A Newcastle University Business School student pursuing a PhD in entrepreneurship and innovation has taken an internship with cost reduction specialists March ThirtyOne.
Twenty-five year old David Smith from Gateshead has joined the Newcastle-based team for three months, bringing existing experience in lean management, cost-reduction strategies and performance enhancement.
The move has been facilitated by Newcastle University's Newcastle Work Experience programme, which has run successfully for around ten years to support SMEs and enhance student employability. The placement forms part of David's long-terms plans to move into a commercial role on completion of his doctorate.
It also marks a significant milestone for March ThirtyOne, which specialises in helping organisations significantly increase their profit margins and cut operational waste. David's arrival follows the appointment of non-executive chairman John Wall earlier this year and marks a period of growth for the company, as it looks to recruit four more permanent employees within a business analyst role by 2013.
Will Fatherley, managing director of March ThirtyOne, says the planned expansion couldn't happen without this graduate support: "The University's placement scheme is fantastic and really user-friendly for an SME like us. Thirty-one applicants responded to the job brief and we interviewed nine. The final decision was to offer the role to David who has 2 law degrees and is studying for a PhD in business. He also has experience of our sector, which is perfect.
"David's position marks the start of our expansion as we expect to hire a permanent Business Analyst by the end of the year and 3 more next. We couldn't do this without first using the scheme to dip our toe in the water."
Intern David Smith commented: "Having been involved with the scheme before, I knew how beneficial it can be in the development of new skills, knowledge and contacts so I was doubly interested when I spotted the March ThirtyOne brief related to cost reduction as I have experience in this area.
"The fact I am currently studying entrepreneurship and innovation and Will and his team have these two things at the very heart of what they do makes the placement an ideal fit."
Lesley Wilson, placement officer for the Careers Service at Newcastle University, added: "The Newcastle Work Experience programme offers students across the University opportunities to gain real life work experience in regional SMEs. As we know, employers are putting more and more emphasis on work experience when looking to employ graduates, and this is a perfect way for students to add to their CV while receiving a bursary.
"Business partnerships such as the one with March ThirtyOne are key to the success of our programme. Not only do Newcastle University students gain skills to help their further employment, but our host companies benefit greatly from recruiting students from a top Russell Group University."