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Our Economics, Management, Finance and Social Sciences students share their insights into business placements

Having successfully completed business placements within prestigious organisations this year, our EMFSS students share their experiences.

Written by Georgina Jeronymides-Norie |

EMFSS students during their business placements
“I have gained invaluable career experience, met new people and formed precious connections with my colleagues.” – Erica

Business Placements took place in major cities throughout Vietnam and Pakistan with globally respected organisations, where companies in the security, aviation, technology and finance industries offered a number of EMFSS students the opportunity to gain exclusive work-based learning. 

Here, students reflect on their business placement experiences and share advice on how to make the most of such an invaluable opportunity. 

Practical skills and work-based knowledge

Sadan said:

Now, when I reflect back, I feel a change in myself as compared to my confidence and skills prior to successfully completing this internship.

Tasked with upgrading and selling devices, he shared that “interacting with walk-in customers from various organisations alongside giving presentations, participating in a group work and doing field visits boosted his sales, confidence and communication/negotiation skills.”

For Muhammad, his capacity for teamwork was strengthened; he said:

This internship has strengthened my belief that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’ and that tasks are best performed in a team with hard work, unity and cooperation.

Jamie shared her view that when she was tasked with identifying potential companies to join her placement provider’s Corporate Account Program, this increased her commercial awareness. She said:

I needed to have a good understanding of the program itself to be able to visualise how it fits into the business and corporate world. Getting up to date with Vietnam’s industries and the role of each company in the commercial world is one of the key take aways for me this summer. This has definitely given me an added advantage in front of employers.

Advice for fellow students

Hashpal, who flew from Singapore to Vietnam to undertake his placement, encourages others to "Take a leap of faith" and step out of their comfort zones into a totally new environment.” He explained:

You’ll get to experience many amazing moments and make tons of new friends. The challenges you face will make you a stronger individual and you’ll get to understand and appreciate cultures out there in the world that you have yet to see.

Hafsa advised students to “approach each working day with enthusiasm.” She added:

This is a stepping stone to your future career aspirations. Absorb every little bit of detail possible from the corporate culture of the organisation and listen to how colleagues communicate. That way, you not only benefit from the tasks that are assigned to you, but also from the everyday happenings within the organisation.

Muhammad’s advice was to go for internships and jobs as soon as you can. It is very enlightening to see how the concepts that one studies in books are applied in real life. The student life is not only meant to learn from books but also to acquire practical experience,” he added.

Highlights from a “memorable and enjoyable journey”

Erica’s business placement highlights were both professional and recreational. She said:

It has helped significantly with my career planning in the future [and provided] a precious cross-cultural challenge. It is not only about work, but the experience of immense personal growth and life enrichment throughout this memorable and enjoyable journey.

For Jamie: “The high points of the placement were definitely the company being open to new ideas from me and allowing me to have some input on their Corporate Account (CA) Program. I was able to work alongside the CA team to do research on potential clients before approaching and introducing the program to them.”

Hashpal enjoyed both the work-based and social elements of his business placement and said:

Memorable experiences include facilitating the office visit by Portland State University students and partaking in the Grant Thornton football trainings.

A typical day

A typical day for interning students differed vastly, as the placements were spread across both a range of companies and internal departments.

Placed within an HR department, Jawaria described having multiple tasks assigned to her each day:

I made presentations of the current employees for Talent Review, shortlisted summit delegates so they could be called for interviews and, based on their skills, could be hired by the panel. I uploaded surveys to research and obtain an overall view regarding the company’s corporate values and the implementation of these values.

For Joel, an Advisory intern in an accounting company, a typical day involved research about the industry that the target firm was in. He explained: “This involved analysing the sector, functions, drivers, strengths and weaknesses, and any new threats or opportunities that could directly or indirectly affect the valuation of the firm…Other tasks included supporting the preparation of teasers or information memorandums.”

Further information:

  • We received over 320 applications for Business Placements 2018 in Pakistan and Vietnam.
  • Next year, we will be expanding our Business Placements in both Pakistan and Vietnam, as well as introducing the scheme in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
  • On behalf of our students and the University of London, we would thank all the companies that participated in the Business Placement (2018) Scheme:
    • Ahmer Bilal Soofi & Co Advocates and Counsels
    • Grant Thornton (Vietnam) Limited
    • HaiderMotaBNR
    • Ho Cho Minh City Securities Corporation
    • Nestlé
    • Orr, Dignam & Co.
    • Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited
    • RIAA Barker Gillette
    • Vietnam Airlines
  • The University of London works with various partners to improve the learning experience of its students by launching new initiatives that benefit its students worldwide.
  • Read about the experience of Undergraduate laws students.
  • Read more about the success of the Business Placements run by our Student Experience Team.