ESPA was launched by Madeline and Colin Blackburn. They had a desire to provide high-quality work placements for international students. What was their vision and why did they start The European Student Placement Agency?
Madeline has an extensive background in the educational sector, as a student, teacher and university lecturer. Her work has taken her across the globe and she has worked full time in 4 countries outside of the UK. She has talked with friends in Europe whose children are starting degree courses and are nervous about the placement element of the course. Will they have support to get settled into a new country? Will the company treat them as any full time paid employee? Will the whole experience be positive? Madeline wants to make sure the answer to these questions is yes, an ESPA placement will be right for all concerned.
Colin has business and sales focused background initially in the UK, but in the last 15 years throughout the world. He has sold products on a direct and distributor basis in over 32 countries but remains a typical Brit with very limited language skill. Having had the benefit of international students taking up placements with him in his last business role he saw firsthand the major impact these highly motivated, skilled and ambitious people could bring to an organization. It became apparent from talking with these students that some of their friends weren’t having such a good placement experience and were not benefiting from being fully involved in a job role or project. Colin is sure that an ESPA placement will be positive and right for the student, the host company, the university, and concerned friends and family.