Meet the team – Laura Riley

Our ‘Meet the Team’ blog posts give you the chance to learn more about the staff in the Business Placements Team.  What makes Laura Riley our current Placement Officer smile at work?

Laura Riley

My name is Laura and I am covering the Placement Officer role for the Business Placements Team while Rachel Naamani is on Maternity Leave. My role is to ensure that Business Placements delivers a quality service and student experience throughout the placement process – from your induction at the start of your second year to submitting your Placement Assessment Files at the end of your placement.  This involves ensuring that you have access to all the specialist advice and guidance you need to secure that dream placement then have the most AMAZING placement year!

What makes you smile at work?

Meeting students on the Employability Hub. As you can imagine we are in contact with hundreds of second year students so I really look forward to my shift on the Hub where I get the chance to talk to students.

What REALLY makes me happy is meeting students who have just received placement offers. It’s amazing to see the transformation of students who have been coming to see us for weeks/months who all of a sudden get a placement – the hard work pays off ladies and gents!

What skills do you need to be successful in your job?

A huge passion for placements and employability and the need to please! Students put a lot of financial investment into their education and it is vital that the team are providing the best possible service.

Do you have any hidden talents?

Though I do a mean Tina Turner dance, I like to keep my ability hidden. I’d love to perform a knee knocking happy dance to ‘Simply The Best’ on the Employability Hub every time a student gets placed but I have to maintain a professional image!

What are your top tips for second years?

  • Let’s face it applying for placements in addition to everything else you have got going on can be stressful. But don’t bury your head in the sand, a little hard work in your second year can make such a difference to your career prospects.
  • Get involved. We see so many students towards the end of second year who have never been for a 1-2-1 for placement advice, don’t read the weekly newsletter and have never accessed the vacancy system – we advertise over 1500 placements every year and can give you specialist advice on each of the roles we advertise.
  • Read the job description rather than the job title. Grocery Volume Analyst at Danone? This is a Sales/Account role that would be perfect for an Accounting and Finance Student. Job descriptions don’t always reflect the company ethos, the motivated teams you will be working in or the varied job roles. It pays to do your own research if a job description seems a little dry or on the brief side.
  • If you are unsure of what to apply for, book a 1-2-1. The Placement Coordinators are familiar with all the placements we offer and will be able to recommend companies/roles which match your requirements.
  • Brush up own your interview technique. Both the Placement Coordinators and the MMU Careers Service will be able to give you sound interview advice and mock interviews.

*Did you know that 46% of students who did a placement in 2013/14 received a graduate job offer upon completing their placement – before they had even started their final year! *

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