In early 2011 B&Q and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation went out looking for a team of bright young candidates to form B&Qís first ever Youth Board.
My name is Daniel Beattie, a 17-year-old from Aberdare, a small village in South Wales. Iíve recently been chosen to be part of B&Qs Youth Board. Thereís so much that I am looking forward to in the year ahead. I canít wait to find out how a large business such as B&Q operates at the top. I am going to meet new people and hopefully have a fantastic time which I cannot wait for.
Iím sure that this year will provide me with many interesting and exciting challenges; I am thoroughly looking forward to embracing them to hopefully help B&Q, and also to further develop myself as a person. I entered the competition because since starting Business Studies lessons in school, I have had a massive interest in the topic, and for me to have an opportunity to get an insight into a business as big as B&Q was an opportunity I could not miss out on. When asked to go to the final I was ecstatic, I was so grateful for the opportunity to get to the final, and to get picked for the final nine was just amazing, I never expected it. The final was a really fun day. I really enjoyed meeting new people. I particularly enjoyed the challenge where we had to design our own product. It was fun getting stuck in and properly making something. Overall the whole experience so far has been superb and I canít wait for the next stage!
Daniel is shadowing James Skelton, B&Qís Finance Director.
James Skelton is Finance Director, Kingfisher UK (which incorporates B&Q and Screwfix) since 2008. Prior to this, he was Deputy Group Finance Director for the Kingfisher Group following a career of 10 years at Tesco. James had a number of roles at Tesco, including FD Tesco-Lotus in Thailand from 2001Ė2006, and leadership roles in commercial and retail finance in the UK. James gained an Economics degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, and qualified as an ACA at PriceWaterhouse in London and spent four years in Pizza Hut UK, part of the Whitbread Group, in internal audit and various management roles. James is married, with three children, and lives near Chesham in Buckinghamshire.
Daniel on meeting James Skelton:
We have all been paired with a mentor to help us through the year. My mentor is the Financial Director, James Skelton. James visited my school for a one-to-one. We started off with a quick walk around the school, grabbed a coffee and I introduced James to the members of staff in the school, including my Headmaster and Head of Year who briefly talked about the B&Q Youth Board - they were really pleased to meet James. The rest of the time, James and I chatted and got to know each other a bit better and he gave me a better knowledge about what B&Q was all about. He is a friendly person and we got on extremely well. We talked about his role in B&Q and also about my life, what Iím doing in school and why I was interested in the B&Q Youth Board.
I really enjoyed the one-to-one because it helped me get a better understanding of B&Q in general and it also gave me a direct connection to the B&Q Board if I never need anything. I can now contact him any time I want, which is really good to help with the development of the process. I enjoyed meeting James, heís a great person who is keen to help me and I canít wait to catch up with him soon!
Daniel on the Isle of Wight induction weekend:
The Isle of Wight weekend was fantastic! I had already met all of the members on the Youth Board at the final, where we were all working really hard so there was little room for socialising. The weekend gave us a much better opportunity to get to know each other. Everyone is really friendly, I get along well with everyone and I can see the nine of us being an extremely strong team when working together judging by the relationships we have built and from the groupís enthusiasm.
We were given many inspirational and interesting chats from various members of B&Q and The Ellen MacArthur foundation, and even Ellen MacArthur herself! It was amazing to hear her talk about the foundation, she was so determined, a real inspiration. Altogether over the weekend I learned a vast amount about many things, including the circular economy which I found particularly interesting. All of these things will help me and the rest of the Youth Board massively when working on our challenge for the year which was revealed on Sunday. It was exciting to find out what it was and I canít wait to get into full flow with it and work through what is an extremely open challenge.
We took part in water activities too, kayaking and raft building. It was great fun; I love the water and fell in a lot! Too much in fact! It further developed our team and had a lot of fun at the same time!
December in Southampton
Since the induction weekend on the Isle of Wight I’ve learned so much. It’s difficult to recall it all because there has been so much! We spent a weekend in December at Foxlease in the New Forest and visited a near-by B&Q store where we learned a lot about waste disposal, the process and what actually happens. We were introduced to the concept of planning a presentation and also met with Euan Sutherland, who is CEO of Kingfisher UK and Ireland – it was really great to meet Euan and get his view on things. We also made further developments towards our overall project by splitting ourselves into groups to focus on different aspects of whether it might be possible for B&Q to implement a take-back model. My focus is on repairing. I had to research and look into the possibility of B&Q taking back products to be repaired and restored, rather than wasted. It’s a really interesting area to look at – I’m really enjoying it!
We’ve found out we’re going to be presenting at the Retail Week Conference in March. When I found out that we’d be doing this I was thrilled. It’s such a great opportunity to meet important people from a variety of massive retail businesses, and to let them know what we’re doing and what we believe lies ahead in the future. Although the presentation seems a daunting prospect it’s a great challenge but one I’m massively looking forward to.
February in Kettering
Our most recent meeting gave us time to focus on our forthcoming Retail Week presentation and how we are going to fill our 45 minute slot. We had some presentation skills training from a really brilliant B&Q trainer – who helped extract all our ideas and helped us understand how to work most effectively during team discussions and what is needed to deliver a good presentation. I personally took a lot away from the weekend. What will be in our presentation exactly, as of yet, I’m not sure but we are getting there and so far it seems to be on the right track. My role in this task is to assist Mark and Jamie who are going to be the two main presenters. I’ll be helping them write and plan their scripts as well as giving feedback on their performance to ensure the presentation is as good as it possibly can be! I’m so grateful to have an input into something like this.
February – securing a part time job with my local B&Q
Recently I have managed to secure a job at my local B&Q in Merthyr Tydfil working on the tills. It’s great for me on a personal level to teach me life skills in the world of work and to further develop myself and my knowledge of the retail world – which I wish my career to be in. More than this though, it has helped, and will further help me, on my challenge with the Youth Board. The role is enabling me to learn more about B&Q, to understand existing products and existing methods. I am contiiously developing my knowledge about B&Q, which is helping me massively. It gives me the change to interact with customers and I’m now viewing the business from a number of different angles. I’ve build a relationship with the store manager since starting the job which is great because I can now bounce some of our ideas off him as well. Everyone is really friendly and so far, I love the job.
© B&Q 2013 - Terms & Conditions