Whilst a student at the University of Edinburgh, Emanuele – originally from Italy – fell in love with Scotland, particularly the Highlands and Islands.
When he spotted an advert on ScotGrad’s website for a placement with FSC Scotland, he saw an ideal opportunity. With a degree in Communications and an MA in International Relations, Emanuele did not have a background in environmental education; however, his enthusiasm, work ethic, relevant skills and willingness to learn came across strongly in his application, and secured him the role.
FSC Scotland is an environmental education charity that offers a wide range of courses for schools, universities, environmental professionals and families. The charity started in 1943, and runs field centres across the UK, two of which are within Scotland. They provide residential and day experiences for adults and young people which focus on environmental education and outdoor learning.
At their centre in Millport, FSC hosts school and university groups throughout the year as well as families and adults in the holiday periods. Emanuele’s project focused on expanding their existing customer base by identifying target audiences, and developing robust processes for handling new enquiries.
Right from the start, FSC Millport Centre Manager Alex MacFie was impressed by how Emanuele fully integrated himself into the team and presented a range of different suggestions to create growth in the business. For example, Emanuele explored the marketing of the centre as a conference venue, cross-selling, and the use of different booking procedures.
Alex noticed the positive results of Emanuele’s ideas: “Once we implemented these suggestions we saw a significant increase in business, alongside some diversification and a general raising of awareness of the centres and the opportunities they could present.”
We asked Emanuele about the experiences and learning that he’ll take away from his time with FSC.
“I have learned how to work across departments and have become much more confident in influencing decision-making, whilst also improving my communication skills and understanding of marketing principles. I have also gained useful knowledge about the environment and the Scottish education system.
“One particularly proud moment during my placement was when I started receiving positive responses from teachers to one of my marketing initiatives. That was a very rewarding experience, which also generated additional business.”
Following several successful ScotGrad placements, FSC are considering further placement projects to continue to help grow the business.
“Graduates can bring a fresh pair of eyes,” Alex comments. “They have the intellect to come up with new ideas, and suggest how things can be done differently or better. They are also hardworking, and competent with modern technology.
“I would definitely recommend graduate placement programmes such as ScotGrad to other employers, for the benefits both to the graduate and to the business.”
With valuable experience of working successfully with a great organisation, the ScotGrad team and FSC wish Emanuele (pictured above, centre front) all the best for his next career steps.
ScotGrad placements are advertised throughout the year. For more information about how graduates have supported business growth across Scotland take a look at our success stories. Never miss an update by registering with us.