BU graduate, Alvin Mennie, is a big advocate of the value of work experience. Having completed his own work placement during his business studies degree, he is now supporting the next generation by offering internships to current students.
Alvin, who graduated in 2014, said: “I got so much out of my placement that I am keen to do the same for others. It gave me the opportunity to feel part of a team, get stuck in at a local company and put what I had learnt into practice. I am now in a position to offer current students a placement and have just hired my third intern from BU. They bring a different perspective and skill set, as well as lots of enthusiasm, and I hope that I can fill the gap for them between theory and real-life application, as well as pass on my own experiences.”
Originally from Birmingham, Alvin loved his time in Bournemouth so much that he decided to stay and build his career locally. His first job after graduating was as a Digital Marketing Executive with Farrow & Ball and he is now Brand and Communications Manager at Kestrel Medical. The Poole-based company has two key brands – Vocalzone, a vocal performance throat pastille favoured by professional singers and actors, and Otovent, a non-surgical, drug-free treatment for glue ear. Alvin’s role involves developing brand strategies, maintaining relationships with celebrities and influencers and developing and launching new product ranges.
Alvin’s advice to students seeking out work experience is: “Don’t dismiss smaller companies as they may be able to offer you more tangible experience than bigger, more well-known organisations. There is often more opportunity to get involved in a broader range of roles in a smaller company, as well as to build meaningful relationships with the team. That was certainly my experience and something I am keen to impress on others.
“Above all, be open-minded, get stuck in and be prepared to take a risk if it means you get a chance to demonstrate your skills. Work placements give you the opportunity to make a name for yourself and make connections that could pay off in all sorts of ways later in your career.”