Laura Thomas

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Founder, Happy Sugar Habits

When I visited Lancaster University and the Management School, I had a gut instinct that this was the right place for me. I liked the working environment and could picture myself being happy and comfortable here...which I was!

I chose the BBA in Management because of the one-year placement that you do as part of the degree - it really gives you an advantage when it comes to applying for jobs.

The fact that around sixty of us were enrolled on the degree meant there was a close community which made the experience particularly enjoyable. The placement year was fantastic. When you get back, it's clear to see the difference in your academic work after gaining that year of work experience.

I did my placement at IBM, where I was a junior analyst working within their consulting arm (Global Business Services - the former PWC consulting). I worked for a group called the Physical Asset Management group and assisted the consultants in various tasks including financial reporting, event organisation and marketing activities.

Halfway through the placement I asked to experience working on a project as a junior consultant and so was able to shape my own job role during the year. As a result I worked on one of IBM’s biggest accounts: the DVLA. We worked to introduce a new queuing system to DVLA offices around the country and my time on the project saw us launch two successful pilots of the system.

Since I enjoyed my placement year so much, I decided to go back to IBM on graduation, and work with the same people who had helped me develop so much. I started back with IBM in September 2009.

Laura has since gone on to found her own company, Happy Sugar Habits, where her mission is to encourage people to manage their sugar cravings and adopt healthier ways of eating.