Networking · Opinion · University

The value of experience

In Monday’s article in campaign magazine, Shortlist’s Ella Dolphin discusses the issues ShortList and Stylist face, but more importantly the value her broad experience brings to both of these publications – a similar conversation I have had with my hairdresser last week*.

The gist of all of these conversations is usually a mildly depressing one for students: That nothing can be the value of experience, and if you want somebody to do a job for you, you’d want the person to do the job right, and in most cases, that means the person will have done the job before.

I have, however, also been invited by my university’s careers department to give a little talk at our Christmas networking event yesterday, to give a little insights into my experience of being employed part-time while studying and most importantly, while especially SME employers should consider hiring students.

I’ve decided to share a few of my insights here on this blog, both for everyone to consider hiring students and recent graduates – but also for students to keep their spirits up in this tough time before the holidays.

1. Fresh ideas of industry standard
Bringing a student into your business who studies something directly related to your area of expertise or industry is an almost foolproof way to update and rethink structures in your business. Your student will usually come equipped with access to a few nifty tools and are willing to share almost all tips and tricks their lecturers and tutors have supplied them with. They might not get the job done the way you’re used to – but maybe they can teach you a thing or two.

2. Loyalty
While “picking people up when their down” and “one hand washes another” are all terribly antiquated phrases (and I’m personally shying away from labelling students as “being down”), there is a sense of truth in them. Helping a student jump start their career by providing them with resources (experience and a supportive income) is something they will be eternally grateful for and might just lead to a few lucrative and exciting business opportunities in the future.

In the end, experience is everything (or most things) – but you gotta start somewhere, and sometimes employees are as much of an investment as a new business idea can be.


*About the value of experienced hairdressers who don’t push weird cuts on you – not really related to the topic but good advice during the holiday season regardless.




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