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Behind the Scenes at SIE by Jamie Ferguson

Ever wondered what actually happens behind the scenes at SIE? We welcomed Jamie Ferguson to shadow our Enterprise Programme Assistant, Danny Quinn, during January. Below, he reveals what he found out from his week at SIE…

I’m Jamie, a New College Lanarkshire student based at the Motherwell campus.  Recently, I had the pleasure of gaining some work experience within The Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) in a field that I had very little knowledge of: Innovation. Interested to learn more, I supported Danny to deliver SIE’s education programme for one week.

Our first day kicked off in West College Scotland, Clydebank Campus at 9am with a select group of HNC Hairdressers. Admittedly, I was rather nervous at the prospect of being in a new environment in front of students. My role at this point, was simply to help with the facilitation of the groups and observe the delivery of the programme. With a limited timeframe, we delivered a short but interactive session around idea development but much to my surprise the idea did not consist within their area of study but rather developing new yoghurt! My nerves were quickly dispelled as the students got lost in creativity and were soon pitching back their products with confidence.

In the afternoon, we met with a very different set of students, HNC Accountants. It wasn’t long before the interactive personality game had them on their feet, discussing the skills and qualities which they had which could be useful when developing business ideas. By the end of the session, each student had developed their own Business Model Canvas and had begun to vocalise their ideas.


It wasn’t until my third day with Danny that true nerves began to kick in. Our final session was delivering a tool called the ‘Value Proposition Canvas’ to West College Scotland Photography students, at the University of the West Scotland. Truthfully, this was intimidating as I came with pre-conceptions of what university was like and having never been in one before I was ready for a very formal, extremely serious environment. However, nothing could be further from the truth as I marvelled at the technological resources on display throughout the campus which seemed almost futuristic. Over 30 students joined us to learn about crafting value in a competitive field. This session resonated with me most as I learned how to put a value on my assets and have confidence to sell my skills to employers going forward.

Overall, this has been one of the most rewarding work placements I’ve completed. It has given me an understanding of the volume of work which is conducted behind the scenes by education leaders. I feel privileged to have been an addition to SIE’s workforce, if even only for a few days. I have taken so much away from this experience but the greatest thing I’ve learned is how valuable the entrepreneurial mind set is to me as a student, future employee or who knows, maybe one day the founder of my own organisation!
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