On Monday 15th September, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new edition of the Graduate European Programme. The programme offers university graduates the opportunity to undertake work experience in London at the same time as they attend Business English classes and workshops at Regent’s University London. The programme, which this year has 16 participants, started with an Induction week which included several talks and a visit to a company member of the Spanish Chamber. The Secretary General Mr. Igor Urra, along with Ms. Cristina Carmona, Head of Corporate Relations and Communication and Co-ordinator of the Programme, welcomed the group on Monday 15th September at the Spanish Chamber of Commerce premises. After the encouragement words from the Secretary General, who urged candidates to make the most of this opportunity, Cristina Carmona delivered a session aimed at helping candidates to succeed at the interviews they would be facing later in the week. The session also provided participants with useful tips to write a CV and Cover Letter.
Following a break, participants had the opportunity to meet Ms. Rosa Del Campo, Commercial Relationships Manager at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), who explained the role of the UKTI and how they support overseas companies to land in the UK, but also how they help UK-based companies to enter new markets. The session concluded with an overview of those countries with a significant foreign investment presence in the UK, and provided examples on how Spanish companies have increased their internationalisation plans in recent years. Later that day, two former participants of the Graduate European Programme visited the premises of the Chamber. Ms. Sandra Del Campo and Ms. Carlota Sánchez shared their experience with the attendees and explained how taking part in this programme eventually led them both to find a job in London. Sandra and Carlota encouraged this year’s participants to make the most of the English classes and especially of the work experience. The talk concluded with a round of questions about life in London, hints to do well at the interviews and the differences between work routines in Spain and UK.
Before starting the interviews phase, on Tuesday 16th September the induction week followed with a visit to Regent’s University London , Patron of the Spanish Chamber, where participants will be attending the Business English classes and workshops. Mr. Josef Mueller, new Associate Director of the Regent’s Institute of Languages and Culture, welcomed the participants on behalf of the University. Afterwards, the candidates had the opportunity to take a tour around the building to visit the different facilities for study and entertainment.
Next on the agenda was a visit to Ebury, a foreign exchange company of Spanish origin but headquartered in London, and one of the members of the Chamber. Mr. Fernando Cid, Head of the Spanish Desk and Mr. Joan Bonilla welcomed the attendees and provided them with an overview of the currency market, how it works and why it is important for companies to bear in mind foreign exchange rates when doing business abroad. They offered several examples of how Ebury had worked together with clients on large-scale projects and provided solutions tailored to their needs.
We would like to thank all the speakers for the different sessions they helped us organise and the companies that kindly collaborated with us during this week. We will be following the progress of this year’s participants and encourage them to make the most of this unique experience.