School of Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall- Employer Case Study

Name of Organisation: School of Social Entrepreneurs Cornwall

Description of Organisation:  Our company was established eleven years ago, the School for Social Entrepreneurs in Cornwall supports Social Entrepreneurs to realise their ambitions and create social change. We support people to grow; develop their skills, personally and professionally, making a profound impact in their local communities. As part of a network of global school’s SSE Cornwall delivers programmes to support and equip people to start, scale and strengthen their organisations, making a significant positive difference to their local communities on issues they experience and are passionate about.

Name of Employer: Sally Heard

Job Title: Chief Executive Officer

Internship Scheme used:   A2I, SBP

Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter

Student Business Partnership (SBP) – Employment Services – University of Exeter


What role did your intern undertake?

We applied for an intern to work as a Marketing Intern for over the summer. The primary aim of the role was to produce a booklet showcasing the student experience of the Lloyds Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up programme.

The primary focus of the role was to work with the students who had taken part in the Lloyds Social Entrepreneurs Trade Up programme, in order to showcase their journey in an interactive booklet incorporating social media links and profile pictures. This was followed by multiple activities completed in support of the SSE Cornwall team.

Was your intern ready for the workplace?

To make the project a success, the intern had to first build a working relationship with each of the students who took part in the Lloyds’ programme. This piece of work had begun before she arrived and she took it on without any problems. She was extremely personable from the beginning, and was able to communicate effectively who she was, what she needed to achieve and what the timescales were. She was really excited about the project and this came across in every aspect of her work. The intern’s communication skills and personal attributes were so valuable to us.

Communication was such an important aspect of the project, and one of the most difficult things about it. The intern created a good bond with the students and was successful as a result of this. She also had to build trust in a very short space of time with a well-established cohort of social enterprises and she was able to do this quickly and effectively. She had a lovely, sunny personality, which was backed up with great skill, making her really easy to work with.

Did the intern achieve their objectives?

The project was completed brilliantly. It was a time constrained piece of work and the intern was working in extraordinary times. She was unable to meet with any of the students in person. She worked with portrait pictures for each student case study and one of her tasks was to consider how these portraits could be displayed in a more innovative and creative way. She came up with the idea of using a selection of different pictures to create a new image which combined all the elements. This was achieved through the use of the CANVA design software, which was used to collate and produce the booklet.

Our interns gain an experience of working in a social enterprise and what this means, as well as what makes them who they are. And in return, they bring a high level of skill into the organisation.

Was the internship beneficial to your company?

Without access to this funded internship, we would probably have had to outsource this piece of work in order for it to get done. Although we have the skills present within the team, we did not have the capacity to dedicate to this piece of work. As a result, this project has been of real value to the organisation.

The delivery of the student internship with the University of Exeter was a really positive experience. We felt that we were fully supported through the whole process by Jo (in the Career Zone) and her team. It was a very beneficial placement and the internship provided real pleasure to everyone in involved, as well has having been of benefit as a skills exchange.

Quote from the Intern:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at SSE Cornwall and believe that it has made me a more well-rounded and adaptable employee. I have truly learnt the meaning of “making the best of a bad situation”, as I have seen first-hand how small business owners have had to adjust and triumph in the face of adversity (Covid19). Moreover, SSE themselves – and the fantastic team – had to move all their teaching and resources online and have remained just as successful and engaging as ever, even introducing a new Women’s Enterprise programme despite the pandemic.”