Sainsbury's partnership kick-starts careers for 16 DMU students

Sixteen De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students have secured sought-after jobs with Sainsbury’s before graduating this summer, thanks to a fruitful partnership.

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Best friends Sukhjit and Krupa

DMU has been working closely with the supermarket giant to raise awareness of the software engineer positions available at the company’s store support centre in Coventry.

Inviting Sainsbury’s to a networking event last June resulted in three DMU graduates being hired. This year representatives from the company - including those graduates - addressed more than 200 students in the School of Computer Science and Informatics.

They outlined what it’s like to develop applications and services for in-store colleagues and answered questions. The first 30 students to register their interest online were invited to an assessment day, where they had their problem-solving skills put to the test and underwent individual interviews.

Among the 16 offered jobs at the end of it was Computer Science student Alec Archer.

The 20-year-old from Nuneaton said: “It feels good to have secured a job before I graduate in July. It’s taken the pressure off so I can focus on my dissertation and other assignments.

“DMU’s support throughout the process was really valuable. My course has also helped to get me ready for my career, providing me with an in-depth understanding of computing and coding.”

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To prepare students for the assessment day, #DMUworks careers advisers ran comprehensive sessions on interview skills and shared tips on writing CVs and covering letters. DMU also provided the students with free transportation to and from the assessment centre.

Good friends Krupa Thakrar and Sukhjit Kaur, both 22 and from Leicester, were also among the successful candidates.

Krupa, a Business Information Systems student, said: “It feels great. All the hard work and effort over the past four years has paid off, allowing me to focus on getting my degree.”

As part of her studies, Krupa completed a year-long work placement as a technical specialist at Leicestershire County Council. She added: “I supported a number of different applications, mentored new colleagues, networked across the IT department and became a valued member of the team. 

“I’m really looking forward to putting my placement experience into practice at Sainsbury’s. To secure a job with such a big brand is a proud moment.” 

Information and Communication Technology student Sukhjit said: “Getting a job has made life much easier. It makes me feel like I’ve actually got my life sorted before graduating, and with good career progression routes at Sainsbury’s, this feels like it’s just the beginning.

“Knowing that I’ll be starting this next chapter with my best friend with me is a great feeling.” 

Scott Wormleighton, an employer engagement co-ordinator at DMU, said: “Our partnership with Sainsbury’s has been mutually beneficial.

“We’ve worked closely on designing the assessment day to ensure that both Sainsbury’s needs are met and our students are well-prepared, meeting regularly and learning from what worked well previously.

“Our confidence in this model and our commitment to supporting students and graduates into work has seen us approach other big employers and we hope to have new partnerships on the horizon."

Posted on Monday 17th June 2019

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