Category Archives: Retail

Employer Case Study: QWERTY Beer Box

Name of Organisation: QWERTY Beer Box

Description of Organisation: QWERTY Beer Box is a year one University of Exeter startup, formed in March 2020 to give independent breweries the national recognition they deserve. We’ve since put together 4 independent craft beer selections (Best of the Cotswolds, Devon, Bristol and Wales), partnered with over 40 breweries, worked with numerous high profile corporate clients and sold over 1500 QWERTY Beer Boxes. In 2021 we are looking to triple our 2020 annual sales, export British craft beer to the EU and explore numerous other sales channels.

Name of Employer: Quinn Leatherbarrow-Stokes

Job Title: Co Founder

Internship Scheme usedAccess to Internships (A2I),  Student Business Partnerships (SBPs) 

Feedback:

Together with the intern we were able to define a project that would entail discovering and pursuing incremental sales opportunities in the B2B market across the Southwest (Devon, Cornwall & The Cotswolds). They became an expert in this area of the business and were able to add value to the overall business. Although not leading directly to immediate sales it has paved the way for future expansion and we are in the process of bringing them back on board come September.

Given the results achieved and the attitude and talent demonstrated by the student I do not think there are any obvious improvements. One aspect that I did find helped the relationship was that I was a student at the University of Exeter last year and so was aware of other commitments and we were able to work together on this.

The A2I team have been amazing. They worked with us to put together a job listing and advertised it to the talented students at the University of Exeter. We had a shortlist of students and were able to find someone who was perfect for the role. The student themselves added significant value to the QWERTY Beer Box team and business and gave us the extra capacity to pursue incremental opportunities.

Student Case Study – True Story

Name of Student:  Emma Fear

Degree Subject:  BA English

Job Title:  Christmas Account Manager

Company Name:  True Story

Type of Internship:  Santander SME

Description of Company: As an independent creative agency, we’re used to working with brands and retailers across all channels, both in the UK and globally. Our concepts translate into real-world experiences for customers that deliver measurable commercial results. 

What were your key duties and responsibilities during your internship? 

I was on a team that was the liaison point between a large team of designers and the Boots UK in store marketing Christmas team. I had to ensure briefs were communicated effectively and deadlines were met for delivering completed artwork files to the client.   

What outputs and outcomes did you deliver for your employer? 

I produced weekly market research reports for Boots which allowed other account managers more time to manage larger projects and also gave Boots an insight into their competitors. I also ensured that artwork files were delivered in a timely manner so that print deadlines were hit. This meant being aware of the designers workloads and timeframes and doing everything in my power to support them to reach the deadlines we set.

What was your biggest achievement on your internship? 

Boots asked true story to produce prototype artwork of in store marketing materials that were not yet fully completed in the creative stage for use in a mock-up show room. I project managed this whole product, which meant delivering over 200 pieces of prototype artwork to a really tight deadline. To do this, I ensured I provided daily updates to the client, the designers and the rest of my team so we were all aware of how much work was left to do. I also made sure that things went as smoothly as possible by remaining in constant communication with the client so feedback could be delivered and auctioned promptly. We ended up meeting the deadline and all material was in the showroom on time for the senior members of the Boots team to see it.

What did not go so well on your internship? How did you overcome any challenges? 

There were large issues on a piece of work I was covering for somebody who was on holiday. As I was the only one in the office, I had to ensure that the client knew the limitations of the situation and the problems we had. This was incredibly difficult as it was not a client I had built up previous rapport with and this was my first dealings with them. I overcame these challenges by remaining calm and honest with the client and helping them to understand how the situation had occurred. I also contacted my line manager and alerted her to the problem so that if it escalated further she would know the situation clearly enough to have an input. This move proved invaluable when she was later called up and asked to make an important decision regarding this project.

Skills Learnt:

  • Problem solving
  • Negotiation
  • Persuasion
  • Leadership
  • Customer Service

Attributes Developed:

  • Confidence
  • Initiative
  • Perseverance
  • Motivation

Your message to other students considering a similar job role, organisation or sector? 

“My internship was enormously useful to me both personally and professionally. It has given me the confidence and experience to pursue a graduate position in a large company and taught me so much about having a full-time job.”

 

Sport Science Executive and Sales Assistant – Rugged Interactive

UoE Internship, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I helped to develop specific exercises and training programmes to complete whilst using Rugged Interactive products. These were taken to professional football clubs and gyms where I learnt about how they used our products and how their athletes benefit from using them. I researched and developed information for the website to inform potential customers about the benefits and background of using our products. I helped set up an experimental trial in a school in Cornwall. This was to gain an understanding and information on how our products could help motivate children to exercise through using interactive equipment and see if there were any benefits gained from using the products daily. I attended exhibitions with Rugged Interactive – including sport specific conferences, disability and physical activity promotion conferences. I supported my manager with sales and the administration of sales. This involved discussing with customers what products could be most beneficial to their organisation and talking them through the process of ordering a bespoke product.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Working in a small company has meant I gained insight into all areas of this business. I was given the responsibility of setting up a physical activity trial in a school in Cornwall. It was exciting to see how our products can benefit children both physically and mentally.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I helped update and improve the content of the website ensuring there was in-depth detail about how the interactive products can benefit a range of customers – whether it be elite athletes, disabled users or personal trainers. I used my knowledge at exhibitions to discuss the physical and psychological benefits of using our products. I helped with the sales process, ensuring this ran smoothly and helped with the sales process. I even made my first independent sale for the company!

