The graduate jobs market is incredibly competitive. This is why Lookers Audi joined the industry placement programme at Glasgow Caledonian University to offer its students some valuable work experience and help them get ahead.
We have welcomed two students into the company so far. Samantha Ross was with us last year and has now returned to university for her fourth and final year of studying, while Zara Stevenson has now been with us for five months. From the very beginning, both women have performed incredibly well, and we’re proud to be having a part in their development.
Declan Jones, a lecturer who has worked with the students during their time at university, is very clear about the fact that a placement year does wonders for professional development. He says: “Fundamentally, an industry placement has a dramatic impact on the future employability of the students who undertake them. Aside from gaining a year of ‘real world experience’, they come back for their fourth year and are noticeably different from many students who remain on campus for their third year.
“Exposure to demanding work and the commercial, public or social economy sectors allows for skill development and an increase in maturity. In addition, many students discuss how much knowledge they have gained of industries that they knew little about before completing an industry placement.”
And we’re proud to say that both Zara and Samantha are very complimentary of the experience they have gained at Lookers Audi. Zara said: “Not only will the experience I have already gained benefit me on paper, but I will also come away with a sound knowledge of the way the business works and the operations within it. Also, my ability to adapt to a professional environment has been established through this placement, and I can now prove my value to potential employers.”
It’s important that the students find that the time they spend with us is of value — especially as the industry placement year is what draws many people to these courses in particular. Of this, Samantha said: “I did look at other universities, but was attracted to GCU as it’s one of the few that sends students on a placement year. I knew that working within an organisation would help me to develop my business knowledge and, hopefully, kick-start my career.”
We know that graduates need to have more than exam results and lecture notes under their belt when applying for jobs, which is why we’re proud to be offering them an opportunity to gain real world experience alongside their studies. We wish both Zara and Samantha the best of luck with completing their courses and are incredibly excited to see what they go on to do in the future.