Master’s graduate’s work-placement performances pay dividends.

Posted on 22nd March 2017

Graduate Rebecca Small has secured a permanent position at a global marketing agency as a result of her impressive performances at two placements.

Rebecca Small
Rebecca Small

Rebecca, aged 22, from Birmingham, who only graduated on Friday, took part in two 20 week salaried placements organised by the Work Based Integrative Studies (WBIS) team as part of her MA in Business Consultancy through the Chester Business Master’s Programme. Rebecca studied six modules that were based on her projects at these placements. 

She said: “I loved the fact that I was getting some real first-hand experience in the industry whilst also working towards my Master’s, rather than taking another year off my career. I also liked that I could negotiate my degree title so it fit in with my placements.” 

Rebecca’s first successful paid placement organised by the WBIS team was with Urenco (UK), a global energy company in Capenhurst, Cheshire. Rebecca was based in the Procurement Department and part of her project looked at ways of improving their purchase-to-pay process. 

Despite being offered the chance to stay for another 20 week paid placement, Rebecca politely declined, as she wished to experience another industry. Rebecca then completed her second placement with Digital Consultancy WM360. The company was taken over by a larger Italian company during her time there and became WM Reply. Rebecca said: “As the only marketer, I was responsible for all their marketing, as well as managing the rebranding efforts. As a result, my project highlighted the challenges facing WM Reply following their rebrand. I recommended a strategy to tackle those challenges and helped them capitalise on their new brand.” 

She added: “Completing this Master’s has given me the confidence to go out into the working world with a better understanding of what it takes to succeed. It was extremely challenging trying to balance the responsibilities of a full-time job and complete my academic work as well, but now I am better equipped to deal with the challenges that face me every day at work and I am much more confident in my own abilities.” 

Paul McKie, Senior Lecturer in Business and Management, said: “During her second placement, Rebecca produced an impeccable consultancy report on re-branding which was awarded a Distinction. This caught the attention of global marketing agency, Armstrong, based in Chester, with whom I have close contact. Rebecca immediately shone at interview and has now secured a permanent position as an Account Executive and a foot on the career ladder of the industry she enjoys.” 

Daniel Owen, Director at Armstrong, said: “Paul McKie has a great feeling for Armstrong and what we do, so for him to recommend one of his Master’s students, we were positive they would carry the attributes we would look for. We first met Rebecca in early 2017 and we were instantly impressed with her presence, delivery and articulation of corporate rebranding and restructuring. Since joining Armstrong, Rebecca has strengthened the Client Services Team, and we have been very impressed with her dedication and ability. She is a wonderful addition to the team and a credit to the University of Chester.”