Business Management graduate talks about his placement year video transcript

I'm Joel Boulter, I graduated from the University of Derby in summer 2021 with a BA (Hons) in Business Management. I did a year at Wincanton on placement and I'm down with them again on the graduate scheme. The course gave me that really broad understanding of business from finance, HR through to sort of strategy and marketing and allowed me as well at times to apply it to logistics and supply chain, which is where I am now. So when I've come into the workplace I’ve also had those softer skills, like how to communicate, how to present but I've been able to give that broad business experience into the market that we're in now.

So here at Wincanton, we offered the opportunity for students to come and do a one-year placement program with us, the advantage of doing that here is that the students come and do and fulfil a practical role, it's very hands-on job experience in a number of different areas so it could be a support function like HR, or it could be in operations looking after transport or warehouse management and it really is about the students coming and getting that practical experience.  

So on my placement year, I worked as a business development analyst on Wincanton's contract with B&Q so was working on large projects involving automation and robotics new systems but also property work when we need to potentially open a new site but also working on new business to create sales collateral and do market research and research of companies so that we can work out how we can best help them.

So the 12 months placement are a quite structured programme, most of the learning will happen on the job. I like them to have goal settings and objectives that they need to fulfil for us it's really important that they can apply the theory in the workplace, and they get the most out of that placement. We have monthly check in calls, we have objective settings and goal placement settings to support and guide the students for the 12 months.  

So my placement year was really valuable firstly because of all the context that it gives you to what you've studied at university, the theory you're applying into that everyday work situation but then also I've managed to get a place undergraduate scheme off the back of it so that in my final year I didn't have to worry about applying for jobs, I could focus on the work for the degree so I could get that first class degree. I would really recommend current students to do a placement year to really get that context around what they've been studying and really develop that deeper understanding but it's also a great springboard to launch your career.

Business Management graduate talks about his placement year video

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