BforB HQ in Manchester will be saying ‘merci’ and ‘au-revoir’ to French student Aurelie Desfontaines at the end of this week, following her successful three months stint as an intern.

Aurelie, 19, is studying management and business marketing back home in Villefontaine, near Lyon, and has been working and learning under the watchful eye of BforB managing director Mel Fisher since May.

Along with learning about BforB, Aurelie has also used this experience to become a more fluent speaker of English, and has come on in leaps and bounds since she arrived in May. Indeed, she won a ’60 Seconds Sensation’ at one BforB meeting she attended with Mel – a definite highlight of her time here!

“Everyone has made me very welcome, wherever I have been with Mel, and I very much appreciate it,” she said. “I am very grateful for the opportunity I have had, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“I want to speak better English, but also, I wanted to work with someone who runs a business; I have learned so much, especially about the value of networking in business.

“Business networking happens back home in France, but it’s not as big as it is here in the UK, but what I’ve learned from attending BforB meetings is that networking and referral marketing are a very important part of running, and building a business.

“One day, maybe, I would like to run my own business networking groups, because being able to introduce and link people, and see business being done between them, would be very rewarding.”

Aurelie is the ninth intern Mel has used as part of a European Exchange between May and July every year. “I think it is a very good idea, and I am happy to support it every year,” said Mel. “I saw it as an opportunity, and I have been very lucky to have nine very good young students since 2011.

“It was Lucas, who came over last year, who tipped-off Aurelie that I was looking for someone again this year – I actually wanted a female this year, as I’d only previously had one before and it was time to start evening the balance, and she has done very well; I will be sorry to see her go home.”

So can we expect to see Aurelie back in the UK again?

“I like England, and the culture,” she said. “I want to speak the language to a higher level before thinking of returning,” she said. “But when I can speak the language more fluently and confidently, I would seriously think about moving over here.”