Super intern, Jess Heywood, quickly proved such an asset that we promoted her and put her on an advanced activity programme.

Jess, 21, of Bingley, is studying for a BA in business studies and management at Northumbria University and sought a work placement for her year out in industry. Here, she would develop the practical skills and theoretical knowledge gained in the first two years, before returning Newcastle to complete her studies.

She said: ‘It was important to secure a challenging work experience that can be transacted back at business school and in then in my subsequent career. Of particular interest to me were the fields of human resources and finance, which made Cubed the ideal destination.’

After completing all early tasks thrown at her with speed and efficiency, she was handed more challenging details – which she also fulfilled with an assured professionalism.

Among her duties now are the vital payroll management, ensuring that all workers are paid exactly the right amount at exactly the right time. This has seen her streamline the process to ensure that it keeps pace with the demands created by Cubed’s rapid growth and runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

Other important duties include, candidate pre-selection and screening; candidate searches and research; the introduction of a company intranet facility; and a key role in a continuous improvement programme.

Jess added: ‘Some of my university friends complain that they are not stretched or challenged on their placements, but this is not the case here. Much of what I do day-to-day has an impact on somebody’s future, so I have to get it right and my decision-making skills have been sharpened enormously.’

Managing director, Steven Street, said: ‘Identifying top talent is what we do, but in appointing Jess we were purely looking purely to help a young student – admittedly one who was clearly bright and promising – rather than make a key appointment.

‘However, we have been bowled over by her capabilities and industriousness and we accelerated her development accordingly, benefiting from the qualities and industriousness she brings. In return, we hope to provide her with plenty of relevant material for her dissertation, on the resurgence of manufacturing and the skills shortage that prevails today – factors we know a lot about.’