One week on, after the shock has worn off, we take a look back at the Scottish Business Awards 2015 and ask CEO Joy Lewis all about the event, George Clooney and Adopt an Intern’s big win.
Why did Adopt an Intern enter the Scottish Business Awards Customer Focus Award?
We’re a small team, only 6-core staff, who put everything into what we do. We love our customers: both graduates and employers. As a social enterprise 100% of our profits go back into helping them. By entering the SBA we wanted to stand up and say that no matter how small you are you can make a difference. We take a personal interest in every graduate we place and every business we work with, demonstrating that the customer really is at the heart of everything we do.
Were you surprised to win?
Most definitely, but it’s great to get the recognition for all the hard work. We were up against some incredible competition and we weren’t the obvious choice. We’re small and we’re a social enterprise. That said, we’re in a culture now where people want to be part of something bigger than themselves, where Corporate Social Responsibility has almost become a necessity and over 200 new social enterprises are being formed in Scotland every year. We give businesses the opportunity to be part of that something bigger by showing that doing good is good business.
What was the highlight of the awards for you (except winning, of course)?
I loved seeing and reconnecting with so many businesses that we have worked with and recruited for, and cheering on our employers who were both up for awards and won them. (Congrats to Gordon Dewer, Edinburgh Airport’s CEO who took home CEO of the Year!). With over 2000 businesses represented it was truly fascinating to see just how many of those companies we have already worked with, and how many more we’re talking to.
We’re all dying to know, what was George Clooney really like?
He was fabulous. A real inspiration and just as handsome in real life! I also heard Sir Chris Hoy speak at the daytime event, the Festival of Entrepreneurship and he too had me on the edge of my seat.
Now that you’re award winning, what’s next for Adopt an Intern?
We’re going to keep doing what we do. We work hard to attract candidates facing additional challenges entering the workforce and this is reflected in our graduate applications. We’ve got goals to grow the number of businesses we work with and graduates we support and ideas to help improve what we do but really this award is recognition of what we as a company already knew. For us, saying the customer is at the heart of the company isn’t a cliché. We simply wouldn’t exist if the customer wasn’t the most important thing to us, what’s great about this award is that it’s just another way to show it. We’re gearing up for our biggest and best year yet in 2016 so get ready and be part of the journey with us.