(L-R) Ángel Luis Torres Díaz, Amelia Carleton, Andrei Kazak, Lola Mateos Salvador
This year saw the final of our Santander Enterprise Exchange Programme. Amelia Carleton and Andrei Kazak, two students from Leeds, traveled to Salamanca, in Spain, in June to take part in a Spanish Summer School and begin working on a research project with two Salamanca students: Ángel Luis Torres Díaz and Lola Mateos Salvador. Here are a few words from Ángel and Lola about their experiences.
"If I had to describe my experiences being part in this programme with just a word, I would choose ‘learning’ in every sense of the word. During the time we were carrying out the research project, I have grown personally and professionally. Not only I have increased my circle of friends, but also my knowledge about business and economic context in both countries. When I was told I was going to do this scholarship I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. I had the chance to talk with Spanish and British CEO’s and founders about their background and experiences in business, improve my English and meet people from all over the world. And I got all this in just 6 months! I really enjoyed my time at Leeds because every day was full of great experiences and I always learnt something new. Living in a different town, working with new people, being fluent in English were my main challenges that I had to face up. After my stay in England I am more motivated to work harder to show how much I can do with the knowledge about entrepreneurship and experience I've gained thanks to this experience. I am really grateful to all the Enterprise Centre staff for their involvement to the success of our project, specially to Nigel Locket who was our supervisor from the University of Leeds and Julio Pindado, our Spanish supervisor from Universidad de Salamanca. And of course, one of the best part of those months was great hospitality shown by the English students, Amelia and Andrei; working as a team and becoming good friends." Dolores Mateos Salvador
"The Santander Exchange Project has been a wonderful experience in my life, not only because it has allowed me to take part in an amazing research project with an English student, but also because I have had the opportunity to spend almost three months having a very good time at Leeds. The research project has been really interesting as I have interviewed Family Businesses' CEOs within both countries, Spain and the UK, in order to extract important ideas for the final Report. Besides, all the literature and information that I have read about family businesses has increased a lot my knowledge about such firms. The supervisor of the Research Project, Nigel Locket, has helped us with the Research, providing interesting ideas and doing his best in order to get family firms for the interviews. He has been really nice and I want to thank him all his support. During the time I have been at Leeds I have had the opportunity to be totally involved in the British culture and I have learnt so much about it. The staff of the Enterprise Centre has been really helpful and it has supported me all the time, making me feel like a member of the University of Leeds. In conclusion, this has been the most rewarding experience I have ever had firstly because all the knowledge that I have acquired, secondly due to I have also improved my English level and, finally, because I have met wonderful people who make this Research Exchange special and unforgettable." Ángel Luis Torres Díaz