Case study

Year-long internship win for Kira and Laura

The idea of standing up in a room full of potential employers and giving a presentation about yourself sounds pretty scary – but our students Kira Williams and Laura Rose used the opportunity to win a year’s internship with a Derby company.

The big prize

Kira and Laura, who are both studying Human Resource Management, got the chance to present to a group of local employers at a Marketing Derby breakfast event by winning a contest run by our Employer Engagement Team.

Our Careers and Employment Hub then supported Kira and Laura by offering many useful services to help them secure the internship. They provided a CV check, presentation skills, interview skills training, mock interviews and application reviews.

Their prize was a year-long internship at LoatesHR, a HR Consultancy firm based in Derby founded by Derby alumna Sarah Loates.

Giving something back

Sarah graduated from the University in 1994 and is now a chartered HR professional with over 20 years HR experience. She is keen to support students with their real world experience and is giving something back to the university by offering placement opportunities in her company.

“From my own personal experience I know how hard it is to get HR experience on your CV, so I am proud we are creating opportunities for students to obtain this," she says. "We have developed a very close relationship with the University and I wanted to give something back as I graduated there."

Sarah Loates

Relevant industry experience is highly prized by potential employers and may be the only thing differentiating between multiple applicants with good degree results.

Sarah Loates
Founder of LoatesHR

Clear and confident

In Kira’s presentation, she spoke about the type of placement she was seeking, outlined her strengths and explained what she could offer the business. To prepare for her presentation, she met employers beforehand to go through her CV and to get ideas on what to include.

“A few days before the presentation I met with Sarah and her team to run through the presentation,” she says. “I received lots of helpful tips on how to deliver my speech clearly and confidently.”

Kira Williams and Laura Rose
Kira Williams and Laura Rose at LoatesHR

Relevant knowledge

Our degree is highly relevant and employers are closely involved in delivering it. Throughout the course, students will take part in work-related projects and practical scenarios to give a fresh perspective on what it is like to work in the profession.

Kira says: “My course has taught me many things that will benefit my career, such as the recruitment and selection process and how to conduct appraisals. Key concepts have been demonstrated to me through using real companies as an example.

“My course has also developed me on a personal level as I am more confident and can carry myself in a professional way.”

Laura says: “The knowledge I have gained from my studies at University put me at an advantage for when I started my internship. I was already aware of the day-to-day activities which took place within a HR business setting and had a foundation of knowledge to build on once I was in the role.”

Practical experience

Since starting the placement, Kira and Laura have been involved in various projects ranging from looking over employment contracts to organising the training courses that are offered to businesses across the East Midlands. They have gained hands-on experience in completely different aspects of HR including events and marketing.

Kira says: “I have been involved in HR admin, coordinating training events and preparing the materials needed. I have also been involved in some marketing elements, such as promoting the business on social media, and at networking events.”

HR students during a lecture illustrating Human Resource Management courses

Our Human Resource Management courses

We’ll prepare you to become a dynamic HR professional ready for a bright future.

Find out more about our Human Resource Management courses Find out more about our Human Resource Management courses

Future career plans

Working at LoatesHR has helped Kira and Laura build their confidence working in a business setting and they have gained real-life experience with like-minded professionals. These valuable networks will help raise their individual professional profiles and enhance career prospects.

Laura says: “I think the skills I have learned as well as my practical knowledge will help my CV stand out and ensure I can progress within the HR profession.

“I would advise others to make use of every opportunity that comes their way, whether that is using the services the Careers Hub has to offer or an event promoted by the University.”

Kira says: “This experience has helped me see what it’s like working in a real professional business environment in an industry I hope to go into myself. I have also gained skills which you cannot learn at university and which will help me be more employable in the future.”