'Two placements in one' give Sadie big boost for final-year studies

Sadie Burch won eight new contracts in the first eight months of placement - but doesn't consider this to be the biggest achievement of her year in industry.

Coping with uncertainty as the company was sold off and then tackling a different role in a new location has given the Business and Management student the skills to deal with large-scale change.

Sadie mainNEW

"When I first applied to do a placement it seemed like a good idea but I didn't realise the true value of what it would bring," said the 21-year-old.

"I almost had two different placements, which was a good way to contrast business norms and will really help in my final year of studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU)."

Sadie received help from the DMU Works faculty placement team to land her role as a content assistant at TNT Business Solutions, the records management business of parcel delivery and courier services company, TNT UK.

"I grew the business by winning eight new contracts," she said.

"Eight months into placement they decided to sell the business to Restore. It was a bit of a shock, but TNT sat me down and asked me what I'd like to get involved in."

With multinational courier delivery services company FedEx acquiring TNT, Sadie asked to work as part of the integration project team and TNT found her a role as a learning and development integration co-ordinator.

"I thought it would be great to understand the whole make-up of what the integration of two large companies involves," she said. "I embraced it as an opportunity to expand my knowledge."


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Sadie's new post took her from Swadlincote, Derbyshire, to Atherstone, Warwickshire, where she had responsibility for creating training plans and organising sessions for the UK operational rollout.

"I kept in touch with the placement team throughout and they were a good sounding board for any queries I had," she said.

"Coming back in the final year I've seen the theory in practice and am going to put the practice back in the theory."

It's four years since Kent-born Sadie first arrived on campus, after joining DMU through Clearing when she slightly underachieved in her A-levels.

"My whole world had turned upside down," she said. "But what steered me to apply to DMU was it was the most helpful place I spoke to when I rang up for information.

"It sounds a bit clichéd but it could not have worked out better."

Outside of studying, Sadie is passionate about netball, having won Varsity with the first team and gained transferable skills as DMU Netball chairwoman in her second year.

"I am back in the first team and DMU helped me achieve my Level 2 coaching qualification," she said. "I also helped organise the club's DMU Global trip to Barbados, where we did volunteering, netball coaching sessions and played local sides."

Sadie has also signed up for DMU's Employability Mentoring scheme, after reading about DMU alumna Bijna K. Dasani, head of architecture and innovation for Lloyd's Banking Group, who received an honorary doctorate in the summer.

"I think it is a great idea and good to have previous DMU student role models and people to aspire to be," added Sadie.

Posted on Thursday 1 November 2018

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