Business Studies graduate Lina Valle completed her graduate internship with WeAreWaterloo (WaW), the local Business Improvement District (BID) of which LSBU is a member. WaW creates a safer and more pleasant trading environment for local businesses, and actively promotes Waterloo as an area that attracts visitors, while maintaining its unique character.
A valuable learning experience
“During my internship I worked on the different activities WeAreWaterloo are focused on,” explains Lina. “I worked with the marketing manager and I learnt about CMS and marketing projects; with the operational manager I learnt about the environmental plans for the Waterloo area and other services that the BID provides for businesses. While with the Lower Marsh Market manager, I learnt how valuable the market is for new traders and how to help them boost their business. I also managed different IT systems and developed databases to support the organisation’s reporting. Overall, I learnt a lot about the area but also much about management of resources and how to help the area improve. I learnt how to help the businesses develop and improve their marketing.
Leading to an important role
After completing her internship Lina worked with the Lower Marsh market manager on an ad-hoc basis to continue her management of the databases and support of the market. When the BID support officer role was advertised, Lina saw her opportunity. She applied for the post through Employ SE1, a company that works in partnership with the BID. After securing the job, she now fulfils that role alongside studying part-time for her master’s degree in Business Information Technology.
“I’m definitely still learning,” she says. “I need to learn more to build my career properly. As an example, I’m developing my IT skills so that I can do things that I have never done before such as designing and developing stronger databases. I’m also dealing a lot with customers and clients and, as a result, learning how to manage my time better. I’m learning and making improvements day by day, which I know will help me to build my career. Ideally, I’d like to gain as much experience as possible and then move on to a management or executive role.”
Building enterprise skills and confidence in her future
Lina reveals that the aspects of the job she most enjoys are the involvement with the traders and the different businesses, and being part of a close-knit team, all of which have seen her “gain confidence in myself and given me belief in the things I can achieve. I have learnt new skills and come up with new ideas for the BID, and I now feel ready to face different and new challenges.”