CASE HISTORY Kayleigh Johns
FOR Kayleigh Johns joining the blustone360 academy not only gave her work experience – it gave her a job.
Now she is helping other graduates as the new head of bluestone360.
The 25-year-old Plymouth University English graduate said: "It's hard to break into the creative sector.
"I had looked at certain sectors but getting an account executive job needed a year's experience in a related industry.
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"This has allowed me to do it and stay in the South West.
"It's been brilliant for me. They offered me a job at the end of my three months.
"I fitted in well and was learning quickly. I was building strong relationships and had projects in the works."
With the academy having to earn its own way commercially, Miss Johns now does everything from finding new business, meeting clients, pricing the work, getting approval, briefing the team, signing work off and making sure it's done satisfactorily.
"I'm building business relationships," she said. "It's important businesses can have a name they can go to."
And she added: "It's not an internship. We are a stand-alone business. We need to make money and pay our own wages.
"There's pressure on me to learn the industry and push the academy forward – I'm essentially running a small business. I'm not by myself, but I'm in at the deep end."