Chloe Stafford: BA Business Management with a Year in Industry, 2015

I studied BA Business Management with a Year in Industry. After graduating in 2015, I am now a Banking Leadership Graduate at The Co-operative Bank in Manchester. 

What does your role involve?

My graduate scheme is a three year rotational programme. After my initial six months, which will be based in customer facing areas of the business, I will be rotate between the banks' core business functions, including digital technology, process improvement and planning & performance. Within each placement, I will take ownership of projects and work closely with senior management so I am ready to secure a managerial position at the end of the graduate scheme.

How did your course prepare you for this role?

My degree in Business Management gave me an in depth, theoretical understanding of how business's operate which I can apply within my practical work experiences. 

Plus, I gained crucial interpersonal skills such as communication, leadership and team working which I can utilise in my graduate role. 

Did you use the University careers service?

I can highly recommend the careers service. I frequently attended employer-led workshops to improve my commercial awareness and also took advantage of other services, such as CV writing sessions and application master-classes, to improve my personal development and employability.

Did you participate in any extra-curricular activities whilst studying?

Studying takes up a lot of your time, especially in your final year, so it’s important you take breaks and get involved in extracurricular activities.

I was involved in the student ambassador programme at the management school. I really enjoy speaking to potential students about university life and sharing my experiences with them. I was keen to get involved with this programme, as well as the mentoring scheme as I found these very useful when I was a new student.

In addition, I was part of the management school society and represent the university hockey team on a weekly basis which is a brilliant way to meet other students in a social environment.

Throughout my time at university, I have attended various careers presentations where I have met employers and the careers advisors have helped me to obtain both a 3 month and 12 month placement through assistance with my CV, applications and interview skills. 

Why did you choose the Year in Industry programme?

I chose the four year Business Management course because I thought it was really important to gain relevant business work experience before entering the graduate market. In this current economic climate, it can be competitive to find employment after graduating, so I felt a placement year would put me in an advantageous position. Plus, a placement is the perfect opportunity to use the theoretical knowledge, you have learnt in your first two years, in practical business scenarios. Whilst on placement, you gain invaluable skills and experiences which you then apply in your final and most important year at university.

What did you enjoy most about your student experience?

I think the most rewarding part of my programme was my placement year. I was given a significant amount of responsibility within the organisation. Within my first few months, I was placed in charge of managing all the company’s internal events and monthly reports for the company’s directors. Although it was nerve-racking to start off with, these projects were a brilliant opportunity for me to showcase my skills and learn from knowledgeable people.     

What are your career goals for the future?

During my placement, I held positions of responsibility where I led other employees towards reaching the desired goal. This helped influence my personal career goal of being in a managerial position responsible for a small team of employees within 3-4 years.