WBC Exchange Programme with UCJ: When Two International Junior Enterprises Met

In July, WBC had the amazing opportunity to participate in an exchange programme with UCJ Junior Enterprise from Brazil. This opportunity was made possible by Junior Enterprise Global which presented the idea to WBC and invited us to take part in this exchange programme. Given the amazing prospect this experience would have given us to network and also to learn from another international Junior Enterprise (JE), we decided to apply.

After applying we were matched with a Junior Entrepreneur who was interested in doing an exchange programme in London. Upon the initial match, the process was very straight forward, we received Anna’s profile and we were very impressed by it along with her experience in the Brazilian Junior Enterprise movement and we, therefore, arranged an interview. After the interview, we were certain that Anna was a great fit and that this experience would benefit both JEs. The application process was then finalised, and the immigration documents were prepared for Anna to come visit us.

Anna arrived in London on the 13th of July for a stay of two weeks. During this time, we had the opportunity to exchange practices during trainings, departmental meetings and casual conversations.One of the objectives of this exchange was certainly to understand how the two Junior Enterprises work and which similarities and differences there are between them.

It was interesting to see how the JE movement differs from the UK to Brazil- in Brazil all the Junior Enterprises share the same goals and have to reach the same KPIs which are outlined by Brazil Junior, Brazil’s federation of Junior Enterprises, and must be respected by each Junior Enterprise in the country.

However, unlike Brazil, the UK does not have a national confederation but a European one, Junior Enterprises Europe, which includes all JE’s on the continent. As a result, WBC and Junior Enterprises Europe do share certain objectives, yet they are not involved directly with one another.

Throughout the two weeks, WBC’s Marketing and Event department had organised its first JE UK Summer Fest where some UK Junior Enterprises and Initiatives met to network, discover more about one another and share our experiences within the JE movement.

JE UK Summer Fest 2019

We were also quite fascinated by the length of UCJ recruitment process and the procedures involved. There is a difference on how we both manage and interact with our alumni, yet both of us are very active in maintaining a relationship with them.

Anna had the opportunity to experience this and meet with some WBC alumni a number of times. She found it interesting to hear about their involvement with WBC and seeing how this experience helped them throughout their careers. During Anna’s stay we wanted to incorporate leisure with work. We therefore organised evenings and dinners to get together with our alumni as well as showing her the beautiful city that London is.

Meeting with WBC alumni

Meeting with WBC alumni

WBC was also lucky enough to meet another member of UCJ who was visiting London which resulted in a lovely evening among consultants. It is always fascinating to have the chance to network with fellow members of the movement and share thoughts and experiences.

UCJ Consultants in London

Projects are also allocated in a diverse manner in comparison with one another which was extremely interesting to learn. Once you get a project in UCJ the HR and project department meet up to allocate it to certain consultants and establish who could be available to complete it. If consultants are not satisfied with the given project, a meeting is set to further discuss it and change allocation.

In WBC projects go through the Business Development department and a project manager is then selected. Project managers can either create their own team or open applications where consultants from various departments can apply. Some of the projects, however, are just limited to a specific department.

This exchange programme was also a moment to learn about different cultures and visit a new city. When not working, Anna and other consultants went around London to show her the most famous landmarks, museums and many other places the city has to offer.

Sightseeing in London

Overall, this exchange was a great opportunity for both WBC and UCJ to learn about a new JE, share knowledge and ideas and engage with other people. We had the opportunity not only to discover a new culture, but also to understand a number of aspects within the movement which can also be applied in the future as there is always space for improvement.

This experience has definitely opened new prospects and it is something WBC and UCJ were very excited about. We were extremely satisfied with the success of this and is definitely an opportunity WBC hopes to take part in again.

At the end of the programme, we asked Anna how she found it all, and this is what she said, “I loved London. The architecture is incredible, there are a lot of amazing museums to go and for free, also a bunch of bars and restaurants to enjoy. I felt like London was my home and now I’m in love with the city, there is so much to do.

Once again thank you to Anna, who is a tremendously passionate Junior Entrepreneur and Junior Enterprises Global for the opportunity.

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