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

As with any job that involves customer service, ensuring the customer felt supported and valued at all times was important. There were occasional problems where we were short of stock for a certain delivery and therefore, this meant a slight delay for a customer. However, ensuring I kept the customer informed of where their order was and at what stage of production we were at was important. This has made me realise how important it is to let the customer know what is going on at all times.

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International Buying Intern – International Dance Supplies

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I began working upstairs in the offices on the company database (Khaos Control), and did extensive work with price lists – including calculating discounts, rearranging price lists, and sorting through characteristics of products. I also spent a lot of time working in a more practical role, helping out with Quality Control within the warehouse picking and packing department, print department, cutting patterns, creating and printing care labels for product orders, and general kit building when needed.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

Doing the internship reaffirmed by desire to work within a smaller, but still expanding business where it is essential for each member of the team to help out across all departments. I have also greatly improved my skills working within the database and am not longer afraid of busy spreadsheets!

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I feel that during my time at IDS I managed to help out a large number of my colleagues in terms of lightening their workload, and perhaps doing the more practical jobs so they could be afforded the time to progress more with their workloads. I have been thanked on numerous occasions for taking on a mundane and lengthy job for someone so they could have the chance to make good ground on the work they needed to undertake.

“The 12 week internship has been extremely useful in supporting one of our busiest teams through a period of change. Grace was able to integrate efficiently and effectively into the team to provide support across a range of tasks and responsibilities.” – HR Manager, International Dance Supplies

Assistant Buyer – Hunter Stoves

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I spent most of my time researching potential markets for new business enterprises, statistically analysing data in order to operationalise the popularity of existing products, thus providing useful information on which features our product should include.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I normally find presentations difficult, but in the context of the job I was twice able to give confident presentations which my colleagues enjoyed and found extremely useful. This was the first time I have ever come away from a presentation feeling really good about my performance.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

The team were able to enter a new market with confidence thanks to my research and advice, which was pivotal in determining their spending and choices.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

Most of my work was done at a computer, and so to get a more hands-on feel for the industry I went and visited several showrooms in person.

Intern – Sancho’s Dress

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

I was responsible for connecting with other kickstarter projects.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt lots about Fashion retail which will be really helpful in my prospective career of fashion buying.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

I was able to contribute to a kickstarter project which helped with the workload of my colleagues.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

I encountered problems with communicating and networking with different groups of people but my employees assisted me and gave me advice and help and now I feel confident with networking.

“Georgina has helped us to expand our business including working on a kickstarter campaing in which we raised £12,000” – Kalkidan Legesse

Silver and Jewellery Intern – Sotheby’s

Universtiy of Exeter Internships, UoE Internships, SCP, SBP, GBP, A2I

What were your main duties and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My most time consuming activity was research on pieces of art, which included authenticating the material, its origin, brand and artist; its history and value. For silver pieces, this meant mostly studying the marks. For jewels, research was about estimating the purity of the stone (in most cases they were diamonds). I participated in a few auction sales: presenting lots, or converting Euros into USD, GBP and HKD for international clients. I was also responsible for archiving data on sold lots and upcoming inventories, supervising the restoration of silver artefacts (on client demand), and generally assisting the experts I worked with. I hosted clients and participated in meetings where we would analyse and give an appreciation of an artefact’s value with chemical tests and professional equipment. Most of the research I carried out was part of the preparation for the winter sales.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I perfected my research skills over many specific assignments on silver-wear artefacts. My assignments led me to the French National Archives, an environment in which a history student can fully appreciate and familiarise with the non-exhaustive list of documents and sources at his disposal. These assignments allowed me to further my skills and methodology, a few weeks before starting research on my third year dissertation.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

All my research contributed to satisfying client demand (both from the seller and from the buyer). I lightened the workload of my supervisor, and I also managed to further my knowledge of the real value of artefacts through the outcomes of my research.
My help was often sought when translating English to French or otherwise, as Sotheby’s has its most important offices in New York and London. I realised how much of an advantage it is to be fluent in French and English.

Did you encounter any problems during the course of your internship and if so, how did you overcome them?

One problem I faced as soon as I arrived at Sotheby’s was that I was unfamiliar with technical language of  silver-art and jewellery and with the techniques used to appraise objects . For example, it took me a lot of time at first to identify a mark on a silver-wear piece. After some time, I became faster, gained better judgement and autonomy from my supervisor.

As I was left alone on assignments after a few days, I had to carry-out my research without guidance. At first, I only used Gallica and WorldCat. After a few days, I became familiar with other, less obvious databases: our local archives, and specialised libraries (not necessarily catalogued online). I called contacts in other departments or outside of Sotheby’s, who were able to point me in unexplored directions. I was therefore able to use different research supports, and used this diversity to improve my research.

I was often teamed up with another intern named Josephine. She was passionate about jewellery. We would often seek each other’s help and opinion on our assignments, which allowed us to combine forces and overcome difficulties.

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