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Daniel Matthias

BSc (Hons) Business and Management
Placement with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Coventry (June 2017 – June 2018)

Daniel Matthias

Why did you apply to the University of Bradford?

The main reason Bradford appealed to me is that it produces “work ready” graduates. I knew before I applied that most courses had a high employment rate when compared to identical courses at other universities and because of this, I knew that coming here would lead to me having a higher chance of being employed once I finish my studies.

Why did you choose that particular course?  What do you like and enjoy most about the course?

After finishing my A levels, I didn’t really have a particular subject that interested me, such as Chemistry or History. Because of this, I didn’t want to pigeon hole myself into one course that I may hate after three years. Therefore, I picked a course that had a wide range of applicability to the real world and is constantly changing so it never gets stale.

What tips would you give to prospective students about the course at the University of Bradford and the university itself?

Try to pick modules that you have a genuine interest in, and also ones that you think employers may seek from prospective employees.

What support have you received from Career and Employability Services / Placement Staff?

I initially contacted various staff from the Business Engagement Team/Career and Employability Services at the Faculty of Management and Law (FoML) who went out of their way to help me prepare my application. They helped with all aspects of the interview process, highlighting my strengths and weaknesses and guiding me on how to improve them.

As I was applying to an engineering company, they referred me to the Career Consultant linked to the Faculty of Engineering and Informatics (at city campus) who has a lot of experience in helping students applying to engineering companies. As I have never been to an assessment centre prior to the JLR one, the Career Consultant gave me a “crash course” on all aspects of an assessment centre including interviews over a period of 2 sessions. The 2 sessions were very tough, but I am ever so grateful, as without it, I don’t think I would currently be on this particular placement.

What action are you taking to improve your employability whilst at University?

Completing online training courses, in such things like Excel and touch-typing are just one of the things I have begun to do, to enhance my CV. Also, I am thinking about potentially applying for a summer internship after my final year to gain experience in another professional environment before beginning to search for graduate jobs.

What advice would you give to your fellow students about finding placement and work experience opportunities?

Begin early to make sure your application is one of the first they see. Also, go for quality over quantity; this allows you to tailor your CV to each application and gives you enough time to wholly prepare and will give you the best chance at standing out.

Try to have a genuine interest in the companies you apply for, because when it gets to the interview you will be able to form a common ground with the interviewer. Practice online tests, you don’t want the first time you’re doing them to be in a pressured situation where you potentially risk messing up on a real application.

Tell us about your current placement…

I am working in the Warranty Department at JLR (as a Global Warranty Systems Undergrad). We are implementing a new global warranty system, and it is currently live in China and the UK with Europe being launched in September. It is due to finish in April of next year with the US being the last location.

On a day-to-day basis, I have been coordinating the planning of the project and also looking at the current processes that JLR use, and seeing if there are any ways in which they can be improved. Most of this work is done via laptop, using Excel or Visio. In the coming months, I am hoping to have the opportunity to travel to Singapore and Australia as the system will be launched around December/January and we will need to do visits in order to analyse what they currently do and how the new system will play in to that.

How will the placement year benefit you when you return to study at the University of Bradford?

I am hoping the placement year will allow me to implement knowledge I have gained at university and also provide me with real life examples that I can link back to during assignments and exams.