Gemma Pritchard - Undergraduate - University of Derby

Gemma

Gemma secured a finance placement with Molson Coors Brewing Company in Burton-on-Trent. She says: “Right from when I first considered university, I knew I wanted to go on placement because it is such a great opportunity to gain vital experience.

"My placement year has been a great one, and something I am really glad I have done. I can really see the benefits having completed a year in the workplace now; my confidence as a person has increased, making me feel much more  comfortable speaking up about issues and communicating with a variety of people.

"The tasks I did while on placement were very 'real', giving me a true insight into the world of work, which I am excited to get back into once I graduate."

Gemma chose to study accounting and finance because it will pave the way for a business career in a highly competitive job market. She has found her course very interesting so far and has appreciated the chance to widen her knowledge and improve her employability by studying a variety of modules in accounting, law and business.

She comments: “There have been plenty of opportunities to develop both personally and professionally. The modules have helped me become more confident and independent – and The Hub has run lots of workshops on themes such as CV-writing which I have found really useful.

“Lecturers have been supportive and encouraging, and my tutor has taken a keen interest in my development and has helped with finding a placement. I have found the support really useful and it is so rewarding when I do well in exams, especially when I won Student of the Year for Stage 1.”

Gemma is as yet unsure about her future career direction after graduation, but she would like to secure a place on a graduate training scheme focussing on the areas of accountancy where she has particular strengths.

"Instead of a dissertation I have chosen the option where I act as consultant to a business, which I aim to do through contacts at my placement company, who were keen to have me back after graduate. I believe this will further my business and communication skills to look into relevant business issues that I will learn about in my final year at university."

She concludes: “The teaching has helped me do as well as I could have hoped during my degree. The skills and knowledge that I have gained will no doubt be invaluable in my placement and throughout my career.

“I am so glad I came to the University of Derby as it has such a relaxed atmosphere, while still encouraging students to succeed. I am really glad to have done a placement, especially at Molson Coors, and would certainly recommend everyone to find a placement if they can as its a very rewarding experience.”