Meet Will Manley
Having graduated with a BSc in Human Resource Management in 2021, Will Manley is now working as a Recruitment Consultant for Applica Resourcing. He tells us about his job and about studying at Salford Business School.
Tell us about the company you’re working for and what you’re doing with them.
I work for a company called Applica as a Recruitment Consultant (Energy). We do a lot of work in the energy sector dealing with clients that are multibillion pound businesses searching for engineering candidates.
I'm on track to become senior consultant in the next two months. I'm really excited for that (and there’s a base pay rise with it too!).
Why did you choose to study at Salford?
I’ve got two elder cousins, both of them attended Salford. One of them did a law degree, the other one did Physics and both said how much they enjoyed it. I also had a family friend who went to Salford and he said the exact same thing.
So Salford was in my search at the time as one of my five university choices. Out of all the five universities that I went to visit, Salford felt like the most homely one. I really liked the campus vibe, I liked the fact that everything's close by and the accommodation was by far the best one that we saw. When I was there on the Open Day, both me and my mum, we said the same thing: it feels like you'd really fit in here.
From the minute I started, I loved it. From meeting my flat mates for the first time, it definitely felt like home.
Tell us a bit about your course
I started on a business degree at first. All the lectures that we'd go to were so interesting, so insightful; the lecturers knew exactly what they were talking about.
I did an HR topic in the second half of the year and absolutely loved it, I was like a duck to water. It was the subject I got the best grade in. I really enjoyed finding out about businesses that we were looking into from an HR perspective. What really cemented it was when I went to speak to the lecturer and he told me about the CIPD accreditation you get on the course. That’s when I transferred to the HR degree.
One thing that really stuck out about our course was the fact that we only had 25 people on the course itself. Yes, we had shared lectures in a big hall; they’re more about taking in information, writing it down, understanding it. But then you take your learning into your seminars and that's when you discuss it, it was more of a conversation than anything. We offered our own opinions; there were times when the lecturer went ‘good point, yeah, I agree with that’. And there were times where they said ‘think about that in a different light’. I think that's a really good way to learn, you can offer things back rather than just accept the fact that you've been told. You do your own research and bring your own knowledge.
It worked so well. The group that we had, everyone enjoyed being with each other and it was just a really good environment.
Did you get the chance to do a placement or internship?
When we were applying for the different placement roles, that was when COVID was coming in so I missed out on the opportunity. When I started the final year, I was conscious that I had no practical experience in HR - you've got to have some sort of experience going into the real world, employers are always looking for experience rather than just a degree.
So I spoke with Mum and she suggested I try where she works. I just sent an email to the HR manager and said ‘I'm doing a degree. I'd really love to do a one day internship. I won't get paid, I don't expect anything. I just want to come in and do some jobs.’ And they said ‘yeah, let us know when you're free and we'll set it up’. I went in one or two days a week, depending how busy I was with uni and where I was at with my assignments.
It was really interesting because everything that we discussed in class was based in an ideal situation. If someone comes with a grievance, you sit them down and talk to them and try and manage it. But when you're in the real world, it doesn't necessarily work that way, there’s a lot of background factors coming into the mix. It was interesting bringing issues back to the class, asking the lecturer ‘how would you have dealt with this situation?’ or offering it in class discussions. It really helped because I could offer opinions that nobody else in the class could because they didn't have the same insight.
We had a really knowledgeable group, to be honest. Whenever I was talking about a certain situation, people were saying, ‘yeah, but what about this?’
What do you reckon was the best bit?
Personally, I enjoyed the legal side of HR, I really enjoyed the contract law, the grievance law and the Equality Act. I enjoyed looking into all the different factors that play into it.
I never thought that I would enjoy Law modules as much as I did! That was where I got the best grades. The lecturer for that was just unbelievable, he was an absolute legend.
We did an assignment in my final year, it was the last assignment that I did. We had a week to do it but I was so interested in what I was writing and so interested in the research that I'd done, I think I did it in two days and I ended up getting 80% in it.
What would you say to somebody who is considering studying the same course that you did?
One thing I will say is, make sure you're interested in what you're doing. I never thought I'd end up in in HR but it’s a mega, mega interesting course. If you are interested in business and you are interested in helping people, then it's definitely the course for you.
It's sad when you leave, but it's an experience that I'd tell anyone to pursue because it's just fantastic, especially if you really enjoy what you're doing.
Honestly if I could go back and do it all again, I would.