"My work and international experiences have given me lots to talk about at job interviews"


Business and Management student Charlotte Ashforth is feeling "chilled and relaxed" for the final year of her degree after landing a graduate job with a global company.

The 21-year-old credits the opportunities she has taken advantage of while studying at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) with showing employer XPO Logistics that she has the get-up-and-go to do more.

Charlotte main

These include an industry placement with one of the logistics company's customers, volunteer work in The Gambia and involvement in the Formula Student competition.

She said: "The extra bits put you ahead. The placement contributed massively to me getting my graduate job.

"My work and international experiences combined have given me something to talk about and make job interviews more enjoyable and interesting."

Charlotte, from west Leicestershire, will start the two-year graduate scheme in July.

"I know I'll enjoy it because it's something I want to do," she said.

Charlotte hasn't always been interested in business, picking the subject at GCSE purely to fill up her options.

"Then I really enjoyed it, so I did it at A-level and picked it for my degree," she said.

"I had a look at different universities but DMU was close to my sixth form so we came here on trips and it felt right being here," she said.

Charlotte enjoyed the variety of subjects covered in first year and then chose to focus on operations, with one specific lecture about supply chain and logistics proving particularly inspiring.

"That made me realise what I wanted to do. It was the turning point," said Charlotte, who applied for a 12-month placement through the #DMUworks careers programme.

"I landed the first one I applied for in operations management at Nissan in Sunderland. It was quite a shock.


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"I had massive help from the placement team, who were so helpful with things like my CV and covering letter.

"I was excited about what was going to happen."

Working in production control, Charlotte's role was to make sure the packaging that parts came in got back to where it needed to be.

"There is a whole industry around this, trying to make sure as much packaging as possible is reusable and financially sustainable," she said.

Skills learnt in the workplace - such as time management - are benefiting Charlotte back at DMU.

Other memorable experiences include a visit to The Gambia with #DMUglobal and the Global Hands UK charity, to help finish building and setting up a library/community centre.

"It was a highlight and something completely different," she said.

Charlotte also helped DMU Racing with Formula Student, the world's biggest student motorsport competition, by pitching the team's business proposal to a panel of industry experts.

"It's interesting because not many business students take part," she said. "The pitch involved putting what I'd learnt on my course into practice."

Charlotte also represents DMU as a brand ambassador and has worked part-time in a garden centre since the age of 16, further boosting her work experience.

Posted on Thursday 24th January 2019

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