Grammar School student Jennifer Webster has been named winner of the 2013 Institute of Directors (IoD) Management Shadowing Awards.
The awards were held at the Duke of Richmond Hotel on 16 October and Miss Webster was one of ten shortlisted finalists. Here she presented a warm, insightful and humorous account of her time shadowing Clive Fenner, Managing Director of timber and builders’ merchant Norman Piette.
Each presentation was judged by the IoD Management Shadowing panel comprising Brooke Kenyon, consultant at Orchard PR; Joanna Watts, IoD Guernsey committee member; Alex Rodger, chairman of Collas Crill; and Debbie Smith, Executive Director at KPMG in the Channel Islands.
During her presentation, Miss Webster highlighted that the key to being a good manager lay in strong communication and people skills. She recalled how, despite the snowy February weather during her time shadowing Mr Fenner, he still found time to chat to staff about their families and football as well as work-related matters.
The scheme, sponsored by KPMG in the Channel Islands in both Guernsey and Jersey, provided around 60 students with the opportunity to gain valuable managerial skills and business insight, by shadowing managers from a wide range of local organisations.
The other shortlisted candidates were Rebecca Burton, Jordan Cameron, Jade Goracy Kevin Hainsworth, Sam Hale, Nicole Hewlett, Cameron Homer, Lauren Ogier, Laura Prikule. During the evening each student made presentations to the judging panel, representatives from shadow companies (which included Aztec, Betley Whitehorne, Guernsey Cheshire Home, Guernsey Post, HSBC Private Bank, JT, Mercator Trust, Norman Piette, PwC and Standard Chartered) and their parents and guests. Each student discussed the experiences they had witnessed with their respective organisations.
Martyn Mann, IoD Committee member and host for the evening, praised all the students for their high standard of presentations. This year the IOD committee had decided to widen the number of shortlisted places from six to ten.
“The standard seems to get better and better each year, giving the judges an unenviable task. Because of this, we decided to increase the number of shortlisted students,” said Mr Mann.
“The finalists’ presentations were outstanding and really surpassed our expectations. It certainly reaffirms how worthwhile the scheme is, while reminding us that there are some very talented young people on the island, many of whom will undoubtedly be future leaders of Guernsey’s business community.”
Miss Webster was thrilled with her victory on the night.
“I was in complete shock. I think I turned bright red! The quality of all the presentations was so high, I was sure I didn’t stand a chance. Being part of the management shadowing scheme was a great experience. It challenges all the managerial stereotypes and forces you to think differently in a dynamic and high-pressure environment. If you’re looking for a challenge and for something brilliant to add to your CV or personal statement, I would highly recommend it.
“The awards evening was fantastic, everyone was so supportive and the atmosphere was great. Everyone did so well, not just the finalists. The IoD and KPMG are incredibly generous and the shadowing experience is something I can say I’m proud to have taken part in,” she said.
The IoD in Guernsey has been running the scheme annually for a number of years and welcomes the participation of companies and students who wish to gain valuable work experience.
IoD Chairman Mark Palfrey thanked all the participants and urged companies to sign up for the scheme next year.
“I would like to thank all the companies who take part. It is very rewarding for the managers who are being shadowed. The students have a fresh way of seeing things and it can make us question and challenge ourselves as managers.”
Mrs Smith was pleased to see another successful conclusion to the scheme.
“KPMG is proud to partner with the IoD as a long-standing sponsor in such a relevant and meaningful initiative. Even though as a judge it is so difficult to decide on a winner, it is also inspiring to see such talented young people taking part in the scheme,” she said.
Category: Finance & Business