Step student promotes online seafood auction –

Step student promotes online seafood auction Published:  23 August, 2007

Emily pictured with Martin Leyland of Shetland Seafood Auctions

THIS summer, Shetland Seafood Auctions has taken part in the Shell Step programme by hosting Emily Garrick, a second year student at Edinburgh University, to undertake a marketing project.

Shell Step is the UK’s largest provider of undergraduate skills for small sized businesses and, by recruiting Emily, Shetland Seafood Auctions aimed to drive forward the development of the online seafood auction as an attractive proposition for buying and selling farmed seafood.

As the placement draws to a close, Emily – who studies Business and German with a focus on International Marketing – will present her findings at the NAFC Marine Centre on August 31, as she competes in the programme’s ‘Most Enterprising Student’ competition at a local level.

The eight week summer placement is ideal for both students and employers. For students, it gives them the opportunity to put their university knowledge into practice, to develop skills and ultimately increase their employment prospects when they graduate. For employers, particularly in smaller sized companies where time and financial restraints may exist, it gives them access to motivated, intelligent and enthusiastic students who can undertake a project that is important for helping the business to grow.

Commenting on the experience, Emily Garrick said: “I was looking for some work experience over the summer and felt that the project offered by Shetland Seafood Auctions provided a good opportunity for me to obtain an overview of how a small to medium sized enterprise operates, concentrating particularly on marketing and business development, which is the area I am most interested in.

“I’ve certainly learned a lot over the past eight weeks and the experience has helped me to develop fundamental business skills.”

Explaining why he took on a Step student, auction manager Martin Leyland explained: “The eight week summer project offered by the Shell Step Scheme was particularly timely as I wanted to raise the profile and communicate the benefits of our online seafood auction, to both buyers and sellers, at the start of the harvesting season.

“The fact that the student is required to produce a report and presentation at the end of the placement means that they are kept very focused throughout the period, which was vital in helping Emily to meet strict deadlines. So much more has been accomplished during the eight week period than I could have achieved alone.

“We’d already had definite interest from seafood buyers and sellers and I really needed to get feedback on the current situation and understand the level of interest in our service.

“Emily was asked to review the strengths and weaknesses of the current service, undertake market research to find out what buyers and sellers thought of the system, and update the company’s existing promotion and marketing material, including the website.

“With her invaluable help, we’ve compiled a wealth of information to take the system forward and promote the online auction as an attractive and revolutionary proposition.

“She’ll compete in Shell Step’s ‘Most Enterprising Student’ competition at a local level on August 31 at the NAFC Marine Centre. The successful student there will go on to enter the regional and ultimately the national grand final in London. I wish Emily the very best of luck!” concluded Martin. is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.