Elaine Scilley was store manager of a Northern Ireland department store when she applied for a scholarship. She is now managing the chain’s flagship store Moores of Coleraine and has a renewed passion for retail.
“The Oxford Summer School covered so many areas of development for me that it was impossible to resist applying for a scholarship. It was a fantastic opportunity to work with people from a range of companies, to learn more about their businesses - how they motivate their teams and how they sell their businesses to their customers.
I learnt an amazing amount about marketing and it really opened my eyes to how we sell ourselves as a business, and I learnt how to use and analyse profit and loss accounts and about the impact I can make on these figures.
I also learnt a lot about myself not only as a manager but as an individual. I now have a new level of confidence in what I do. It has made me a better manager through greater self belief and confidence.
I have a greater appreciation of my own skills, which has given me a renewed passion for not only my job but also the business I work for.
I think the business has definitely benefited from my attendance. I have been given the management of our flagship store because I came back with a new way of looking at our business, a positive, can-do attitude, the desire to influence change and a real passion for the business to continue to be successful.
I could not recommend strongly enough that independent retailers apply for the scholarship. It is an amazing level of training at virtually no cost to a company, and I think it also helps to illustrate the quality of manager that is coming"