Graduates & Students

Residential Training Course Diary

Ally Naumova started her ScotGrad placement with NB Communications in April this year, and recently attended our residential training course in Cromarty. She kept a diary of her experience and shared this with us!

Published: 17/07/2017

A Busy June

Now, the past month has been extremely busy, but also very rewarding - and I will tell you why.

Apart from my placement company being involved in a number of exciting new projects with some amazing new clients, I also had the opportunity to attend a Business Residential Training Course with other ScotGrad Associates!

And let me tell you, those were three days filled with a LOT. A lot of us, a lot from us and a lot from them.

The three-day-long event I attended was my first face-to-face interaction with representatives of ScotGrad, and I’d like to say that they are the loveliest, most helpful and dedicated people, who truly love what they do.


Residential Training Course 2017

I'm generally enthusiastic and eager to meet new people, network and experience new things. But oh, did I get stressed when it came to the actual day before leaving! I really thought… three days, in the middle of nowhere, with no one I really know. What if I don’t like anybody, what if nobody likes me? What if we don’t speak to each other and everybody’s too shy?

Again though, as any new experience in my life lately, it turned out to be one of the best in my life.

After a long day of travelling, I finally reached Cromarty – the town we were going to spend three days in. It was really small, however absolutely lovely – the beautiful landscapes allowed for some amazing photos.

All of us quickly got to know each other, we were all very open, interested and filled with enthusiasm to learn more about each other’s characters and businesses. I could see everybody was worried about the exact same things I was thinking of prior to my arrival at Cromarty, but I also noticed how everybody was slowly getting comfortable.

Our first evening was all about networking - discussing with ScotGrad’s friendly staff what the program was for our stay, meeting our host the Cromarty Arts Trust ‘Old Brewery’, and finishing off an exceptionally enjoyable and relaxing evening with lots of delicious food and some drinks in one of Cromarty’s (two) pubs!

Cromarty’s bakery is also worth mentioning – 10:30pm and the bakery’s one-of-a-kind chicken Balti pie is the only thing 10 graduates could think of!

After some particularly useful business lectures and practical workshops from representatives of Strathclyde University’ Business School until 5 pm, we enjoyed Cromarty’s welcoming warm sunshine and the ‘Old Brewery’s’ massive 3-course meal. We would then spend the evening either exploring Cromarty’s surroundings or simply chilling in the garden, and then, of course, some drinks in one of those cosy pubs, a game of pool, and some philosophical conversations about the meaning of life.

What can I say… we had it all, and we made the most of it!


HIe gradsHie grads socialising

Making friends with the other ScotGrad Associates!

Let's do Business

An example task for us was to conduct an actual sales call. We had to prepare and be knowledgeable about the business of a fellow graduate, in an industry we’ve never before worked in, in a matter of 30 minutes. We basically had to work very well as a team and pass on information quickly and efficiently. Then we would speak to the ‘client’ on the phone and attempt to pitch/sell our organisation’s services!

These particularly useful practical tasks were coupled with actual industry representatives visiting the residential training, to briefly pitch their respective organisations and current business issues. Drawing on our own personal experience and knowledge gained and developed so far, we would all then individually attempt to provide useful, practical advice and resolution to the issue at hand, with the aim of achieving a business' particular goal.

On our last day, in the morning just before delivering individual presentations, we had a very informative session with representatives of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, on the topic of Insights Discovery Profiling – which were also extremely kind in providing us all with a thorough individual Insights Discovery profile. It was unbelievable how much this could be of use, and help in both personal and professional sense for both the individual and their workplace.

Much like the Myers-Briggs 16-type test and Karl Jung’s theory, here we also got to discover which type each of us was. I was quite happy to realise I am a truly extroverted Creative Inspiring Helper, who is all in service of others, nurturing and accommodating. This session once again proved to me how such profiling could help you get to know yourself, your strengths and your personal work style better, as well as those of the people around you - and how such key insights could be harnessed and wisely employed for the success of an organisation.


Final Day Presentations

I'm not going to lie – this really was stressful! I've never particularly liked public speaking, but am quite happy to say I’m slowly overcoming this. Despite always receiving positive feedback on presentations, I've still felt so stressed carrying them out.

This time was no different. We had to present a bit about ourselves, our three-day experience of the training course, the organisation we work for, how the course had helped us, what of it and how we could apply in our day-to-day organisational setting and overall business direction. And then there were, of course, the judges’ questions. I should say, however, that the fact all of us graduates became good friends by day 3, helped a lot in feeling quite confident in presenting in front of so many people. The friendly faces that really wanted you to do well, made you feel that you actually can and the only thing stopping you was yourself.

A panel of judges and business representatives from across Scotland made up the rest of our audience, and - despite being so worried - I was awarded second place for my presentation, and the graduates’ choice certificate!


And to wrap it up…

ScotGrad, never stop doing what you do - you're amazing and inspiring – it really does make me want to go on business exchanges, meet new people, network and grow both as a person and professionally. Thank you so much for an amazing experience!

Graduates, thank you for being such a cool and friendly but also a very professional bunch – each one with their own individual unique character, from whom each of us learned a lot in an extremely short time.

I really do believe that the best way to learn is from each other. ScotGrad values this and I feel I'm more than ready and determined to apply everything I’ve learned back to NB communication in the best possible way. So stay tuned! Some exciting new stuff coming our way :)

A massive THANK YOU to all those involved!


view from training course at HIE


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