Management Buyout at Step – the Student and Graduate Internship People

In November 2017 I became the owner of Step, after working here for the last five years of my twenty year recruitment career.  It was a very proud moment for me, in the past five years I’ve developed a passion for the work we do at Step. Helping smaller businesses connect with talented students and graduates is immensely rewarding and I’m very excited to be taking over the business and continuing the great work we’ve done over the last 32 years.

Step specialise in providing internships, placements and permanent roles for students and graduates mainly within smaller, high-growth businesses. We were originally established in 1986, following a conversation between staff in Durham Business School and the far-sighted team in Shell UK’s social investment department.

During the 1990s through to the mid-2000s the Shell Technology Enterprise Programme (STEP) was a driving force in smaller businesses, with thousands of companies utilising university students, through the Step internship programme, to contribute to business-critical projects. The Step internship programme became a model of best practise, cited by the government, and helping to entrench the links between Higher Education providers and employers.

Step now operates as an independent business to business service based on the values and ethos developed and honed over its history. We continue to work with business clients and organisations that require graduate level skills and knowledge to support their business needs, be that on a short term project basis, or as part of a longer term graduate skills development strategy.  In addition, we work with universities across the UK to help them raise awareness among their students of the positive graduate career opportunities in smaller business and to facilitate Higher Education engagement with the SME sector.

I have taken over the business from Philip Donnelly and Ginny Walker, who have been involved with Step since its birth in 1986. During that time we have placed many undergraduates and graduates in roles where they have developed the skills to begin their graduate careers

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