Arturs Irbitis (17), Sandeep Krishan, James Villarreal and Rupinder Flora (17)
The young entrepreneur who won the city’s most coveted business accolade has launched a new programme to find the city’s future business leaders.
Birmingham Young Professional of the Year and Glide Utilities founder James Villarreal, has introduced an internship at scheme with a difference after being blown away by the talents of two Birmingham Metropolitan College students this summer.
Mr Villarreal and Glide co-founder Sandeep Krishan were so impressed with 17-year-old interns Rupinder Flora and Arturs Irbitis, that they decided to offer the pair flexible part-time roles to help fund their studies.
Glide now plans to offer this opportunity to all future interns who can prove their worth during their summer placement.
Mr Flora and Mr Irbitis, who are both studying a BTEC National Diploma in business, joined Glide as interns in June 2010 in a bid to build up their CVs before they complete their courses next year.
They both supported the accounts team at Glide, which offers a simplified billing service for tenants and landlords, and proved to be valuable assets to the company. As such, not only has Glide offered them part-time work while they study, the company has also offered them permanent jobs when they complete their courses.
“Internships have become quite a controversial topic recently, particularly as some students and graduates feel they are being taken advantage of by big companies,” said Mr Villarreal.
“This shows that with the right attitude there can be real benefits for students both in the short term and the future.”
“We plan to make this opportunity available to all future interns who impress us and who are still studying when they complete their placement.”
“It’s easy for students to rack up huge debts these days and this will hopefully give willing candidates a chance to gain some real experience and reduce the debt they accumulate whilst studying.”
Mr Villarreal, who won Birmingham Young Professional of the Year in June, left the University of Birmingham to concentrate on expanding Glide across the UK.
“I fully appreciate just how difficult it can be to balance the pressures of studying, gaining work experience and keeping your finances in check,” he said.
“We hope that our internship offering will help a handful of ambitious students achieve this balance without having to sacrifice their education.”