“Without the help of the SMEs, such an event cannot really take place…”

RATIO Academy is a project developed by RATIO Accounting Students’ Association, which aims at supporting university students to connect better with the labor market, and ease their entrance on the job market, by putting them in direct contact with relevant employers during one week of events and workshops.

“I was reflecting recently on the success of our Academy… It is wonderful to have big companies, big names in the Academy, which provide workshops, training courses, and open their doors to show students how it is to work in their companies. This is wonderful, but without the help of the SMEs, such an event cannot really take place. The Academy can be perfect only with making the small details of the event perfect – like the food we give to the participants, the accommodation, the fun events we organize for them, the merchandise items we print for them, the memories of the event – photos, videos, etc. In other words, these small companies make our event great, in the end.”

Raluca Bogdan, vice president of RATIO Association

For RATIO Academy 2018, RATIO Association wanted to get more visibility for the project, to better promote the project, but also the business partners supporting the project. Thus, they asked a local company, Absolvire de la A la Z (Graduation from A to Z),  to help them with professional photo-video services for the gala event of the academy. Absolvire de la A la Z decided to get involved in the project for a better and constant connection with events which are relevant for students who are their main clients. Thus, the company provided the Academy in-kind support, such as photo-video services for the gala event of the academy and promotion services for the whole project, through social media.

How was the collaboration possible?

The collaboration between RATIO Association and Absolvire de la A la Z was based on the previous contact and relation that the vice president of RATIO Association, Raluca Bogdan, had with the client manager of the company – Mihai Mitea. They were both active, at one point in the past, in a different student non-governmental organization, working together in the marketing department of the organization. However, the relation between RATIO and the business project was made official for RATIO Academy 2018. Before this collaboration, through the contact Raluca had, RATIO members were receiving free invitations to the company’s weekly parties organized for students.

In the summer of 2018, while preparing the academy and the list of partners, Raluca contacted Mihai and he facilitated the meeting with the business project coordinator – Horea Chira. During the first meeting, Raluca presented the organization, the projects they have and also the Academy project, and the results obtained through the previous five editions. During the discussion, Raluca asked for the company’s support in taking photos and videos at the gala event of the academy. Horea accepted the proposal, but he also offered to create for them the “after movie” of the event. During the meeting, they also discussed about other projects and potential collaborations they might have, if everything would go well with this first common project. Other two meetings followed, but only to discuss the logistics of the event and of the first collaboration. When asked what they have special as an organization in comparison with other student association, what makes them special in such business meetings, Raluca said that the reactions they got so far from partners were that they are a professional and serious organization, which delivers high quality events.

What is RATIO Academy?

The RATIO Academy, the project in which the two partners collaborated, is a one-week academy through which university students benefit from an educational experience that eases their entrance on the job market. The students benefit from workshops and training courses provided by the companies (such as KPMG, Genpact, PwC, Eon Services, Sykes, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, etc.), but they also get the chance to learn more about companies through open doors events organized in that one week of the academy. In 2018, 120 university students participated in the RATIO Academy. About 90% of them were students in economics, and other 10% – in other fields of study, but interested in the job market from this sector. Also, every year, with the purpose of promoting university studies and economics studies, the academy accepts in a couple of motivated  high school students.

What is also important to mention here is the kind of promotion RATIO Association uses for the event and for promoting the support provided by the business partners. In online, they uses Facebook pages – of the association and of the Academy, the Instagram and LinkedIn accounts of the organization, and the organization’s website. Then, they also promote the event through offline actions, such as posters, flyers, event manual, agendas/notebooks, and during each event and workshop they give the partners the opportunity to promote themselves with roll-ups. Then, during the gala, every single partner, which attends the event, get a time “on the stage” to talk to the participants, and express their feelings or their motivation for being involved in such a project.

How did the collaboration with the company work? – RATIO Association’s perspective

Referring to the collaboration with Absolvire de la A la Z, Raluca said that it is always hard when you work with a new partner, because they do not know you, you do not know them, and you do not know what to expect, and there are always worries from both sides: will they keep their promises, will they provide high quality services, will they deliver the services in time, etc.? And she had this stress, but then when the gala started and she saw the company’s people coming in, well prepared, knowing exactly what they have to do and also coming with wonderful ideas for photos and videos, all the stress and worries went away. They were professional, and they kept all the promises, the materials provided, both photos and videos, were high quality and, very important, they were delivered in time – no delays, no excuses. They treated them like real clients, not as “beneficiaries” of some sponsorship.

Actually, from the very first meeting, Raluca said she felt very comfortable working with the people from the company:

“they are young as us, they recently graduated from the university, they know what means to be a student association and to have little or no resources to organize projects; most of them activated in student associations, and they were really impressed by our results obtained in only six years of existence. We could connect easily with them because of all these reasons, and now they are like my friends and we can do, for sure, great things together”.

Absolvire de la A la Z representative, during RATIO Academy 2018 Gala Event

Now, the two partners have already planned new meetings to talk new collaborations for the incoming events, such as the anniversary event of six years of existence of the association, but also other projects: Sherlock (training program on evaluation methods), Career Challenge (open doors events in companies, organized for students in economics), ProTraining (personal and professional development training for association’s members and students in economics from Cluj), Good Deeds Accounting (a charitable project for low-income families), etc. Absolvire de la A la Z could help the association in these future events with photo-video services, photo booths for events, with logistics services (like transport of roll-ups and promotional materials from one place to another, or transport of gifts they collect in their charitable events for families living in poverty), or they could facilitate them the access to other companies that provide services for events or to trainers, speakers the company invites in their events, etc.

Photos credentials: the photos from this article were provided by RATIO Association and were taken by Absolvire de la A la Z during the RATIO Academy 2018 Gala Event.