Business and Globalisation student Gareth Watson 'can't stress enough' the benefit of doing an industrial placement - as it has helped him land a graduate job.
The 22-year-old was offered a role in project management with Defence Aerospace - Rolls-Royce during his final year at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
He had previously spent a year with the world-renowned industrial technology company's Bristol office as a global deployment co-ordinator.
Gareth said: "A placement helps you match your degree with experience.
"It was an intensive role but I rose to the challenge and was told my performance was outstanding.
"I remained close to senior people and was offered a job. I'm very excited to start."
Gareth will also be putting knowledge and skills gained on his degree into practice when he takes up his role in September.
"My job involves dealing with governments and private wings of government," he said. "When you're dealing with politics and globalisation you have to consider how you work with people and I learnt this on the course."
Born and brought up in Botswana in southern Africa before moving to Singapore and then to boarding school in Norfolk, Gareth had the 'privileged opportunity' to see how different aspects of the world work.
Excited by the course content, he chose to continue his education at DMU and has taken advantage of the many opportunities on offer. These include volunteering to be his course student representative and working on DMU's Policy Commission during its 100 Ideas for Europe campaign, run ahead of the referendum that led to Brexit.
"It was really interesting because I got to speak to people you don't usually get a chance to meet," he said.
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As a member of the Debate, Politics and Golf societies he has made many friends - along with some unexpected benefits.
"Golfing helped socially in my placement role, it's relaxing and I met my partner at the society," he said.
He also headed to New York with the #DMUglobal international experience programme on a trip focused on automotive business and management.
"I loved the trip, it reignited my passion to work in America," said Gareth, who spent time in Indianapolis for a work project as part of his Rolls-Royce placement.
Wanting to do his bit for the local environment, Gareth volunteers with Pick NStroll, a campaign organised by DMU Futsal coach Martyn Ware and his family to clear litter from Leicester's streets.
Further afield, he is a founding member of Mulemi Community School in Zambia.
"It's been a massive challenge but more than 350 children now go to school who previously had little access to education," he said. "I go back every June for two months, taking out students from the UK to carry out community work."
He believes getting involved in extracurricular projects also 'boosts your employability'.
"I'm very grateful to DMU for the opportunities," added Gareth, whose long-term ambition is to be a politician. "I'm looking forward to what's ahead and wish the best to every other student."
Posted on Friday 12th July 2019