In summer 2014, postgraduate student Jwalant Batavia enrolled on Talent Pool, an enterprise and consultancy skills programme which actively encourages students to participate in knowledge exchange relationships with businesses. On successfully completing the programme, students have the opportunity gain membership of the highly reputed Talent Pool Group. Businesses can then tap into this talent through the commissioning of specific short-term consultancy projects and/or work placements. In July and August 2014, Redditch-based company Righttrack recruited Jwalant through the Talent Pool.
Righttrack is a privately owned learning and development organisation, established in 1988 to provide bespoke learning solutions to private and public sector clients in the UK and overseas. Jwalant, who is studying for an MSc in Strategic Marketing and Consulting, was recruited to undertake a research project investigating how Righttrack could franchise what they do to attract additional overseas business, particularly in countries where the business language is not English and the concept of bespoke learning and development is relatively new.
Although initially apprehensive about whether a postgraduate would have sufficient practical business knowledge to carry out the work required, Righttrack was extremely impressed with Jwalant. Managing Director Kasmin Cooney commented, ‘The student quickly grasped what Righttrack was about and how the aims of the project fitted with our overall export strategy. During the research phase, the student had various meetings with senior managers to discuss progress. We were able to meaningfully discuss business issues relating to the project. The student always had something to add, either from his research, existing knowledge or business experience. His knowledge was far beyond his years.’
In 15 days over four weeks, Jwalant mainly worked remotely, checking in by conference call at agreed times and visiting the office in-between. At the end of the project he presented a comprehensive report that will enable Righttrack to prepare a clear, five-year strategy to increase their exports beyond the Gulf region. Kasmin reflects how, ‘it has helped us to clarify our thinking about implementing a franchise model. The project experience has also helped us to challenge some of the processes already in place and improve certain areas of how we deal with agents.'
Kasmin Cooney, Managing Director: "Working with Talent Pool has enabled us to bring an important task forward. From a personal perspective, the whole experience has been thoroughly enjoyable; it has been enriching to work with this very bright young man."
‘So, if you have a project that is on the backburner due to limited resource or capacity, I would urge you to contact Talent Pool and take advantage of a valuable opportunity. It certainly is worthwhile’.
For Jwalant, the key benefit of taking part in a Talent Pool consultancy project was the opportunity to apply consultancy skills in a practical business scenario. ‘After having a very good learning experience through the consultancy project, I would highly recommend taking up projects through Talent Pool to any student who is keen to broaden their horizons by applying knowledge in a real life scenario’.