Monday, 9 September 2019

Huge success for YIB Graduates.

We were delighted to celebrate with our cohort of Year in Business students on a sunny July morning in the beautiful Chapel at Royal Holloway, University of London. I was so proud of this group of Year in Business students who have achieved so much over the course of 4 years with us. All YIBs attained either a First Class degree or Upper 2nd. Indeed 84% of the group achieved a 1st which was significantly higher than the Management group in total. Not only this, the vast majority of students shared stories of their success in obtaining Graduate jobs or plans to continue studying (eg Master courses). Massive congratulations to all!

Some of our students are returning to the Companies where they undertook their placement years. Kane Nelhams did a Management trainee programme with Enterprise Rent-a-Car at the Slough branch and has now been promoted to Management Assistant. Over the last year Kane was a campus brand manager for the company and was actively involved in a number of Year in Business events, promoting the programme to 2nd years seeking placements. Another of our students, Ellen Pearce, is returning to Enterprise Rent-a Car head office for a Finance graduate position.

Other Year in Business students used their experience from their placements to help them secure Graduate positions with a range of other companies. These include Accenture, Bank of America, EY, Hogan Lovells, HSBC, KPMG, McClaren motors, Merkle, MVF, One Square Investments, Simmons & Simmons, Strata partners, The Crew network, Travelzoo, Wayfairer travel to name a few. At least one entrepreneurial graduate is looking to set up her own business.

We were delighted to hear the Graduating YIBs talk so positively about their placement years. Mikaela said " These past 4 years have been highly rewarding and I would definitely recommend choosing a course which incorporates practical experience such as a year in business, there is no better way to discover what type of role or company suits you for a future career."

Ellen who also graduated with a First Class degree described how the placement year "helped my confidence to grow as well as my abilities and knowledge of accounting and this massively helped in my final year. I was able to apply real examples to the modules and had a better understanding of them which helped for the exams!"

This is really inspiring to those students just about to enter their 2nd year and seek placement positions as there is not only the chance to improve employability prospects but also the potential degree grade.

We look forward to hearing how all the Royal Holloway Management Year in Business students get on in the future. Do keep in touch!

The benefits of placements - what do employers say?

We are very fortunate that 2 of our local placement providers, SAP and Ascot Wealth Management,  have taken part in our video profiles to talk about placements and the benefits they can offer to students looking to undertake a year out in industry.

Firstly I talked to Lindsey Rowe who is Chief of Staff/ Head of People & Programmes Office at Feltham based SAP, the world's leading cloud business software company. Lindsey is passionate about promoting such a programme with University students saying "I am privileged to work with absolutely outstanding students at the very start of their careers".

Lindsey talks about the benefits of the placement programme for the both students and a company like SAP and gives students concrete ideas of what they should do if interested in working for a company like SAP. Listen here to Lindsey talk:

A number of Royal Holloway Management students have undertaken placements with SAP in the past and 2 of our current YIBs, Adam and Michael are currently on placement with the company, one working in Role Ops and the other in the Account Management team.

Former RH placement students, Hannah, Catherine and Andrea

I was also thrilled to conduct an interview at local SME, Ascot Wealth Management, a company that has also recruited a number of our students over recent years. Catriona McCarron, Wealth Manager, also shared valuable tips with prospective applicants and was joined in the interview by her current placement student, RH Management student Connor Griffiths. Listen here for more insights:

Former RH placement students, Ropa and Alvaro
current RH placement student, Hannah

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Disclosure of disabilities?

The Placements team at Royal Holloway have a duty of care to all students going out on placement during their Year in Business Degree and encourage any student with any disability or health condition, including mental health, to talk in confidence with the University Student Support Services or their relevant Placements Officer about the possibility of disclosing.

Rate my Placement recently featured a guest blog written by Helen Cooke Director and Founder of MyPlus Students’ Club which is a free online resource for students that offers comprehensive guidance on all aspects of applying for a job or internship with a disability, as well as providing connections to, and jobs with disability confident graduate recruiters.

Sponsors of the Club are:
Barclays, EY, Norton Rose Fulbright and gsk.

Helen says that if you have a disability " you don't know why the employer is asking if you have a disability or what the consequences will be if you say that you do have a disability; or what judgements will be made; or will they just reject you? And so, you say that you don’t have a disability, even though you do. 

The reality is that employers are looking to recruit the very best talent, and they recognise that this includes individuals who have a disability or health condition. They want you to inform them about your disability or, more specifically, the support that you will need through the recruitment process in order that you can demonstrate your potential. Only you can decide whether you are going to be open.

The article cites 5 reasons why it recommends anyone with a disability or health condition may consider disclosing their disability to an employer:

1. You can request the adjustments or support you need
2. You can discuss your disability positively with an employer
3. You can draw on your disability to demonstrate the required competencies  - eg your resilience, determination or problem solving skills
4. You can be yourself
5. Your disability will help you stand out - look at what you have achieved despite having a disability and the barriers that this can present.

MyPlus Students' Club also provides work profiles of those with disabilities which are packed with advice.
 further profiles here:

 an employer's perspective:

You may not choose to disclose during the placement recruitment process but may choose to do so when starting on your placement. While on placement you will typically spend an average of 36 hours per week in the workplace and so this time can have a considerable influence on your health and well being. Working can certainly contribute to an individual's happiness, in providing structure, building confidence, self esteem and in providing financial rewards. It is important though to ensure that while on placement you focus on your health and well being and remember that support is available not only within the placement provider but also at the University.

Disabilities as defined by the 2010 Equality act refers to those with a physical or mental impairment that has a "substantial" and "long term" negative effect on your ability to carry out normal daily activities. It includes recurring (such as serious mental health conditions) and progressive conditions (such as Multiple sclerosis, cancer of HIV infections).

