Kathryn Brooke

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Cookery School Manager, Seasoned Cookery School

I chose to study at LUMS because I felt the reputation of the University and the Management School would enhance my future job prospects. Not only this, I particularly liked the fact that a placement year was greatly encouraged and I felt that a lot of encouragement was provided to make the most out of your time at the University, particularly as a LUMS student. I liked that the Department of Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Innovation was small, yet diverse, and I knew from the Open Day that I would be made to feel welcome.

The thing I enjoyed most about my degree programme was the variety of modules available to take. Studying management and entrepreneurship enabled me to be flexible and focus on entrepreneurship modules. However, the choice was there to select modules from other business departments, if I wanted to. I particularly liked the variety of practice and theory – this was particularly the case with the New Venture Planning and Social Contexts of Entrepreneurship modules.

I most enjoyed life on campus. It enabled me to meet new people and make new friends as well as learning a lot about myself! Lancaster as a city is great: there is always something to do and a lot of nice restaurants and bars to enjoy.

My degree involved a one-year industrial placement. As my degree major was Entrepreneurship, I thought it would be relevant to undertake a placement within an SME and so that’s what I did. My placement was at a company called Seasoned Cookery School which is a cookery school in Derbyshire. As I am passionate about food and Seasoned is a micro business, this was the perfect placement for me!

My job role was diverse – being in a micro business meant I would need to know the ins and outs of the whole business, whether operations, marketing or finance. This enabled me to understand what running a small business entailed and I was able to apply the theory from my lectures to real-life business situations.

I would summarise my experience at Lancaster as invaluable. I have been exposed to fantastic influential people who really aided my whole learning journey throughout my degree.

The relationship that LUMS has with large well-known businesses is extremely beneficial for those seeking a placement year or graduate employment. Attending Career Fairs and employer workshops helped me greatly with confidence, as well as interview and assessment centre advice and practice. I can safely say this was a real help for me, and the advice and tips I learnt will stay with me.

Due to the success of my placement year at Seasoned, I was asked to return full-time after graduating to take on the role of Cookery School Manager. I am excited to run the business and there are a lot of paths to growth which I am excited to pursue. I like the freedom of working within a micro business, as I feel I can add my own stamp and see real growth results.

During my time at Lancaster, I gained a variety of skills which have definitely aided my employability and helped with my managerial role within a micro business.