From placement to graduate job offer

In this blog we hear from Max Harris, final year BA (Hons) Business Management, whose placement year led to a graduate job offer.

Hello everyone, my name is Max Harris and I completed my placement from July 2013 – August 2014. I will be returning to the company I worked for after university in May this year as a Regional Account Manager and have written a short blog relating to my experience.

The Company and Role

The company I worked for provides rapidly deployable surveillance cameras, they’re the market leader and work with hundreds of Local Authorities, Police Forces and Housing Associations in the UK, as well as with major national companies such as National Grid and Network Rail.

The role I held during the term of my placement was Business Development Executive. This was a sales role, and involved working alongside two Regional Account Managers to develop business in one of the company’s two main sectors. I was given an enormous amount of responsibility almost immediately; being in charge of identifying and developing new business opportunities nationwide with the goal of securing a meeting for one of the Regional Managers to attend.

The day to day activities involved making outbound sales calls, receiving inbound sales calls, communicating with clients via email, securing sales meetings with potential customers and liaising with the Account Managers. The most important aspect of this role for me however was the fact you could really grow into it and make it your own, by this I mean you become familiar with customers and potential customers all around the country, you get to know all the main players within the sector you are working in and if you embrace the challenge presented to you it becomes extremely rewarding when you see your hard work pay off.

Would I Recommend a Placement?

Absolutely, not just so you can put it on your CV, but also for your personal development. I saw myself mature and become a lot more professional throughout the year and accomplish things I never thought would be possible at the start.

The company I worked for operated throughout the whole of the UK and also has offices in Texas, USA it is still a relatively small company compared to some of the placement opportunities available to students looking to gain real world experience. The advantages of working for a smaller company like this are that you can see how the whole company operates; from sales and marketing to logistics to manufacture to finance and so on. This gives you a comprehensive understanding of how a whole business works and how the different departments work with each other. You also get to personally know every person within the company, from the Chairman and Managing Director to the engineers in the workshop.

Opportunities

I was lucky enough to visit two major exhibitions as a part of my placement. Firstly IFSEC International 2014 at the Excel Arena in London. IFSEC is the world’s largest security exhibition in which over 24,000 people attend and is a great opportunity to speak to people within the industry and also pitch products face to face. The second exhibition I attended was in September 2014 after my placement had ended, I had the opportunity to represent the company at InnoTrans 2014, an international transport technology exhibition in Berlin where visitors to the company’s stand included the likes of Clare Moriarty, the Director General Rail Executive for the Department of Transport in the UK.

My placement year offered me some amazing opportunities and even led to a graduate job offer as a Regional Account Manager.

The company Max worked for recruit via the MMU Business School Placement Team, details of roles available were e-mailed to eligible students.  A range of available placements can always be found on our placement system.

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