Positive placement at Pfizer paves way for student success


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Charleigh Heathcote has secured a contracting role for a major multinational pharmaceutical company while still studying for her final year at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).

Charleigh Heathcote head shot

The 21-year-old Marketing student from Leicester has just completed a placement year with Pfizer, one of the world’s premier pharmaceutical companies.  

“I had such a wonderful experience on my placement year,” she said.

“My manager gave me so many opportunities. I could get involved in as much as I wanted to and they really encouraged me to put myself forward for things I was interested in.”

Charleigh’s main project involved working with the UK’s largest health and beauty retailer.

She said: “I worked alongside this retailer to create a toolkit for pharmacists. I was really involved right from the get-go and I worked on the project all the way through, which was really satisfying.

“It was great to actually feel part of the team and to see that my input really counted.”

Skills learnt on her placement year are also helping Charleigh with her final year studies.

“I was involved in launching a new website, which has fitted in really well with some of my modules this year. When I’ve been in lectures I can use what I learnt on my placement year to give examples and give some context to the course content,” she said.

“I think a placement year is so important. You’re able to make references to your practical experience for the rest of your course. You also get the chance to make contacts and have further opportunities with the business you worked for. Plus, it looks great on your CV.”

Charleigh Heathcote with Pfizer sign

Charleigh thanks the Business and Law placement team for helping her to secure the role.

She said: “The placement team gave me so much encouragement and support. The session on how to apply specifically for Pfizer was so useful. They talked through what to include and what not to include and how to make your application as appealing as possible to Pfizer."

Charleigh was delighted when she was offered a contract with Pfizer as a retail marketing associate while she finishes her final year of university.

She said: “The work is really up to me and my schedule, they’re very flexible and understand that university comes first.

“I would definitely be interested in working with Pfizer after leaving DMU as the people are really nice and the company is so passionate about giving you training and pushing you out of your comfort zone with different opportunities.”

Steve Harrison, the commercial lead of the Pfizer Upjohn division said: “At Pfizer, we want to inspire and grow the next generation of British scientists and business leaders.

“The Pfizer placement opportunity promises to expose you to opportunities that go above and beyond your typical undergraduate scheme, but we also benefit hugely from the diversity of thinking and the value that these high-calibre undergraduates bring to our business.”

Charleigh Heathcote at Pfizer

Charleigh decided to study at DMU after being wowed at an Open Day.

“I looked at lots of other universities, but none of the other courses I saw had the same balance of learning with practical hands-on experience.”

Since coming to DMU, Charleigh has also gained international experience through DMU Global.

“In my first year I went on a trip to San Francisco which was one of the highlights of my time at university so far. We went on the trip as part of academic research that my lecturer, Dr Nicola Thomas, was conducting into small retail businesses,” she said.

“The trip was really insightful as we got to see the cultural difference between the two countries and how marketing differs in America.”

Charleigh would encourage all students to take a placement year: “My advice is to really utilise the placement team. Go to all of the opportunities they provide.

“Make the most of what’s on offer here at DMU.”

Posted on Wednesday 13th November 2019

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