Career matchmaking service helps DMU students secure work experience

Students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) came together with local businesses to celebrate the latest cohort of the BrightER Futures initiative.

Run in partnership between the university’s award-winning Careers Team and Leicester-based ER Recruitment, the programme pairs 20 students and recent graduates with 20 different businesses to help the participants gain work experience and boost their CVs.


Companies including construction consultancy Pick Everard, Nelsons Solicitors, Furnley House, Cross Productions and Mattioli Woods have hosted students as part of this year’s programme.

To congratulate the students on completing the programme, a celebration event was held at DMU with a guest speech from Maz Patel, joint-owner and managing director of Scope Construction while Accounting and Finance graduate Jay Patel, who joined Maz and his team, shared how the scheme had helped him gain more exposure to the world of work.

Scarlett Canavan, Business and Marketing Manager of ER Recruitment said: “If you’ve missed out on different placement schemes or thought a year in industry wasn’t for you, then BrightER Futures is definitely an option for you to gain practical experience.

“We now have a bank of businesses who have worked with our students during the programme. This gives us more scope to pair students with a host of skill sets and degrees to secure work experience in an industry relevant for them.”

Scarlett Canavan of ER Recruitment

BrightER Futures, which won a Leicestershire Business Award in 2022, has been running for four years and matches the student’s course subjects and interests with an organisation based in Leicestershire that offers similar roles.

It was designed to support students struggling to find work experience relevant to their degree and highlight the opportunities and businesses available in Leicester to graduates after they leave the university.

For Jay Patel, the opportunity to work with Scope Construction in Loughborough has allowed him to apply the theory he learned in his course to real life.

He said: “When I graduated, I was looking for roles in the bigger firms. I couldn’t find anything locally because I fixated on compliance-based roles, but BrightER Futures gave me more insight into organisations needing finance graduates in different industries.

“Working with Scope has made me more employable now and I feel I want to work within an industry like construction instead of a compliance role. Each day I’ve worked with Scope has been different and I was always learning something new, so I want my career to follow down that path.”

Jay Patel shares his experience of working with Scope Construction 

Jay joined Maz and his team for one day a week in the office and was tasked with helping to forecast the company’s finances in a presentation to senior staff.

Maz said: “Jay’s been fantastic. He’s gone above what we asked him to do in his project work, and he has worked hard to increase his learning. I’m very pleased he’s taken on board what we’ve asked him to do and hopefully now he can go on to land a good job.

“He’s the second DMU student I’ve worked with in the programme, as well as one DMU graduate I hired, and the students’ technical abilities are always very impressive. Through BrightER Futures, we’re hoping to bring out more of the students’ confidence, so they feel ready to push their skills in a business environment.

“We will be supporting the BrightER programme as long as we can and will be looking at potentially bringing in a media student to help us in the marketing department.”

Through the scheme, Fatima Danish, a Law LLB graduate who is currently working with Citizens Advice will be starting her work experience in the Leicester branch of Nelsons Solicitors.

“I saw the BrigthER Futures scheme advertised through the Careers Team and I was looking for some more experience working in a law firm, so I reached out,” Fatima said.

“This is my chance to see if I will enjoy working in a law firm and I’m really looking forward to absorbing what I can from my colleagues during my time there

“ I want to be a solicitor – ideally in family law or immigration law, they are the modules I really enjoyed.”

Kishan Dahya, Graduate Success Manager at DMU, said that it was “amazing to watch the students flourish during the programme” and that they should be proud of their hard work this year.

He said: “It’s been a pleasure to see how much our students have developed in confidence during their time working with businesses. Their time with BrightER Futures puts them on good footing for securing a permanent job within their chosen industry.

“A big shout out too to all the companies that have taken part and my thanks go to our friends at ER Recruitment for helping to match our talented students with regional businesses.”

Posted on Thursday 20 June 2024

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