Above: Samuel at Dame Allan's Schools
Following an inspiring talk from Dragons' Den entrepreneur Sara Davies, Year 11 pupil Samuel De Soyza secured a work experience placement at Sara’s North East-based company, Crafter’s Companion, furthering his ambition of a future career in business.
Sara Davies spoke at Dame Allan’s Schools in 2022 as part of the debut series of The Lectures, an inspiring series of speaking events funded by Allanian Mark Dolder. Speaking of the importance of personal drive and determination, Sara left a lasting impression on pupils of all ages. Samuel, however, took it one step further by taking the brave move of approaching Sara after the event to enquire about work experience. Fast forward to the summer holidays, and he found himself welcomed to the Crafter’s Companion North East headquarters.
"I initially approached Sara because I was really inspired by her talk,” explained Samuel. “She was really friendly and approachable, so I felt comfortable asking if there was any way I could come and work with her. Sara then asked me to think about what I could offer her and follow up by writing her an email. I gave it some thought and got in touch.”
He added: “I travelled two-and-a-half hours each day to get to the placement, but it was worth it for such a valuable experience. I’m very grateful to Sara and her colleagues for their time and advice. Sara herself checked in with me a few times to see how I was getting on, which I really appreciated.”
Above: Sara Davies and Dame Allan's Principal Will Scott
Once at the offices, Samuel was educated in all aspects of Crafter’s Companion, from social media marketing, to TV production - the business has their own digital shopping channel, Crafter’s TV - trading, IT, and more. He learnt about the different marketplaces that Crafter’s Companion utilises, including eBay and Amazon, and credits the placement for helping to develop his problem-solving skills.
Going forward, Samuel is keen to continue his interest in the business world, and hopes to be an entrepreneur himself someday. After his GCSEs, he plans to continue his education at Dame Allan’s Sixth Form.
He said: “Going to Sara’s headline talk at The Lectures was so motivational, and the placement has made me even more sure that a business career is something that I would like to pursue.”
The Lectures have returned to Dame Allan’s for 23/24. The next event will take place on Thursday 7 December, featuring bakery entrepreneur Jonathan Warburton.