Alumni Profiles

Laura McKechnie


United Kingdom

Laura’s experience proved invaluable and interested her greatly in Young Enterprise Scotland, so much so, she now volunteers with us!

60-Second Interview

What three words would you use to describe your Company Programme experience?
Invaluable, Inspiring, Challenging
In more detail, tell us about your journey (what was your product/what was your role/learning experiences)
I took part in the company programme in 2011-2012, co-leading a team of 15 individuals to the Scottish Finals. Our company name was Scent-Sational and we created handmade, personalised reed-diffusers.

Selling our product was rather easy, it was producing our stock in bulk that proved challenging. Our low production costs allowed us to have a 65% gross margin rate and a profit after taxes of 46% of revenue – an extremely profitable company!

Total revenue was £1864.


Our PR Director ensured we had some pretty awesome coverage on radio stations and newspapers, and we were even invited to participate in Princess Anne’s visit to Loch Lomond Shores. Given the size of our company, there were lots of arguments but we pulled through and created a successful company.

For me, the biggest learning curve was realising that things work best with one leader, not two. Having one person in charge, creates one channel of communication and keeps things simple.
How do you feel the Company Programme helped you prepare for life after school?
The programme made me realise that I enjoy business and wanted to have my own one day. Aside from this, the programme gave me a lot of experiences that I could speak about at interviews and in applications. I believe it actually helped me get in to Uni as I didn’t meet my conditions. My confidence grew throughout the experience and my communication skills were put to the test.
What has your journey been like post-school? (University/Employment/life experiences)
I went on to study business at University and was able to draw on my Young Enterprise experience to get various internships. The highlight was probably working in Chicago for two months as a Saltire Scholar. I also applied for Undergraduate of the Year in 2015, reaching the final 10. It was highlighted that I had strong leadership and communication skills and I know that this was from taking part in Young Enterprise.
I never struggled to get jobs or internships as I had a lot of experiences that I could speak about in interviews. In 2017, I started my own online business - it was great to accomplish something that I had always wanted.
What advice would you give to anyone setting out on this journey?
Get involved and don’t sit back and let the experience pass by. You will learn something from the programme – good or bad. Even if you’re struggling to manage course work and Young Enterprise, don’t give up as employers expect you to be able to manage your time, prioritise and persevere. This is a great opportunity to stand out from others at University and job interviews.

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Our Vision is for Scotland to be a place where all young people are given the opportunity to have a rewarding future in work and life - no matter where they start
their journey.

Our Mission is to inspire & equip all young people to learn, develop and reach their full potential through enterprise.

In everything that we do, we will work with the following values: Integrity, Enthusiasm, Creativity & Collaboration.

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