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Joy Lewis, Chief Executive of AAI

SBN Takes the Work out of Networking

This month I had the pleasure of telling the story of AAI (Adopt an Intern) to some of Scotland’s finest business leaders, in a packed room in the heart of London, thanks to an invite from Christine Esson and Russell Dalgleish of the Scottish Business Network (SBN).

For the uninitiated, the SBN connects Scottish businesses, entrepreneurs and the business diaspora across borders. It facilitates business advancement and opportunities for its esteemed members, as well as the growing businesses lucky enough to secure a speaking slot at their monthly events in London. Tonight was my opportunity!

Christine and Russell's warm welcome set the tone for the evening which included three business pitches from Gordon Coulter of Exmos, Sara Roberts of Healthy Nibbles and myself, followed by the all-important networking. 


I spoke about AAI's growth since 2009 and how, as an award-winning, not-for-profit company in Scotland, we’re ambitious to scale-up to help graduates find meaningful, paid opportunities in London and beyond.  


With all the talk in the media recently on ‘Returnships’, it felt very good telling a receptive audience that, from day one, we have been shortlisting people of all ages based on their talent, skills and attitude, rather than when their last job was.  


Invited to confirm AAI's 'asks' of SBN members, I said that In our 7th year of business we’re looking for introductions to small and medium companies across public, private and third sectors and introductions to staff in corporates who may be open to a chat about developing their Corporate Social Responsibility through our Graduate Guardians™ programme.


Thank you, SBN!  As someone who recognises networking as an often clunky, but necessary part of business, it was refreshing to find an event where people are actively helping each other - the room practically shone with the sheer quality of experience and influence in the room.  Or was that just an optical illusion whilst borrowing Russell's reading glasses for my talk?

For more information about AAI, and what a hand-picked graduate can bring to your business, please see our shiny new website.
 

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