My Fortnight with Shared Interest

My name is Kelly and I have been a Shared Interest volunteer for just over a year.

This July, the team at Shared Interest kindly took the time to give me a two- week placement with head office. I enjoyed speaking to employees and seeing how their roles contribute to the everyday running of the organisation.

I am a Business graduate, so I was very interested to see the operational side of Shared Interest as a financial organisation. I spent time with each department, understanding how the business model works, from investment made by people living in the UK, to organising payments to buyers and producers; and how that money is repaid so the process can start again.

I was especially interested in how the Customer Service Team operates, as they are at the forefront of dealing with fair trade businesses that lend from Shared Interest. What intrigued me most about the whole experience, were the mechanisms and safeguards Shared Interest have in place to protect investors' capital, and how all departments have to work closely together for one main aim.

I was lucky enough to attend a presentation from two members of staff who had just returned from Swaziland. It was amazing to see what they had experienced and also look at some of the handcraft products they brought back from their trip.

Overall the experience was amazing and the staff were extremely helpful in giving me a full view of how Shared Interest works here in the UK to finance fair trade businesses overseas.

Shortly after my placement, I was offered a graduate job in Luton and am currently preparing to make the big move from North to South. The placement really helped me visualise what businesses expect, and how they are run. From that I was able to really hone my skills and look at what I could offer to other companies in order to kick start my career. Thank you Shared Interest!