Inspiresme Week is a scheme which gives young people valuable insight into the inner workings of startups and small businesses so they can learn entrepreneurial skills on the ground.
Inspiresme Week has been set up by the Workspace Group, the Greater London Authority and Business in the Community (BITC) to allow businesses to reach out and help young people gain experience and confidence in the professional world.
Electrolight was just one of the businesses that took part this year. Based at Pill Box, Electrolight is a multi-award winning international design consultancy. We talked to Director Paul Beale about why he decided to take part in the scheme and student Seema.
Tell us a bit about your company
Electrolight is a specialist architectural lighting design consultancy with studios in Australia, London and the US.
You need to think as an entrepreneur to constantly challenge the norms and carve out something unique.
How has an entrepreneurial frame of mind helped your business?
I think that to make it is such a vibrant city as London you absolutely need to think with the development of your brand and business in front of mind. It's fairly certain that no matter what your line of work is, there will be someone else out who does what you do and they're probably really good. How to stand out in the crowd? You need to think as an entrepreneur to constantly challenge the norms and carve out something unique and amazing with your own personal flavour.
Why have you decided to get involved in InspiresMe Week?
I decided to get involved in InspiresMe Week because I wanted to give someone the opportunity to gain experience of a progressive workplace. It's also really nice to have a new face in the team for a short time and to benefit from their enthusiasm and outlook.
What did you want to do when you were your student's age?
When I was 16, I left school with no qualifications and entered the workforce on a Youth Training Scheme as a trainee electrician. I was given an opportunity then and have never looked back. I'd like to be able to do the same for someone else.
And Seema told us more about her experience working at Electrolight. She's 16 and goes to Ark Academy Sixth Form.
What have you learnt this week and how will you use these skills in the future?
As well as learning about the process of lighting design, I've researched about how blue light affects the circadian system.
For the process of lighting design I've observed a talk through about the programmes they use. I've also observed a meeting with a client and group discussions. I've attended a lecture by Barrie Wilde about daylight which concerns the lighting design course. I've gained knowledge while listening to the lecture, knowledge that could be put into use for lighting design.
Electrolight has definitely inspired me to consider lighting design for a course in university.
I've also been given the chance to look at CVs that have been submitted to the company (both rejected and accepted) for an interview which helped me get an idea of what I'd need in order to get a job in electrolight.
The skills and knowledge I've acquired here will be used in the future to get an idea of one of my possible future careers and get a head start on a field I'd like to practice. Electrolight has definitely inspired me to consider lighting design for a course in university and a future career. This has enlightened my future pathway, as I had no idea as to where I'm headed (before this week).
Which entrepreneur do you most admire?
Steve Jobs, because he brought technology to an advanced level. After this work placement it has made me realise that technology plays a big part in light design and many other fields of work. In this modern time period, if you walk into almost any professional work office you will most likely find macs rather than Toshiba PCs. Not only has it made work easier but Apple provides easier access and exchange of basic things like photos and documents. iCloud has proven to be a very reliable storage space when technology fails.
Find out more about Electrolight.