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Alexander

Ponsford

United Kingdom
The whole experience has been invaluable, and one that has set me up with the appropriate skills to maximise my final year grade.

More about Alexander

"I completed a fully paid work placement year with Union Square as a Business Development Executive. I was given many responsibilities in the role, including supporting the systems consultants in the field, delivering presentations, and heading up international operations.

"During my placement I obtained a clear first-hand overview of how a SME operates. This sort of exposure to how a business runs cannot be replicated in a classroom. As a result, I learned through witnessing how more experienced professionals deal with a variety of situations and objections in the work place. This culminated in me acquiring important business skills that would have been impossible to learn in the classroom.

"After a successful first ten months at the company, I have been offered a final year bursary which I’ve accepted. This will aid me financially throughout my final year of study, and will see me return to the role as business development executive at the end of my degree. There are opportunities for promotion both domestically and internationally in the 12 months following graduation, so it is certainly an exciting time to be working with the company.

"Being given a huge amount of responsibility in a SME allows you to see exactly what particular aspects of work you enjoy. This knowledge will empower you moving into final year when deciding what career path to go down. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, especially now with there being so many graduate programmes out there to choose from.

"The whole experience has been invaluable, and one that has set me up with the appropriate skills to maximise my final year grade.

"In my opinion, going on placement is a must for any undergraduate student. At NTU we have the facilities to help us get the placement opportunity we desire, so not using this resource seems silly. After working for a year in the business world, I feel I am at a far greater advantage than those on my course that didn’t do a placement. Not only this, but when it comes to getting a job in an increasingly competitive world, having a good reference from your placement year on your CV is invaluable and will open a lot of doors.

"One piece of advice for students thinking of doing a work placement year: sort your CV out early! There are placement opportunities with deadlines that close as early as October, and if you haven't got that resource available to send out then you may miss out on some unbelievable opportunities."

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