Author Archive | The Placements Office

My placement so far: Coca-Cola Enterprises

This post was written by Oliver, currently on placement at Coca-Cola Enterprises

Although it is early days, I think it is fair to say on 8th July 2019, my life transformed as a new chapter in the life of a BSc Accounting and Finance student began.

This was the day that I took on the role of a procurement intern at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) for my year in industry, located in Uxbridge. First things first, would this blog really be a Coca-Cola blog without a Coca-Cola related pun? Or maybe I’m just not Spritely enough to come up with one. Sorry, I couldn’t resist! On a serious note to placement students who will be submitting applications this upcoming year, the process will be tough. You may be unsuccessful with some applications, however, do not let that be a reason to give up. This year has potential to be the best year of your life and I’m going to tell you why.

A bit about my job role at CCEP so far: my main focus during this placement will be to support some of the procurement focused pre-work alongside SAP Ariba to implement a new system to improve the efficiency of the supply chain process and to reduce the costs incurred by the procurement department across all European partners. This includes contract review and conversion, buying channel analysis, commodity code to GL Mapping and supporting the testing and development of training. Not sure what that means? I wasn’t either before I started, but with the support of my colleagues here, I’m learning quickly. I will initially work closely with the internal project team, IBM, and Ariba to develop my understanding of the capabilities of the tools we are deploying.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Brussels

The project team I am a part of is relatively small and involves colleagues from across their various European partners.  Much to my surprise, particularly with the importance of technology to a multi-national corporation like CCEP, there is a vast amount of travel involved to frequently meet with the “procurement champions” representing their nation as part of the deployment of this system.  This role is allowing me to explore different regions and alternative cultures from a professional, as well as personal perspective.  In my first three weeks of work, I have already ventured to Brussels, Belgium and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.  Both provided me with incredible experiences and I look forward to exploring other offices in various locations such as Sofia, Frankfurt and Prague in the next few months.  The luxury travel, executive hotel rooms and unlimited Coca-Cola owned drinks is an alien concept for me, but I can confidently say that it is a pleasant change from having to wear seven layers in my university bedroom to keep utility bills at a minimum!

Rotterdam Sunset

Rotterdam Sunset

I hope whoever finds the time to read this has enjoyed the insight into my Coca-Cola experience thus far.  To conclude my debut blog: sipping on a complimentary Peroni on my bedroom balcony in Brussels, and watching the sunset whilst cycling the lowlands of Rotterdam has helped me realise that corporate life may be for me.


My placement so far: Bosch (Germany)

This post was written by Jamie, on placement in Germany at Bosch as part of his BSc Accounting and Finance (with placement) course

This is now my fifth week at Bosch in Stuttgart, Germany and I can honestly say that I am so happy I took a ‘leap of faith’ to move to a country for a year in which I had never previously studied the language. The lifestyle and social side of Stuttgart is great and I really encourage people to do their placements abroad!

As for the role itself, I have been given a wealth of responsibility which has meant that I have progressed very quickly in terms of my skill development. I am using a wide range of applications that I had no experience of before the start of the placement; now I have colleagues asking me to troubleshoot for them! The best part of the role is the fact that I am working within the automotive industry, supplying Jaguar Land Rover with Radar components for their wide range of vehicles, aiding autonomous driving. Being involved with this high level technology motivates me hugely as within the coming years this technology will be mass produced for consumers and to know that I was a part (a very small one!) of this process will be very rewarding.

Picture of the Neues Schloss, Stuttgart

When I’m not in the office, I’m exploring Stuttgart. Here’s a picture from the Neues Schloss (New Palace)

My typical daily tasks include leading the change control board meeting in which project managers from around the globe (the UK, Germany, Hungary, Romania to name a few) will discuss the changes that Jaguar Land Rover have requested to certain orders and come up with a plan to be able to deliver these changes both on time and within budget; other tasks included sample order management, answering customer queries regarding orders and contacting engineers and many other departments for help with producing timing plans for the rollouts of new vehicles.

I am excited for what the rest of my placement holds and I again want to encourage all people looking for placements to look abroad as the terrifying prospect of moving abroad by yourself will definitely pay off – I feel as if my confidence has already grown tenfold!


My placement so far: Disney

This post was written by BSc Marketing student, Laura


I have been at Disney for just over a month now and I can honestly say that I am very thrilled with the role so far. I am doing a lot more than I expected prior to starting the role as I am being given very important and exciting campaigns to participate in alongside my team, such as Mickey’s 90th Anniversary upcoming in November. Alongside this I am being given total responsibility to manage all the CRM emails being sent out, for the upcoming film released for Disney, which is even more interesting as I get to see the final piece being sent out across all the markets in EMEA. I have also been introduced to numerous different software’s for both creative use as well as analytical which help to make the deployment of campaigns much more efficient.

