Swapping Classroom for Boardroom for Industry Success

If you’re thinking about a career in business, then a vocationally orientated business degree is a good place to start. When deciding where to study your degree there are lots of options to pick from, so it’s important that you pick the right one for you that will really help you stand out in the competitive job market. At the University of Chester we recognise the importance of not only furthering your academic potential, but also preparing you for employment after graduation. That’s why, as a student studying within the Faculty of Business and Management, you’ll be given the fantastic opportunity to gain work experience whilst you study.

Why take part in work experience?  

Whilst a degree is great for enhancing your knowledge, work experience is looked upon highly by employers and can often mean the difference between a yes or no at interview. Not only can it provide you with an insight into a possible career, but it can also develop your transferable skills as well as give you the opportunity to network and create influential contacts in the industry.

Why the University of Chester?

As a student studying with Chester you’ll have the opportunity to undertake our nationally renowned Work Based Learning (WBL) module towards the end of Year 2, which includes a placement of a minimum of 150 hours for at least five weeks. Here you can choose the type of placement you wish to undertake, giving you the opportunity to try out a possible future career whilst gaining academic credits towards your degree. 

To give you an idea of how our Work Based Learning module has benefited our current business students, take a look at our student case studies.

Viktoria Dencheva

As an Events Management and Tourism student, Viktoria had the fantastic opportunity to work at Hope House Hospice; a 20 year old charity that devotes their work to helping life limited children and their families. 

What did you do on placement?

“I was involved with managing all aspects of sponsorship for upcoming fundraising events that the charity organises throughout the year. That included advertising and promoting events, designing promotional material, direct marketing to local businesses and taking an active role in the events.”

What new skills have you developed?

“I improved my verbal communication skills and my ability to present information to a variety of people with different levels of interests of the services and projects. I also developed a higher awareness of how a charity operates and the way to build relationships with businesses in the community.”

What have you learnt about yourself?

“I learned a lot about my ability to constantly challenge myself even with tasks where I lacked confidence and had no prior experience. On a more personal level, I came out of my shell - I’m now much more talkative and contribute to team activities regardless of my language insecurity.”

How will this placement help your future career plans?

“It has showed me an important side of the fundraising activities that need to take place on a daily basis to build a successful charity. I now have valuable experience approaching sponsors and event marketing which will help me with the organisation of future projects.”

 

Richard Underwood

As a student studying Business Management and Entrepreneurship, Richard had the opportunity to spend time gaining experience in the marketing department of the Solicitors firm Aaron and Partners.

What did you do on placement?

“I assisted in various tasks based around marketing. These included helping to prepare for roadshow events and developing a marketing plan promoting a new service. This is now being used as a basis for their marketing activities for Equine Law.”

What new skills have you developed?

“Having studied marketing as part of my course, I was able to see how the different marketing tools are used in a real business and in particular a service company. I learned how to use social media to promote a business, how networking events can generate new revenue streams and how to plan a roadshow event.”

What have you learnt about yourself?

“My placement has shown me that I can function well as part of a team and also that I have a strong work ethos – turning up every day on time, carrying out all tasks to deadline and to a high quality. It has also helped confirm that following my course I would like to look at a career in marketing.”

How will this placement help your future career plans?

“Although I studied marketing on my course, working with marketing experts at Aaron & Partners has helped me identify that marketing is a potential employment area I would like to go into. It has also made me think about furthering my knowledge by studying for a CIM Qualification (Chartered Institute of Marketing).”

 

Rian Patel

An International Business student, Rian gained her work experience with Australian organisation Lendlease, who deal with a range of projects from asset and property management to construction. One of their current projects in the UK is the North Wales Prison Project in Wrexham, which is the largest prison to be built in the UK.

What did you do on placement?

“During placement I was tasked with assisting both the Construction Manager and Project Director doing various tasks. I reformatted the monthly constructor report which was to be sent out to the Ministry of Justice – this is still currently being used. I also assisted in site visits, health and safety inductions and was given the site viewing platform as a project.”

What new skills have you developed?

“I have gained more experience in a professional business environment and have developed my

communication skills in particular.”

What have you learnt about yourself?

“I have found that I would definitely consider a career in construction as it offers a wide range of opportunities to implement skills learnt from my degree.”

How will this placement help your future career plans?

“It has made me consider a future career in construction and has encouraged me to look for potential work opportunities abroad.”

As the above demonstrates, there are a whole range of placements available to get involved in during your studies. This gives you plenty of opportunity to put the skills you learn in the lecture room to the test.  

Discussing the importance of gaining work experience whilst you study, Professor Lawrence Bellamy, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Business and Management explained, “Employability preparation is a primary ingredient of our course design, with Work-Based Learning at the heart of this. The experience in-company is critical in helping students to understand the business context of their studies and how they can work to shape their career direction in the future”.

Want to know more?

To find out more about our wide range of courses within the Faculty of Business and Management and the fantastic opportunities available for students as they study, take a look at our website.

If you have any questions about living and studying at the University of Chester just get in touch.

E: enquiries@chester.ac.uk T: 01244 511000