Our graduate placement Business Development Support Officer, Katie, is supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise through their ScotGrad scheme. An integral part of the ScotGrad Graduate Placement Programme is a tailored 4-day residential graduate business skills training course in Cromarty. Katie attended this course last week. Read on to find out what she got up to, and how this will help her in her placement at ACT.

Day 1

In the morning I enjoyed a beautiful drive (especially through Glencoe) up to Cromarty, where the training was held. The afternoon session was delivered by Highlands & Islands Enterprise. Prior to the training, we had completed an Insights Discovery online psychometric test. We were all given personalised profiles and we completed some exercises on how we could improve team productivity by communicating more effectively.

Day 2

We covered presenting and pitching, thinking strategically, and business models. This was useful for me when thinking about what I want to get out of my placement, and what ACT expect me to achieve in my time here. The training, delivered by Skillfluence, was really engaging as most activities were interactive or done in groups. And we even got outside!

Day 3 

We learnt about sales and selling, networking skills, and project planning. We covered some basics of project management. We first worked on pitching ourselves and our organisations, and then split up into groups to help one member on a mock sales call. Although the training was more business focused, this was still useful to ACT as we are a social enterprise and aim to be competitive and efficient.

Day 4

We all had to present to a panel from Highlands and Islands Enterprise. This was a good opportunity to develop my presentation skills as well as promoting the exciting work of ACT.

Overall, it was a useful training course. It was great to meet graduates on placement all over the Highlands and Islands. Most of them were also placed in social enterprises, so it was really inspiring to hear about what they were getting up to. I am looking forward to utilising the new ways of thinking I explored in my work with ACT over the next few months.