In early 2011 B&Q and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation went out looking for a team of bright young candidates to form B&Q’s first ever Youth Board.
I am Harris Aslam from Kirkcaldy, Fife, aged 16. I saw the B&Q Youth Board as a great way to step into the world of business and retailing, which I have always wanted to do, and to help make B&Q and ultimately the Kingfisher group, an even better, stronger and more profitable organisation. The final on Saturday was a truly amazing and unique experience, one which I am sure all of the finalists won’t forget for a long time yet.
The atmosphere of the day was amazing and everybody had a great time. The year ahead holds some fantastic opportunities for the youth board including a weekend meeting to be held in the Isle of Wight. Everybody is looking forward to giving the maximum input and receiving a fantastic experience from all the meetings to come in the year ahead. I can’t wait until we get to work with board of directors and CEO, Martyn Phillips, they are the best in the business and I am sure will be great mentors. The year ahead beholds a great deal of opportunity to prosper and flourish.
Harris is shadowing Nick Folland, B&Q’s Legal and Corporate Responsibility Director.
Nick Folland is Legal and Corporate Responsibility Director, Kingfisher plc, B&Q plc. Nick joined Kingfisher in May 2007 and the B&Q Board in July 2009. He leads Kingfisher's and B&Q's legal affairs, company secretariats and corporate responsibility programmes. He is also responsible for Kingfisher Group government relations, health & safety and insurance. Nick was previously Company Secretary and Group Legal Director at EMAP having qualified as a solicitor at Linklaters and Paines.
Harris on meeting Nick Folland:
The initial meeting with Kingfisher’s Legal and Corporate Responsibility Director, Nick Folland was one of the most educational, beneficial and enjoyable evenings of my life. A fantastic range of topics were discussed during the evening and a vast deal of experience was gained from my mentor. I truly cannot wait until our next meeting in December.
Harris on the Isle of Wight induction weekend:
We kicked off the weekend on the island with an introduction to the evening from Katie presenting the circular economy and one of the ways of achieving this through growing oyster mushrooms on coffee waste. An amazing fact we learned during this was that only 0.02% of coffee bean is actually used in the coffee and the other 99.98% is waste.
Some fantastic team building exercises were done during the weekend including water activities such as rafting and kayaking as well as more professional tasks including the comparisons between the linear and circular economy and a deep insight into both the Kingfisher group and the Ellen Macarthur foundation. It was a truly inspirational weekend including meeting Ellen MacArthur herself as well as the CEO of B&Q, Martyn Phillips.
The Isle of Wight experience was excellent and very fun as it was the first time the entire Youth Board worked together and the evening showed what fantastic results can be made by working as a team. The strength of each individual was identified in the tasks on the day and the experience was a great starting point paving the way for the team presenting to the full B&Q Board.
End note from B&Q:
Harris’ mentor Nick left B&Q's Board in 2012 to become Kingfisher’s Corporate Affairs Director: Net Positive – www.kingfisher.com/netpositive Harris is continuing to study for two degrees in Scotland.
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