Loik joined us in the summer of 2022 to complete his placement year in business. He’d initially been looking for a finance placement but the rotational nature of this one suited his degree subject.
At the start of the placement he received a full induction covering the role and the business, which is the same approach that we take when hiring a permanent member of the team. Loik told us “The induction was good and I had lots of sessions which helped to orientate me.”
There were some aspects of his degree subject that made his transition a bit easier as he was already familiar with some accounting principles as well as aspects of digital marketing, for example. “Business is different to theory and (on a practical level) I’ve learned a lot more than I would at university.”
After the same detailed induction we deliver to all new starters, Loik’s learning was ‘on the job’, with support and guidance from his line manager and his colleagues. Following a period of induction, he started to work in the Finance team. As this was a rotation, he went on to spend a few months working in the Marketing and Account Management teams, completing his placement year back with the Finance team. Finance was still his preferred option and happily we were able to accommodate this preference for his last few months.
Learning to work independently was one area where he developed his working practices as, over time, the level of responsibility increased. During his time with us Loik picked up a number of transferable skills such as learning how to plan, manage his time and utilise his calendar which he said he benefited from on a day to day basis. Because he worked in different teams, he learned how to both work with and adapt to the different teams as well as understanding the differences and how each one operates. He said “The rotation has taught me how teams depend on each other to operate.”
Speaking to clients in a professional manner was another area that he developed his skills as well as relationship building as this wasn’t something he’d learned at university. This was something that he had to pick up quite quickly, both internally with his immediate colleagues and when he changed teams but also externally with clients and suppliers.
He wasn’t expecting the level of autonomy in the role that he had, which included producing finance reports to send to head office. Demonstrating that he was both willing and capable to take on work meant that he was also able to develop an understanding of tasks which in turn enabled him to teach colleagues and some of our work experience students.
On a social level he developed relationships and friendships with people from all across the business. One of his first events was to join us on a summer boat trip, through to taking part in our online Fifa league to raise funds for our charity partner.
Loik returned to Aston University to complete his final year in International Business and Economics, in the autumn of 2023. But it wasn’t goodbye, as he currently works one day a week in our Finance team. He told us that it was one of the best experiences he’d had, and when a student doesn’t want to let go completely, you know that it’s been a good placement year.
Of his year with us Loik said “I think that future employers will like the fact that I’ve had a year’s work experience.” And what will he take back to his final year at university? “Speaking to people on a professional level, time management skills and preparing a cash flow will all be helpful.”
We asked him if there was anything he’d have liked to have learned when he was with us but didn’t get the opportunity to. “A business trip to the Australian office would have been nice!...I’ve learned so much and didn’t expect to do as much as I did.”
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