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Ellen Steensma

Ellen Steensma, IoD Student Member

Ellen Steensma

Student at Suffolk One College

“Being a part of the IoD Student community has given me the opportunity I’ve needed to further my business and fashion knowledge and thus helping me to acquire work experience.”


What was the main challenge you experienced as a student before joining the IoD?

"As a Business and Fashion student, my main challenge was finding work experience within the fashion industry. As it is extremely competitive and, they don’t often give work experience to those at college."

What have you found as a result of being an IoD Student Member?

"My main accomplishment of being an IoD Student Member would be finding the connections in the Fashion industry and calling upon them for knowledge, advice and even possible work experience."

How long have you been a member of the IoD Student network?

"I have been a member of the Student Network for nearly a year now."

What is your favourite thing about being part of the IoD Student community?

"Having the opportunity to meet new and exciting people and listening to the experiences they have gained along the way. Having access to these stories was really beneficial and gave me a sense of direction and aspiration to get to their level."


“Having the opportunity to meet new and exciting people and listening to the experiences they have gained along the way.”


What are three other benefits you’ve enjoyed as a result of being a member?

"Being a member has given me the opportunity to connect with like-minded students throughout the regions who I would not have met otherwise and can now call my friends. Furthermore, the IoD has provided me with many vast opportunities to improve my skills. For example speaking either publically, in a group or 1-1, this has been of benefit whilst interviewing for Universities. Lastly, being a part of the Student Membership cohort from Suffolk One College was really good. Especially as we were able to plan and organise a large conference, holding over 100 business guests and students. We were able to acquire speakers like the IoD Suffolk Chair Graham Kill, IoD Student Membership Manager Joe Fitzsimons and Manager at Realise Futures, Sally Butcher."


“The IoD and Suffolk One pushed me to engage more with business people outside those in my immediate circle and ultimately giving me an insight into the real world of business.”


How has the relationship between the IoD and your University been of benefit to you?

"It has allowed me to be seen as someone who is not just an artist but an individual who is business minded, confident and smart."

What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?

"An Entrepreneur to me is someone who is innovative and has a unique idea with the confidence, motivation and creativity to follow it through to the end and create success."

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a student member and would you recommend it?

"I definitely recommend it and suggest you to jump at any opportunity that you are given because there are not many other organisations where you can learn and have fun through so many different events and experiences."

If you could give one piece of advice to fellow students, what would it be and why?

“Always be confident in yourself and your abilities, because employers look to employ you and not the image you portray. So why be someone you’re not?"

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