We spoke to Frederic who is doing his work placement at BIP Solutions and his manager Sam Gilding who is an associate Director for Media and Marketing Solutions. They both shared advice as student and employer; let’s find out what they said.
Freddie, what do you think you have brought to the company?
I feel I might have some more specialised skills and I bring just a different and fresh outlook. With all the sales team they enjoy using the model of fresh pair of eyes and I think I’ve definitely brought that with a measurable outcome to it too.
How do you feel that your learning at Salford has particularly informed what you’ve been able to bring to the company?
I think what I’ve learned has been able to help incredibly. I do have a basic and general understanding of what is going on in all aspects and at all levels. The modules in Business IT, my degree, have given me a vast array of tools. Each module, I have been able to use and draw upon information. Like Principles of Law; I remember all the non-disclosure agreements, contract breaches, it’s been really interesting to not only have learned that, but I can now apply that to the job I’m in.
Would you agree with that, Sam? What do you think?
I’d absolutely agree with that. I mean, it is that freshness. We identified that we have a strong product offering, great logo acquisition, a really good customer base, but a lot of the sales guys were over engineering solutions and sometimes falling down, because they’re not necessarily competent on the more analytical pieces. So, Freddie’s role is principally that; but it’s become a lot more than that. He’s learned some skills, and then translated those back into the sales environment. The overall level of learning is increased as a consequence of Freddie being there.
Sam, what sort of advice would you give an employer who’s thinking of taking on someone?
I think as an employer, you’ve got to be open-minded so, having that fresh approach, somebody that is coming out of academia who will have perhaps a better and fresher understanding of some of the emerging technologies, some of the digital skills that actually will be required now, but obviously moving forward to drive your business forward. So massive, massive endorsement from me.
Freddie, what would you say to somebody who’s thinking about doing a work placement?
Absolutely do it without doubt. I had a bit of experience beforehand, which I found useful. But I think just a year out, doing a placement year teaches you everything you need to know. You’re not as daunted by your future career when you finish your degree. Advice-wise, start early. The university job fairs, they’re really useful, that’s where I saw BIP. Go to those, they tell you who’s going to be there so do some research on the companies before.
Don’t just bring 20 copies of the same CV, personalise your CV, personalise your cover letter and just give them a personal approach. You want them to remember you. Start early. Absolutely don’t like leave it to the last week and then send in an application.