MDT International and RGU student successfully collaborate on market research project

A specialist training company for the global oil and gas industry, MDT International, has benefited from a new initiative which provides flexible access to the skills and knowledge of Robert Gordon University (RGU) students. 

Talent Exchange case study graphicThe Aberdeen headquartered commercial training specialist engaged with the north-east’s Talent Exchange initiative as it was seeking the skills of a RGU student to help with a market research project.

Third year International Business Management student, Usama El- Zarouk, was taken on to undertake research and develop a marketing strategy for the Middle East region linking into MDT International’s overall global business strategy.

MDT International soon found that the fresh outlook of a student was a great benefit to its business, and Usama was a valuable addition to the team.

Drew Leitch, MDT International’s Managing Director, said: “Our business definitely benefited from a young persons’ perspective. Our target market age demographic starts at 18 so Usama’s insights and fresh thinking were very valuable.

“He exceeded our expectations in many areas. He was very insightful, professional and friendly.”

The experience has also benefited Usama, providing him with his first experience in an office environment and has helped him to develop a good overview of the energy sector.

As a result of the collaboration, Usama has gained valuable insights into the process and challenges of marketing in international sectors and strongly developed his communication skills.

Launched in September 2014, Talent Exchange partners with SCDI, FSB Scotland and the Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce. The initiative has worked with a total of 309 small and medium sized businesses from across 25 different sectors, ranging from oil and gas, property and recruitment to healthcare, tourism and hospitality.

Established with funding from the Scottish Funding Council, Talent Exchange offers flexible solutions tailored to the specific needs of a business including one-off challenges, short-term projects and placements of varying lengths.

Drew said: “After seeing a LinkedIn post we engaged with RGU expressing interest. After a short meeting it was clear that the new three month format worked for us and the skill sets available linked in with our business.

“Within three weeks we met Usama at RGU for an awareness session and he started with us a week or so later. There was also great support from RGU explaining the process.”

Drew shares that MDT International should have engaged with RGU and Talent Exchange a long time ago. He describes the company’s experience with Talent Exchange as very rewarding and professional, and highly recommends it to any business.

He added: “Don’t underestimate how much value the students can offer your business.”

Find out more about Talent Exchange

To talk to a member of the project team about a work experience opportunity email or call 01224 262046.

Release by Ralica Naumova
Placement student
Press and Media Enquiries