However, I think more than anything what I find most interesting is seeing how a multi-national company works across all lines of business with different departments and markets worldwide in the company to deploy these campaigns. This showed me just how important communication and team working skills are needed in a business environment as without it Disney’s marketing campaigns would not be as effective as what they are. Besides the work side of my placement I have had the chance to see different movie premiers in the office cinema and attended corporate events as well as making many new friends. I very much look forward to seeing what the rest of my placement has in store for me!



Business School students transform their career prospects through placements

Written By Karen Woods Communication Consultant University of Southampton

Southampton Business School undergraduates, who are now on a year’s placement across the South and beyond, came back to University to exchange notes and find out more about how to use their experience in the workplace in writing their final year dissertation.

Head of Southampton Business School Professor Martin Broad and Director of Enterprise Paul Bennett welcomed them back to Southampton. The BSc Accounting and Finance BSc Business Management and BSc Marketing students were among 92 individuals spending a year out learning about business practices at first hand.

The lunchtime event was also an opportunity for first and second year Business School students to talk to placement companies and students and discover more about the wide variety of placements they could apply for in companies ranging from Grant Thornton to Walt Disney.

“Our students are certainly impressing employers during their placements and many will go back after graduation as permanent employees,” says advisor Rochelle Clark.

BSc Business Management student Annie Newlands is on placement at the beauty firm Coty. A retail sales and training assistant in London, she works with world-famous brands such as Chloé, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein fragrances: “Coty is a very exciting place, I love the brands and I’m enjoying my placement there.  I work with retail consultants across the country to keep them informed about new developments.”

BSc Marketing student Matthew Wilson is on placement at Rainbow Designs in Gosport producing merchandise under licence of well-loved characters including Paddington Bear and Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit: “Working with a small company means I get involved with many activities. I’m learning a great deal through meeting buyers from Tesco and maximising sales through effectively managing our account with Amazon.”

BSc Accounting and Finance student Prabin Sunar impressed managers at his placement company Meridian Corporate Finance so much that they offered him a job on graduation: “My placement gave me responsibilities and exposure to the market that I never expected and I worked closely with senior managers, accountants and lawyers putting into practice what I was taught at University while also gaining new knowledge and experiences every day.” His manager Philip Mettram adds: “Prabin is very personable, good with clients and has an excellent work ethic. We were delighted to make him an offer to join us as a member of staff.”

BSc Business Management Stefan Georgiou works in Human Relations at GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK): “I have got involved with all aspects of recruitment from advertising, interviewing, employing and developing their rotations within the company,” he says. “I’m also working in the commercial sector on consumer healthcare and hope to join the company on its graduate scheme.” His supervisor Claire Jones adds: “Stefan has shown great maturity with us. He has settled in very quickly and is producing some great work.”


My Placement So Far: William Grant and Sons UK

This post was written by third year BSc Business Analytics student Emma.

Insights Executive at William Grant & Sons UK.

I started the first week in August (08/08/2017) which is a little earlier than the usual term at UoS meaning I had a slightly shorter summer but I was eager to get started. This actually had many benefits, including having a few weeks cross over period with the previous placement student, Sam. This gave me time to soak up Sam’s knowledge, giving me a head start into my duties as I am the only intern in my department. My team are extremely friendly and welcoming and straight away I got to attend lots of events with the company such as dinner, an escape room and even got to attend Bestival 2017. This helped with getting to know my colleagues personally as well as the brands they work with.

The early starts weren’t as difficult as I expected, I drive every day to the offices in Hook which at first seemed daunting but it was most cost effective for me, however, I know Sam used to take the train everyday as he lived closer to the station. Ensuring that I got an early night was very important and I had to quickly let go of the late night Netflix addictions and partying until early hours of the morning. Already I have learnt a lot about being responsible and having a strict routine with my life, ultimately growing up, and especially at William Grant & Sons I can say that some of the outings we have together definitely make up for it, it is by no means a boring placement or team.

On a day-to-day basis I work with database software to grab data on our brands and categories that have been requested of me, the insights role is very computer based, looking at data and interpreting it. As I am on Business Analytics degree, this fits perfectly. However, that is not to say that a Business Marketing degree for example wouldn’t fit, but I would recommend being comfortable with data and spreadsheets. I expect ill finish being very efficient with excel but this is something you can learn whilst working with it. I’ve just started to dip my toe into a few projects so I’ll catch up when I can tell you more about some of the things I’m involved with.

Overall I’d say that although it’s a different lifestyle to university, its allowed me to mature into a working lifestyle but the little perks that WG&S offers makes it much more fun and after all, unlike university, the weekends are completely yours (no need to revise!). I’ve already been offered lots of opportunities to take part in courses which will aid my degree and add value to WG&S as well as the events and meals with the team and I’m only a month in!

Wishing you the best of luck with your placement search! I started attending assessment days in Oct 2016 but took until June 2017 to find something, placements I was close to include Virgin Media, Microsoft, JP Morgan, The Yes Company and many more smaller companies. Don’t give up, start early, and learn from the rejections. Trust me, you’ll get loads, I got more than my fair share before finding the perfect place! Resilience is key!