From placement year to career: 1 student’s success story

In this inspiring blog we hear the story of Kim Walker née Simpson, BA (Hons) International Business, who successfully completed her placement year in 2008/09 and is now still working for her placement provider as the Sales Manager responsible for a multi-million pound furniture retail business.

Kim Walker first joined Forest Sofa in June 2008 as a Sales and Marketing Assistant on an undergraduate placement year. Forest Sofa is a leading furniture manufacturer based in Manchester producing and distributing high quality furniture through multiple brands.

Forest Sofa

Placement years provide students the opportunity to undertake 1 year working as part of their degree; the perfect opportunity for individual progression, aiding professional development in an environment of specialist industry.

During Kim’s placement year at Forest Sofa, she became the Sales and Marketing Assistant for both brands; The English Sofa Company and The Chesterfield Company. Kim’s job role included direct sales to the public, telephone communication, administration tasks and putting together brochure packs to send to customers.

During her time within the company, Kim received high quality training and development in telephone and face to face communication and sales, enhancing her business knowledge and confidence.

Forest was impressed with how Kim had developed and progressed within the job role and she was asked to carry on her role part time whilst completing her final year at Manchester Metropolitan University. Kim graduated in 2010 with a 2:1 in BA (Hons) International Business and was offered a permanent full time position at Forest.

Kim continues to develop and thrive within the company, and from joining Forest as a Sales and Marketing Assistant, she has now progressed through the company and is now the Sales Manager, responsible for a multi million pound furniture retail business.

Within the past 12 months, alongside managing the sales team, Kim has also been the heart of the recent development for latest brand within the company, The English Bed Company. For this project Kim worked with photographers and design teams and also displayed high quality marketing strategies to ensure full coverage for the new brand.

‘The placement year at Manchester Metropolitan University gave me the opportunity to gain valuable new skills in my field whilst studying and also introduced me to the intricacies of a professional working environment. The placement helped me to boost my CV and improve my confidence in a professional, working environment.  I would highly recommend a placement year to other students as it enables you to gain important life and business skills and in my case, I was able to demonstrate my own skills within the company and was later offered a full time job post placement.’ Kim Walker

If you are an employer wishing to offer a placement year to a current Manchester Metropolitan University student please download our Employer’s guide to Student placements 14_15 Employer’s Guide to Sandwich Placement



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