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Saltire boost to networking provided key to career path

By Nicole Perry - Posted on 15 June 2017

Strathclyde Business School graduate Nicole Perry talks about the Saltire Programme and how her experience of that coupled with her Business degree has shaped her career.

Before I took part in the Saltire Scholars Programme I was doing my undergraduate degree at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde Business School whilst working part time at Tesco, in the bakery.

I was a Saltire Scholar with the Entrepreneurial Exchange in 2013. After the Programme, I was offered paid work with my host company, where I continued my internship project, looking at member acquisition and retention, alongside my studies. I continued to stay involved with the Entrepreneurial Exchange and was asked to join as a Director on the Members Advisory Board when the Exchange became Entrepreneurial Scotland. I still hold that position today and it was an honour to be asked to join to provide strategic direction for the network.

After achieving a First Class Honours Degree I was offered a place on the Tesco Bank Graduate Scheme where I secured a full time position as an International Commercial Development Manager - working internationally has always been my dream so it was fantastic to achieve that. I have no doubt that my experience with Saltire and my exposure to senior executives and successful entrepreneurs was key to that.

Whilst in banking I went on to be awarded runner up as Young Banker of the Year by the Chartered Banker Institute. Following this, I was asked to join Grant Property as Associate Director of Investment, by Colette Grant, who I was introduced to through her involvement with Entrepreneurial Scotland. It goes to show that networking really does widen your opportunities. I am now delighted to be working internationally to develop Grant Property's UK and International Growth Strategy.

I am looking forward to contributing to Grant Property's growth, it's a fantastic company to work for and I love being able to provide exceptional client service in property investment. In the future I would like to grow my own property portfolio, complete an MBA or be accepted onto the Saltire Fellowship Programme. I would eventually like to run my own consultancy firm, assisting businesses in international export and market entry.

The main learning that I’ve taken away from my Saltire experience is undoubtedly the importance of growing and leveraging my network. The people I have met not only provide me with unparalleled inspiration but a burning desire to achieve my dreams. To be surrounded by successful people and up and coming leaders is the best feeling in the world - the community spirit drives me through my challenges and my ambition to be the best I can be. I've also learnt a plethora of practical techniques in business, from how to be a great leader, to strategic development, resourcefulness, resilience and balancing growth with profitability.

If not for my Saltire experience, to be honest, I wouldn't have the job I do now! The Scholars Programme allowed me to tap into a network where I met the founder of Grant Property. Without Saltire, I wouldn't have had the confidence to push myself and put myself in front of the right people. It has been fundamental to my success.

This blog first featured on the Entrepreneurial Scotland website on May 17 

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