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.
Iím Carys, 18, from Cardiff. I have just achieved AAB in Biology, Psychology and Maths A-levels and the Welsh Baccalaureate.
Iím on a gap year to focus on my volunteering, and achieve some wider experiences and skills.
Iím working as a UK Youth intern, organising an awards ceremony at St Jamesís Palace for 500 guests including royalty, and I love my job! I hope to study Psychology at university next year Ė Iím not sure about what I want to do afterwards, but I like the idea of charity work or business, especially as a director or CEO.
I entered this competition because I thought it would be great to get some experience in business. I also have experience on a youth board as the elected Wales Representative and PR & Media officer for UK Youth Voice, and UK Youth trustee. I hugely enjoy my work for UK Youth Voice and knew I would love working on B&Qís Youth Board, which was confirmed at the finals.
Iím looking forward to gaining an insight into how B&Q operates, as Iíve no experience working in business. We also have a really strong team and I canít wait to see our ideas develop over the year. Itís rare for young peopleís voices to be valued so much and I canít wait to prove that we are worthy of it.
My favourite part of Saturday was designing/creating a B&Q product, I loved the creative side. It was also such a broad task, meaning everyone could contribute their best strengths, be it creativity, finance or persuasive talking! I also loved getting my own B&Q apron!
Thank you for giving me this opportunity, I look forward to meeting you soon.
Carys is shadowing Katherine Paterson, B&Qís Marketing Director.
Katherine Paterson is B&Qís Marketing Director, having joinined the company in February 2011. She leads B&Qís Marketing team including customer insight, financial services, all advertising, instore brand marketing and PR and local community activation. Prior to joining, Katherine was Marketing Director at ASDA and before that worked for Mars Inc.
February in Kettering
To start preparing for our Retail Week Conference presentation, we spent our first afternoon working on our presentation skills with support from B&Q’s Learning and Development team. We studied speeches by President Barrak Obama and Martin Luther King Jr, practiced our public speaking, and got given some great tips on how to put together a really strong presentation – which really helped us all in thinking about what we wanted to do at Retail Week Conference.
The next day we went on a visit to a local recycling business, Think 3E, who operate a closed loop system bringing in waste from businesses and sorting, dismantling and recycling all the waste to be used to make new products - it was great to see a business combating waste through circular economy principles!
In the afternoon, we began working on our presentation for the Retail Week Conference and brainstormed some great ideas. It’s such a big platform to present to hundreds of CEOs and senior retail professionals, we spent the afternoon to make sure we were going to deliver something amazing – watch this space!
Early March – Retail Week conference
This was a really memorable experience, and one that I learnt a lot from. Although I wasn't one of the primary members involved in creating the presentation, I helped work on the scripts, and was then lucky enough to be able to present a short, 1 minute piece on B&Q's Carrierpac for kitchen worktops at the end of the presentation.
It was pretty nerve-racking on the day, especially given the hype surrounding our presentation, but we were all really excited and confident we would do well. Although I had done some public speaking before, I hadn't done any to this scale - 400+ CEOs and directors - so when the team and I all succeeded in delivering our parts well and got a brilliant response from the audience, both about our presenting skills and wanting to re-think their business, it was definitely worth the hard work.
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