JONATHAN Twinem is a Development Manager with Young Enterprise Northern Ireland and concentrates on the South Eastern area, working extensively within the Lisburn area. Young Enterprise is Northern Ireland's foremost business and enterprise education charity. Founded in 1986, the organisation runs over 13 core programmes for more than 88,000 young people each year in Northern Ireland through the support of businesses and volunteers. Jonathan has a BA (Hons) in Business Studies, MSc in International Business, PgDip in Communication and has also been involved with Essential Skills English delivery with adults.
Normally I wake at 7am, have breakfast and will head to my office in Belfast if I am not out on location first thing. I check emails, have a cup of coffee and follow up calls. I am responsible for booking programmes into schools and organising events and recruiting volunteers from the business industry to work with the students. All Young Enterprise programmes are based on the principle of 'learning by doing', to promote a culture of enterprise from an early age. Many of these complement existing education programmes by offering specific curriculum links. Students gain a first-hand insight into enterprise, business and the world of work, as Young Enterprise programmes are delivered by business volunteers or have involvement from business volunteers from our partnership organisations, all of whom are fully trained.
I have a wide contact list of volunteers who I am regularly in touch with. If I'm trying to get a new business person to join up I'll organise to go and meet them and explain what we do and low their skills could really help students. Once they agree I have to carry out background checks and then I will match them up with a suitable school and programme.
I spend some time delivering programmes in schools in the Lisburn area, though this isn't my core function. I will have organised the visit in advance and the school will be well aware of the programme to be implemented. Some of the Young Enterprise programmes offer students direct experience of enterprise by running their own real company — these being Quickstart, Team Programme and Company Programme. Others are structured around seminars and classes, using games, activities and role-play to help students understand and develop skills and capabilities for their future. I do spend time in the office organising programmes with teachers and setting up events and doing all the work that comes with that. One such event is the Masterclass programme offered to students aged 14-18. Leading local entrepreneurs offer an insight into their own experiences of business start-up and pupils are set a business challenge. The seminar concludes on a high note with a specially selected motivational speaker. As well as arranging delivery of programmes I co-ordinate events, sort out administration and work within budgets. I have reports to write up and targets to meet as well as preparing for various meetings internally and externally.
The time I finish each day varies. My working hours are 9am — 5pm, though I would normally work beyond this. I am not complaining about this - as it is great to see the end product and the fruits of your labour. Young Enterprise offers some degree of flexibility — which is appreciated. In my spare time I enjoy having dinner with friends and family, socialising, meeting new people and engaging in some youth and voluntary work. I enjoy travelling and reading, and also watch a bit of TV to help me chill out.
For more information contact Jonathan on 07809 65 66 66.