Billy Warren

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Intern, Gradient Consulting

After having studied business at sixth form I truly developed a passion for the subject. From visiting LUMS I quickly realised that this is where I needed to be in order to further my own skills and develop a strong and well-rounded knowledge of the current business world, in order to secure my desired role at a consulting firm after graduation. What really impressed me was how embedded in the local business community LUMS are. They connect the academic world and the real life business world seamlessly, providing students with real life insights, and examples that they can draw upon when producing assignments. The fact that LUMS is well recognised as a leading UK business school was also a key attraction.

One word that would sum up my BA Management & Entrepreneurship (Industry) degree would be variety. No modules are the same, meaning that as a student you really need to be open to different ways of working, much like in the world of employment. Each module can involve a number of different activities, such as essays and exams that you would find in most degrees, but also combined with presentations, individual and group reports, pitches, and even leading group seminars and workshops. The result of this is the development of a wide range of skills. My education at Lancaster University has led me to feel that I can apply myself to anything and be successful at it. If I was to pick out a particularly unique and hugely beneficial module, it would be Management 200. For this module, you are assigned to a group and work with a local business in a consulting role. This involves multiple visits to the client’s site, assessing their issues, and over a 9 month period creating solutions. This concludes with a large final report and presentation to the client, who can then use this to make real improvements to their organisation moving forward.

Another key point is that LUMS is a hugely diverse department and encourages group work in most modules, which gives you the opportunities to work with people from all over the world. From someone who comes from a mill town in East Lancashire, I can honestly say that having the opportunity to gain contacts and friends from every continent has made me a better and more employable individual. I feel that involving yourself in societies can be a key contributor to success in your degree. It enables you to let off steam, and develop multiple friendship groups that give you that crucial support. I myself was involved in a number of clubs, mostly my college football team and the university boxing club. This gave me the opportunity to clear my mind, relax, which ultimately benefitted my academic work.

To briefly touch upon the campus and Lancaster, it offers something for everyone. I loved the accessibility of the city, the surrounding countryside which I often cycled around, and the variety of restaurants, bars and clubs that you usually only find in the larger cities. This is something I will truly miss. The campus again provides everything a student needs, both academically and socially, and can sometimes feel like a town in itself. I would say that the ethos of student life at Lancaster is work hard, play hard, which is something I certainly adhered to.

I can honestly say that my industrial placement is probably one of the main reasons behind me securing my dream job after university. I did my placement with a large multinational company called Enterprise Rent–A–Car. At Enterprise you are treated the same as their newly graduated trainee’s, and follow a well-structured 12 month training plan. This gave me the experience of working for a multinational company, as well as developing key business skills such as strong communication skills, sales, business management, customer relationship management and cost management. I also found that my placement year had made me grow up a lot. I found that in my final year of study I was much more organised and focused, which I attribute to my industrial placement.

It’s an experience that has changed me from a student fresh out of sixth form into a confident professional. LUMS really challenge their students to push themselves beyond their boundaries, which at times can be difficult but ultimately it is rewarding. The support system that they have in place, combined with tutors who are easily accessible can be really invaluable. I have acquired a wide network of friends who are now employed around the globe. I hope that I can return to LUMS in the future as a proud alumni member.

LUMS career services were instrumental in me gaining an industrial placement as well as post university employment. My current employer is an SME consulting firm that has close links to LUMS, therefore I actually found the position through talking with the careers service. Similarly, I learnt about my industrial placement position at Enterprise through a LUMS organised careers fair.

I am now currently employed by a company named Gradient Consulting which provides services for companies looking to invest in ERP systems. My job role involves visiting client’s sites, assessing their requirements, selecting a suitable system vendor, and then overseeing the implementation process, which can take up to 12 months. The consulting module that I took in my second year at Lancaster gave me initial consulting experience which I felt contributed to me gaining this job.