Archive | February, 2018

My Placement So Far: William Grant and Sons – Part 2

This post was written by third year BSc Business Analytics student Emma, Insights Executive at William Grant & Sons UK

Since I first checked in, I am so much more comfortable and confident in my position and with the team at WGS, I have been able to work from home some days which is helpful considering I travel 70 miles in rush hour traffic each day! I have become a lot better at using spreadsheets and database software from a variety of jobs and brands to work with over the festive period. I had also been “Snowballing” which is where the whole office goes out into supermarkets and merchandise our products, securing extra shelf space and making it look neat as Christmas is our major period.

The early mornings have become easier and I still have a social life with my team, we have had lots of outings and fun events such a stay in a mansion-type house in the New Forest around Christmas time where we celebrated with a Christmas dinner and wreath making before enjoying some drinks and games in the evening. I have also visited Manchester for database training and got to experience an “on trade safari” which is essentially going to a few bars in central Manchester, getting to try lots of new cocktails and drinks as well as admiring establishments our products are sold in. All hotels and drinks are expensed by the company which is another one of the perks working with WGS. Since my last post, I have stayed in a luxury hotel in Guildford for the annual company conference which was a two day event, giving small snippets of each of our brands and the plans for 2018. This event came complete with; you guessed it, more amazing drinks and a formal gala dinner which was actually a load of fun!

I have been up to the Richmond WGS office and have attended two Marketing Fundamentals courses which have given me useful insights and ideas for my dissertation. These courses have supported the concepts learned in first and second year and it’s good to get a refresher of some of the business ideas since being out of university.

I’d also been incredibly lucky since last checking in with the blog, I got a last minute two week cruise around the Caribbean late November and was able to use holiday to allow me such an amazing experience! WGS have been very accommodating; I wouldn’t have been able to do that if I went straight into my third year.

Tomorrow I’m off to Dufftown in Scotland (flight and hotels included, wooo!) where our distilleries are located. I’m presenting new insights from the updated data in front of the team. This is a very big opportunity for me as I’ve been given full responsibility from the beginning for the analysis and data to create an updated story for Glenfiddich.

All in all, I’ve had an incredibly fun and social first 6 months with WGS, the job is a perfect suit to my Business Analytics degree. Working with real-life data isn’t at all boring as I know I have an impact on that data by working with WGS. I couldn’t have chosen a more fitting placement.

Will check back in with the final post and a summary in 5 months or so!

Thanks for reading,
Emma Goring


My Placement So Far: Westminster City Council

This post was written by third year BSc Business Management student Doan Hong Lien

I have completed almost half way of my placement year at Westminster City Council in London as I started at the beginning of September 2017 (4/9/2017). The placement so far has opened my eyes on how a local government and a large organisation operates and taught me to adapt to changing daily work tasks.

I work as the Commercial Graduate for the Procurement Development team, Procurement Services.  My role is mainly to help with the contract management work stream and spend analysis of contracts awarded by both Westminster City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. I also communicate frequently with other colleagues and staff not only from Procurement Services but also from other teams and directorates to help ensure contract verification, compliance and visibility. Currently, I participate as the programme support in the Contract Management Programme, which aims to develop best practices for contract management in the council. This gives me a good chance to learn different aspects of contract management and project management.

Moreover, the experience in Westminster Procurement Services has improved my Excel skills and allowed me to apply my researching skills which were developed at the university to my work. As a Business Management student, I used to do a lot of researching for writing assignments and reports, and make several presentations. This helps me a lot when I am required to conduct some research on contract classification, for example, or to make some slides in preparation for some reports. Apart from my main tasks regarding supporting the above programme, I also actively ask to help other colleagues in the team with their work and often deal with their ad-hoc requests. This enables me to understand more about their work and build a good work relationship with them. Since I began my placement in London, which has a totally different living environment, I have also learned to keep a strict routine and maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure both good physical and mental health to complete the work effectively.

Working for Westminster Procurement Services, not only do I focus on broadening my knowledge and skills but I also take advantage of this great opportunity to make friends with my colleagues and join different activities with them. I have joined the ‘Procurement Plodder club’ and run around Green Park for roughly 30 minutes every Tuesday at lunch time with my team. It is a good chance to enjoy fresh air and scenic views with the team. My colleagues are very kind and supportive and never mind responding to any kind of my questions and concerns. They even prepared a birthday card with nice wishes and cakes to celebrate my 21st birthday, which was so sweet and memorable.

I still have 7 months left and feel glad with what the experience brings and excited about what I would learn for the rest of my placement year. I do wish all students who are trying hard to secure their placement would keep making efforts and achieve the success they deserve!