvester and Andrew Gibson studied a one-year Masters course in Entrepreneurial Consulting and Practice (MECP) at the University of Buckingham. Both recently spent time with Ashridge Group, attending meetings, events and getting involved with the day to day challenges of running a successful business. The students then presented a final presentation on their findings to Ashridge Group, followed by a report that would contribute to their final grade.
Nadia says she found the experience useful towards her overall understanding, “With great support from Ashridge Group, we gained a great deal of knowledge about the Facility Management sector” she said. “I learned a lot about leadership and would definitely recommend Ashridge Group to other university students based on my experience. I found everyone at the HQ friendly, open and willing to give their time and access to the business.”
Andrew agreed, saying, “I would certainly recommend future collaboration with Ashridge Group. We have learned an enormous amount about the management of a successful SME, as well as the research and academic requirements in providing a consulting service”.
Based in Aylesbury, Ashridge Group provides services and consultancy to sectors as diverse as corporates, live entertainment venues, rail and critical national infrastructure. Championing a people-oriented approach to business development, the company also looks to develop partnerships with other suppliers in the county as part of its aim to support the growth of the local economy.
Mark Walker, Group Chairman at Ashridge Group, said “We were delighted that The University of Buckingham students embraced our company’s values of Diligence, Passion, Competence and Responsiveness. We are pleased to receive such positive feedback and from Nadia and Andrew, we hope that the experience will aid them in their future careers. This has been a useful exercise for our business too and we will undoubtedly look at providing similar opportunities again”.
Dean Jones, Partnerships and Outreach Manager at The University of Buckingham, said “Ashridge Group initially contacted us after hearing about the support we offer to social enterprises. This has been a beneficial exercise as it has given the students a chance to operate within a real business, where they need to have an awareness of the market around them, and consult on problems that aren’t just confined to a pre-written case study”.
As Ashridge Group continues to expand, the business is looking to build on the value of its ‘people first’ ethos, which focuses on prioritising its own employees’ needs to deliver customer service excellence.
Last year, The Ashridge Group Charity Foundation was launched to provide free of charge knowledge sharing and accredited training courses in subjects such as First Aid, Manual Handling, and Safeguarding; as well as awarding financial assistance to various charitable and community group projects and campaigns in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, and Bedfordshire.