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Case Study: Resilience Engine

4th Jan 2018

Tell us about your company

The Resilience Engine, a startup business, soon to be floated out of its parent company, lifetimeswork, has enormously benefited from the successful placement of two internships through ScotlandIS. Both internships have turned into long term roles. 

The business itself is founded on 10 years of research into human resilience. The Resilience Engine believes in making resilience accessible for everyone, and has invested in created two eLearning services for staff and managers in any organisation. We are ambitious – we aim to create a business of at least £2M within the next 5 years. The current business, lifetimeswork, has offered resilience service for years on a face to face model. The growth for The Resilience Engine will be based on the eLearning services that allow for far greater reach at minimal operating costs, thus fuelling volume sales.  Making the eLearning services work therefore is vital to our growth. 

Why did you choose to create a placement over other recruitment options?

Our team is very small – with 3 Directors, 1 part time employee and an eco-system of dedicated suppliers, we were looking to both extend our piloted services, plus innovate within the eLearning services to make them more alive and fun. The Directors recognised that as 50+ year olds, we weren’t the right people to do that.

We also recognised our cash flow position, plus the risk associated with new approaches. All of our innovation has been in fact experimental, and uses agile methods for development. This means working iteratively, learning together, taking feedback on the chin immediately, and working to really tight deadlines. It requires a real customer quality mindset, plus great learning. And graft.  It requires people to be able to work under pressure, and be real self-starters since they have to make client-impacting decisions quickly. 

What impact did the student have on your business?

Serena Battistoni is a current student at Robert Gordon University, studying graphics design as a mature student. She has been working for us now since January 2017 on a two day per week basis, working a total of 402 hours to date. Serena has become our expert in the graphics supporting our marketing – our brochures and website, plus has massively added to our capability of designing graphics for the content for both eLearning services, Being Resilient and the Resilient Manager Toolkit. She also helps in entering all the content. We have just released our main brochure for example to 400 attendees of a ‘Women in Leadership’ conference where the Chief Executive spoke. The brochure is clean, clear and impactful. 

For The Resilience Engine, internship has made it possible to create innovative eLearning services that really speak to clients through video and graphics. As a startup business, we have little cash flow, but plenty of nouse, and that with the skills of our young graduates, makes it possible to product really high quality, accessible learning materials in an affordable way.

We have as a team created leading edge eLearning services that stand out in the marketplace. Newly launched, we already have 400 live users on our all-staff eLearning services, Being Resilient, plus we have enhanced massively our existing Resilient Manager Toolkits for busy managers. One of the reasons for this immediate success is being able to demo the eLearning services, illustrating how alive, accessible and real they are. Overall, the work of Serena and our other intern have illustrated that our desire to make the resilience research more accessible and fun to use is valid – our customer feedback has been very good. Our marketing, which Serena has significantly supported, follows the same principles – do what it says on the tin, make it alive, and ensure it’s of very high quality.

What do you want other employers to know about taking on a student through e-Placement?

Our learning about interns is about taking your time at the start to really know what kind of person you need, and how to ensure you get that immediately working. The recruitment process is vital. First, ScotlandIS were quick and very responsive to our request for candidates. They have also helped feed back when candidates have not been successfully, and that in turn has helped their learning about what we needed. We had in fact quite a few candidates. We had to choose carefully – the interns are a real part of client-facing work, and we needed to get this right. Our process of recruitment followed the same process as for all recruitment – telephone interview to assess skills and fit, then a real-task face to face interview, where we ask the candidate how they would tackle a real-live issue we have in the business. We also look to see what the candidate is asking about, how much work they have done as preparation, so we see their hunger for the job.

In Serena’s case, we had asked how she would bring one of research papers, The Resilience Engine®, alive. She had thought this out, and had added in views about our website and how to improve it. This latter part is where she has recently come to the fore within the organisation, and we now rely on Serena for producing our brochures and our website content.

Any final thoughts on your experience?

Overall, I as CEO am delighted that we have given Serena such a great chance. She is hard working, smart and produces work of innovation. She is growing in confidence every week, and her recent work on the marketing brochures brings her voice directly into the business. This is for real. 

We have benefited enormously, and intend to continue investing in Serena going forward. We are grateful to ScotlandIS for bringing us such a super candidate!

Jenny Campbell, CEO, The Resilience Engine

Further information on Resilience Engine can be found here:

Want to benefit from your own student placement? Get in touch.

e-Placement Scotland, run by ScotlandIS, is a free undergraduate placement scheme, designed to match talented IT students with employers in Scotland.

For more information, and to offer a placement, please get in touch with Jamie Duncan on 01506472200 or email


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