Country of origin: United Kingdom
Andrew worked as a Commercial Vehicles Finance Analyst for his placement year.
I chose to do a placement year because I wanted to see if the engineering/manufacturing finance role was the career I want to pursue. Before my placement I had an idea this is the sector that would interest me so I saw the placement year as an opportunity to test this theory and also gain valuable experience which would help me when applying for graduate schemes.
Opel/Vauxhall released the new Vivaro Van in 2014 and a lot of my work revolved around approving and tracking investments and calculating and tracking material costs. This was a Europe wide role, working closely with colleagues in the Luton plant, the Vauxhall office in Luton and Opel office in Russelsheim, Germany. The Vivaro is a joint venture between Opel/Vauxhall and Renault, working in a joint venture has given me an opportunity to learn how two large companies co-operate, while remaining in competition.
I had a lot more responsibilities than I expected, working closely with a number of senior managers. As I developed into the role and my manager gained more confidence in my work, I was able to pick up new projects and responsibilities. Over the year I became more and more valued, as I enjoyed the placement year it confirmed that I want to enter a similar sector for a graduate job.
I enjoyed seeing that my work made an actual difference to the company as my work was being seen and used by senior managers within the organisation. Working with colleagues higher up the company allowed me to observe and learn their attitudes to work and how they have developed their careers.
The LUMS Careers team helped me in the application stage of the process. They taught me how to structure my CV in a clear way, and how to answer questions in the STAR framework. I also participated in a psychometric test workshop which helped me in a lot of applications as similar tests are often used as a stage in application processes.
My placement taught me that this is the career path I want to take. I found the work interesting and enjoyable and I have different skills during the year (communication, Excel, presenting and time management skills) which will help me with graduate job applications.