It’s no secret that competition for industrial placements and internships are tougher than ever and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to secure a top rated placement.  With application deadlines approaching, many Loughborough students are looking to secure a position with a top company, but what comes next can be just as daunting.

Standing out during assessment centres, interviews and making the most of the placement itself is essential and can be the key to securing a career after graduation. We’ve spoken to finalist Phil Berry, who last year completed his industrial placement with one of Rate My Placements Top 50 Employers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, to give you an idea of what the application process involves and what the placement itself is all about.

What course do you do?

BSc Physics and Maths

What obstacles did you come up against when applying for placements?

The main obstacle was that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I chose the Enterprise placement because it was a general business based placement so I knew that I would gain a good, broad experience with a lot of transferable skills, but not one that tied me down to a particular career path.

What else encouraged you to apply to Enterprise?

I was impressed with the recruiters that I met at a Loughborough careers fair and the overall reputation and feedback about the company on graduate recruitment sites. From investigating their values and the job as described on their website, it looked like a placement where you'd be given real responsibility and make a real contribution to the business.

What did you do on your placement? What was your general role and position within the company?

I started on the Management Training Scheme as everybody does – the company only promote from within so every manager at every level has come from the same place and understands your position. I completed the scheme in nine months and was promoted to the role of Management Assistant at the company’s Leicester North branch. Generally speaking the role is primarily sales and customer service based, incorporated with management, fleet planning skills and marketing.

What did you enjoy most about your placement?

The people – everybody starts in the same position, so everybody is happy to help a new starter because they know what it’s like to be in your shoes. There was a great sense of teamwork, and I made some really good friends there.

Have you received any further work or offers of graduate employment as a result of your placement?

Yes, I worked there for an extra three months over the summer and I am still working part time in branch as a Management Assistant. I have also been offered a permanent job with the company after graduation.


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