“It is critical to cultivate entrepreneurialism in young people as early as possible. The kind of skills common in successful entrepreneurs are some of the most important for life. According to Forbes, four of the fundamental entrepreneurial skills are: Attention to Detail; Communication; Persistence and Risk Taking. The work experience our Sixth Formers have been privileged to undertake at growth focused tech investment fund, Digital Spring Ventures, has been tremendously useful in helping students develop in all these key areas.”
Elizabeth Kelleher, Head of Business, Economics and Careers, Cranleigh Abu Dhabi
Digital Spring Ventures says:
Having initiated our first internship programme for secondary school students almost seven months ago, it has now become a core part of our HR internship strategy.
It was initially born through our Corporate Social Responsibility programme aiming at giving back to our community by sharing knowledge and experience. However, it quickly grew beyond this, yielding clear benefits to our company and its operations. Most importantly, it allowed us to gain a unique first hand understanding of Generation Z who are rapidly becoming the core consumers of the technology products we are investing in. It also served to help us integrate with our ecosystem early in the education cycle and promote its evolution.
Through this programme, we have become conscious that we are only at the early stages of this learning process, and are adapting our internal procedures and corporate DNA to implement an expanded and more meaningful ongoing internship programme along with a more developed mentorship programme.
These young professionals have not only demonstrated their capacity for delivering meaningful work but also proven they can add tangible value if given the right opportunity.
Having an innovative mindset starts internally and is only possible through true diversity of which generational diversity, although more important than ever, is often forgotten. Through our secondary school internship programme with Cranleigh Abu Dhabi, University internship programme with NYUAD and our post-grad internship programme, we are looking to retain the best talent in country and create a sustainable source for future talent recruitment.
Managing Partner, Digital Spring Ventures LLP
Year 12 Interns say:
Tasks we were given focused primarily on research and analysis. We sourced important data about the UAE, for example, GDP/ GDP per capita for the past decade and the top ten factors that contributed most to this (so we could search for potential fields to invest in). We also looked into UAE imports and exports over the past ten years, again trying to ascertain the strategic drivers behind the facts and figures.
Internationally, we researched several technology start-up companies. This involved finding general information about their market size, competitors etc. We also researched their leadership teams including who they are, their education level, past careers and future ambitions. These insights were then used to support Digital Spring’s senior executives so they were well prepared for their initial meetings with these start-ups when potential investment opportunities were explored.
We also received some lessons from the company about their strategy and different business/ economics terminologies. These insights helped us deliver another of our tasks which was to support the creation of a marketing presentation about Digital Spring Ventures and what they do. This is being used with investors, potential interns and others.
What did we learn? We all feel like our collaboration skills have improved a lot as we had to work together closely as a group to achieve our goals. Time management is another area that became very important. We were given deadlines and had to organise ourselves to meet them. And our confidence when speaking publicly has definitely grown as we had to communicate our findings regularly through presentations. Finally, our knowledge of how to use Excel effectively has greatly improved as a lot of our research data was presented in spreadsheet format.
We all really enjoyed our time at Digital Spring Ventures and have a much better insight into how professional companies work as a result of the internship.
Year 12 Interns: Joachim, Xinyi and Maria