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FinTrU and Ulster University Business School co-design Talent Hub

Thursday 14 December 2023

Ulster University Business School celebrates the next generation of North West leaders who successfully completed the 2023 Talent Hub, concluding the programme in style with a Grand Finale event at the Great Hall at Derry~Londonderry campus this week.

‘Talent Hub’ is an innovative initiative, co-designed with key industry partner FinTrU and in collaboration with The Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, aimed to connect talented students with local employers to help them foster professional networks, whilst committing future talent to the North West region. 

Nearly 100 Global Business and Enterprise students participated in a series of four co-designed workshops, collaboratively created between Ulster University Business School and North West businesses. These workshops equipped students with essential skills, knowledge, and networking opportunities, enhancing their potential employability and ensuring skill alignment with employer needs in the working world. 

As part of the event, the 'Pitch for Placement' segment saw the  business students showcasing their talents to a captivated audience of over 20 local employers and business leaders such as FinTrU, Alchemy, Fujitsu, Kainos, Deloitte and Bio Ledger, from the North West region and beyond, all contending for the opportunity to secure a 12-month work placement within these organisations. 

Throughout the Talent Hub series, students honed their personal and organisational awareness. The workshops emphasised active learning and applied skills, encouraging authentic engagement with business leaders to meet the agile demands of today’s working world. Students also had the chance to visit FinTrU’s newly renovated Patrick Street office, gaining first-hand experience of corporate culture, and developed communication skills during an interactive round table networking event. 

At the event, Caroline O’Neill, founder of DiggforSuccess, hosted a live podcast with FinTrU's Executive Director and North West Site Lead, Greg McCann, discussing company culture, collaboration in the North West, and ways businesses can elevate the profile of the next generation of leaders. 

Greg McCann, FinTrU Executive Director and North West Site Lead, said “FinTrU is delighted with the work of the Talent Hub and the partnership with UU. The nurturing of graduate talent is essential for FinTrU's growth plans and it is fantastic to be involved with this innovative initiative in the North West. It is a great example of what University/Business partnerships can deliver to help grow the North West economy."

Caroline spoke of her collaboration with The Talent Hub: “It is so exciting to work with the Talent Hub and see first hand how a difference is being made in the lives of students by training them with the skills needed to nurture their talents and improve their confidence and self belief. I truly believe the impact that the Talent Hub has will have a ripple effect for years to come as students embark on life outside of university in the world of work.”  

Dr Aisling Reid, Lecturer in Business Enterprise at Ulster University and founder of The Talent Hub, said “I am so proud of what the Talent Hub has become through co-design and support from local employers. It plays a core role in the North West talent pipeline, connecting future talent with established leaders. By building strong partnerships with North West businesses, we are aligning to business needs to develop agile students with professional confidence. The Talent Hub has become a community with a sense of belonging. Together we are celebrating and harvesting talent in the North West region. We have exciting plans to develop the concept further."

Aoife McCloskey, a second-year student added, “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the Talent Hub. This experience has enabled me to step out of my comfort zone whilst still remaining in a safe environment. It opened my horizons to various businesses I wouldn't have previously been familiar with and gave us the opportunity to make some incredible networking connections. These will help us when gaining placements - an invaluable experience and opportunity.” 

Anna Doherty, CEO of the Derry/Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said “The Derry Chamber is delighted to work so closely with Aisling and her team on the development of Talent Hub, especially at a time when growing skills and a sustainable talent pipeline has never been more important for business. The Talent Hub is a key initiative from Ulster Business School which brings businesses and students together to learn from each other. We look forward to continuing this collaboration to support a thriving North West economy.”

The Talent Hub has provided FinTrU with a platform to foster an interest for Financial Services in the North West region whilst positively influencing and supporting the employability of local graduate talent at Ulster University. FinTrU commends the students on their ambition, enthusiasm and participation throughout the workshops and has welcomed their applications for the 2024 FinTrU Placement Programme. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Ulster University and the Talent Hub. 

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