Country of origin: United Kingdom
Director, Platform Delivery Lead, News Corporation
The offer of spending a year working in the South of France was not one to be passed over. Not surprisingly, Emma Fulton, studying on the BA in Management and Entrepreneurship, grabbed it with both hands. The twelve-month placement with Amadeus – the world’s largest processor of travel bookings – was just the kind of opportunity she’d been looking for to broaden her horizons.
‘I went to get the experience of working and living abroad, and also of working with different types of people – and I certainly got that.
‘The people I worked with at Amadeus were great, and Nice was a pretty nice place to live. It was also fun because there were plenty of other students there at the same time, so socially you could do things together – going off to the beach after work, and so on.’
Emma was employed in the company’s corporate marketing research team. This global team, with staff in France, Spain and Miami, provides marketing intelligence for Amadeus, monitoring competitor activity and producing reports which inform the company’s development of new products and technology solutions.
‘I managed their area on the company intranet, and also the promotion of the different reports that came out. During the year we split that environment into two, creating two different intranet environments, and I managed the design and the process of that.
‘The other part of my job was working with product managers, collecting information about our products and those of our competitors, so that I could write up reports comparing them and making recommendations as to where ours were better and where competitors were better. Before I arrived I knew nothing, really, about what Amadeus did, so I was in at the deep end – I had to learn pretty quickly.’
"Essentially I think the placement helped to motivate me a lot more."
Back at Lancaster she has found that the experience has brought noticeable changes in how she works. ‘This year I find it a lot easier to get up and to keep on top of everything, in terms of organising myself and my time – there’s a big difference there. And that’s really helped my grades since I’ve been back.’
‘Essentially I think the placement helped to motivate me a lot more. Before I was perhaps quite happy to coast along – now I have more focus, and I’m looking forward to getting back to work.’
She chose to study Management and Entrepreneurship because she liked the practical nature of the programme. ‘A lot of the modules are more hands-on than other business degrees I looked at – like the New Venture Planning module, for example. I felt that what I was learning would be directly useful, whether it was in a small or a large business. I also thought it would give me something a bit different to talk about. Certainly when I’ve been in interviews, people have mentioned it as being something unusual, and those practical modules have come in really useful.’
‘I also like that fact that the Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Innovation is small – it’s really friendly. You can walk in and you always get one-on-one treatment, and everyone knows you.’
While she doesn’t necessarily see herself making a career as an entrepreneur, her choice of degree scheme has really opened her eyes to the possibilities of working in small companies. To get further direct experience, she also organised another three-month placement during the summer vacation, with a small brand consultancy in London – a fast-paced environment where a culture of long hours opened her eyes to the demands of many small business environments.
The company was so impressed that they offered her a job after graduation, but Emma had meanwhile been offered and accepted a graduate traineeship with Deloitte – so she was able to complete her studies at Lancaster secure in the knowledge that the next stage of her career was already settled.