At Dyson, we drop our graduates in at the deep end. They learn by doing – not watching. It's an approach that routinely brings the very best out of our brightest new talent, turning them from first-timers to major achievers in months. Not years.
And, having found themselves presenting to James Dyson just a matter of weeks into their careers here, Laura O'Sullivan and Sam Brunsdon are two former grads with first-hand experience of this philosophy.
"The marketing team had been working on a product proposition, but there were some questions around strategy," explains Laura, now commercial manager for one of our new category machines. "So James asked for fresh eyes on the project."
"We were pulled from our day-to-day work and briefed," adds Sam, today a middleweight creative in our graphics and packaging team. "Starting from scratch, he wanted us to review the market positioning of the new machine."
It was no simple task. Laura and Sam would have to work out the machine's most important elements, decide how to communicate these to potential owners, then present their creative proposals to James Dyson himself. In just four days.
The grads got to work. Getting to grips with the machine, heading to the technology stores of nearby Bristol to gain customer insights, then working solidly over the weekend back at Laura's flat.
Entering James's corner office on Monday afternoon, any tension quickly evaporated with the offer of the first biscuit. "Inside, it was just us and James. He listened intently to every word, then began scrutinising our findings," remembers Sam.
Two hours later, the grads emerged – confident in how their proposals had been received. They were right to be. Some of their findings were exactly the confirmation the project needed – with elements of Laura and Sam's original work on the product claim finding its way across the global marketing campaign soon after.
"As new graduates, being involved with such big decisions and having the trust of senior Dyson people to make them was amazing," says Laura. "The pressure of the project was intense, but it was an opportunity that neither myself or Sam could've found anywhere but here."
"On top of everything, we even got to hear a few insider stories from the man himself."