Eight third year university students have begun their internships with the newly developed Wasdell Academy in Swindon.
The students will spend a year with Wasdell, Europe’s largest independent specialist manufacturing partner to the pharmaceutical and nutritional industries, shadowing senior staff and attending masterclasses delivered by specialists across the Wasdell Group.
The interns will also run their own projects during the year, drawing on the experience and expertise of Wasdell colleagues in areas such as developing new product information, specialist tooling and software development.
The students are paid full salaries during the year they are employed at the company, and following successful internships are offered full time posts with Wasdell after graduating.
The Academy is the brainchild of Wasdell Managing Director Daniel Tedham, following the appointment of an earlier intern, Stephen Cox, last year. Following his internship, Stephen, now 23, graduated with first class honours in IT Management for Business at the University of the West of England. He returned to Wasdell as Senior Information Technologist after graduating in 2018 to develop technology and support productivity and efficiency across the business.
Daniel Tedham said: “Within a year of returning to Wasdell, Stephen has not only become a leading expert on serialisation within the pharmaceutical industry but has also developed a broad understanding of disciplines across the company. We recognised that the exposure he had to senior colleagues in several areas during his internship proved invaluable on his return to Wasdell, and enabled him to progress rapidly. We have developed the Academy to ensure that our interns can benefit from masterclasses and mentoring, boosting their academic knowledge with the benefit of in-depth industry experience.”
The interns taken on by Wasdell this academic year are studying subjects as diverse as cybersecurity management, aerospace engineering, business studies and product design at Portsmouth University, Bournemouth University and UWE.
Intern Leah Rayner, 21, of Toothill, Swindon, is taking a degree in Business Studies at Bournemouth University.
“I’m already learning about so many aspects of the business, from taking orders, giving quotes and advising on specialist tooling that a customer might need,” said Leah.
“My communications skills and confidence has improved 100 per cent – I’ve learned that when I’ve had to do things outside my comfort zone, I actually can do it. But most valuable is that I sit really near some directors and the Chairman, and get to see how they actually run things. I never expected that. I’ve always wanted to own my own business, and I’m learning so much from them already. I really appreciate this opportunity.”
Stephen Cox said he was delighted that Wasdell has expanded the internship programme.
“My year with Wasdell was massively helpful, and I’d advise any student who gets the opportunity to take up an internship here. The experience actually helped me get a First Class degree, because I could apply the theory to the real world, which set me apart from those who hadn’t worked in industry. I’m now also educating the new interns on serialisation, so they are learning about an emerging specialism in an important global industry.”