Toby Benson with one of the Directors of Aspire2Be


Toby Benson, a second year student studying Business Management (BSc), attended Swansea Employability Academy’s (SEA) Annual Gala Dinner where he met Mark Douglas and Jeremy Stephens from Aspire2Be and enquired about work experience with the company.

Aspire 2Be (A2B) is a Learning Technology company, based in Wales, who use AI methodology to co-construct bespoke digital solutions for clients in Education, Sport and Business.

Meeting the Challenge

Impressed with Toby’s tenacity and keen to see what he could bring to their current projects Aspire2Be approached SEA to find out about the range of internship opportunities available to them.

After reviewing their options Mark and Jeremy offered Toby a two-week internship which SEA full-funded.

Successful Outcomes

During his internship, Toby produced a comprehensive paper about the digital competency of students. This has given Aspire2Be new insight into the digital challenges faced by students that they hope will help them identify new opportunities in the Higher Education sector.

As well as providing practical work experience and helping him gain confidence Toby was able to expand his network - the Entrepreneurs Network (of which Toby is president) - during the internship.  Drawing on Aspire2Be’s contacts Toby pursued a new opportunity with NatWest Entrepreneurship Hub who agreed to collaborate with the Entrepreneurs Network to provide greater resources to students choosing to run their own business as a year in industry.

What they said

“I had a fantastic time during my internship at Aspire 2Be. This was in no small part due to the director’s philosophy that my time there should be a mutually beneficial endeavour. They had me complete a number of engaging and interesting tasks while giving me the freedom to tackle them as I saw fit. This freedom to make my own decisions was particularly appreciable as it felt as if I was being treated as a professional and that my skills and input were valued.”
Toby Benson

“In a very short space of time Toby completed each task with an insatiable appetite for learning, entrepreneurship and networking. He has maturity beyond his years and really is an exceptional young man. He blended seamlessly into the office team environment and was a credit to himself and the university.”
Mark Douglas

“I was extremely impressed by the way in which Toby settled into what can be a very hectic environment. He was very articulate and presented himself, not as a student, but as a seasoned professional. He most certainly possesses a can do attitude and has a natural ability to lead projects with a desire to learn and further develop his knowledge. I have no doubt that Toby will be very successful whatever his chosen professional path.”
Jeremy Stephens

"Toby was very much a positive member of the team during his internship with us at Aspire2Be. He helped me personally understand many of the challenges faced by students in University when looking at digital solutions across the faculties and produced a very interesting and thought-provoking paper which has now informed a way of potentially working together with the Universities in the near future. Many thanks indeed!"
Simon Pridham

If you think your organisation could benefit from taking on a student placement please contact us