You can register at Royal Holloway's Disability and Dyslexia Services if you have:
> A social/ communication impairment such as an Autistic Spectrum condition
> A visual or sensory impairment uncorrected by glasses
> A long standing or chronic condition (such as Cancer, HIV, Diabetes, Chronic Heart Disease or Epilepsy)
> A mental health condition such as Depression, Anxiety Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder and Anxiety Disorder.
> A specific learning difficulty such as Dyslexia, Dypraxia, ADHD.
> A physical impairment or mobility issues.

Additional support within Royal Holloway for those with disabilities can be found here:

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Sabeeta's Digital Marketing placement at Ricoh

This is a guest post from Royal Holloway BSc Management with Marketing Year in Business student Sabeeta Gill who is currently doing a Digital Marketing placement at Ricoh in nearby Staines. Ricoh is a Multinational imaging and electronics company and Sabeeta was one of those representing the company at our recent Speed Recruitment event at Royal Holloway. The company is advertising a 12 month Digital Marketing placement position for 2019/20 to replace Sabeeta as she returns for her final year at Royal Holloway. YIBs are encouraged to apply here:


I have been on placement with Ricoh as a Digital Marketing Web Analyst since September 2018 and have absolutely loved the whole experience so far! Digital is a part of Marketing which is growing considerably and has been an area I’ve always enjoyed, especially after studying it as a module in my 2nd year. I have built on so many of my skills working here, not only on my understanding of Digital Marketing but also more generically which I can take with me going forwards. 

I work on and manage two key platforms – Lead Forensics and Klipfolio which allows me to put both my creative and analytical sides to use within my role.

Lead Forensics is a B2B Lead Generation Software Tool which enables us to reveal the identity of our anonymous traffic and turn them into actionable sales leads. The tool allows me to see all the activity and interest from external companies in Ricoh’s product and services, from which I can then decide whether an account should be created for the Sales team to follow up! 

Klipfolio is an online dashboard platform which allows us to build real-time dashboards which are clear and informative. I use data from social media and Google Analytics (for example) to create and design dashboards which display information to be viewed by the Marketing department and even board members.
I would definitely recommend anyone who has a passion for Digital to apply for this role, and even if you have an interest outside of Digital. The reason I say this is that you get exposed to so many areas of the business and even other parts of Marketing, such as events, which has been wonderful as it has pushed me to grow! 

What I found useful when applying to this role was my knowledge of Google Analytics and having a beginner’s level of understanding on this platform. It has definitely helped me with in my role as this is another tool I manage! Also, my passion for this field and studying Digital Marketing as a module also helped inmy application. I am really enjoying my role and a large reason for that is due to working with such a lovely and supportive team and positive work culture!

Ricoh outline the type of person they are looking for if students are thinking of applying:

  • Fresh and full of great ideas on how we can drive marketing forward.
  • You’ll have knowledge of HTML code and happy to work with the team to design and modify email campaigns and templates.
  • Basic knowledge of Google Analytics with a keen interest to learn more. You’re not scared of datasets and analysing performance and reporting your insights back to the business.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Excel to produce dashboards with formulas and graphics.
  • Knowledge and interest in all things digital marketing (emails, social media and more!) – you’ll be keen to learn more about these topics and are excited to see these learnings applied in your day to day activities.
  • Not afraid to fail – you see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve.
  • Able to communicate and collaborate at all levels (executive to management)
  • Proactive: You are able to work on multiple projects at once, with limited supervision and guidance.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Undergraduate of the Year Finals – Catch the opportunities that are out there!

This is a guest post from Year in Business Management student Andrea Totaro who is currently doing his placement year with SAP as the EMEA North COO Associate. We were delighted to hear that Andrea had reached the finals of the prestigious TARGET Jobs Undergraduate of the Year Award held at Canary Wharf on April 26th. He was short listed for the Finals of The Future Business Leader Award sponsored by Procter and Gamble and Andrea writes about his experience for our blog:

More than 4,000 applications, 3 months of selection and a great journey of learning until the Finals for the Undergraduate of the Year Award.

My initial journey started in December 2018 when I have received a notification from the YIB team suggesting applying to the Undergraduate of the Year award. On this platform, TargetJobs offers many different competitions sponsored by different companies: from Management undergraduate of the Year to the Female Undergraduate of the Year award. The key benefit from these competitions is that you can challenge yourself in new areas and, at the same time, have the chance to get an internship or a graduate job with the sponsor company – you can only WIN from this experience.

My focus went of the Future Business Leader award, advertised by Procter & Gamble with a focus on Sales – the reason behind it was mainly due to my interest in exploring Sales and the possibility of seeing the operations in a completely different industry from SAP, where I am currently spending a 13-month placement.

The process has been quite long, but at the same time a great source of learning. I had the chance to attend a 3-day assessment course at the P&G HQ in Weybridge, where I have experienced the way of how P&G does sales and the opportunity to meet and network with some senior managers in the company. 

Thanks to this journey and events with P&G, I had the chance to test my ability to do sales and evaluate the possibility of having a career in the FMGC indstry: things that otherwise I would not have had the possibility to experience.

In the environment where we are right now, opportunities are everywhere and if there is a piece of advice I would like to share with you would be research, investigate all these opportunities, critically assess what you can benefit from them and then challenge the idea that you can only come out stronger from these journeys. You will apply and spend some of your time – if it goes well you get to the final stages, if it doesn’t you will know what you will need to be working on for the next opportunity – this can be of great help for your future success!

Andrea follows previous Royal Holloway Management students, Connor Griffiths and Alvaro Ferreira  in successfully reaching the finals of the Undergraduate of the Year Award and in doing so learning so much along the way. 

Massive congratulations Andrea! Read more about Andrea's placement at SAP here: