A talented student from the University of Sheffield is celebrating after winning a national award for her innovative business skills which helped to transform a workplace.
Amy Brereton collects her award
Amy Brereton, 22, was specially chosen as the UK’s Best Placement Student at the National Placement and Internship Awards after proving herself as a determined and hardworking business leader of the future.
As part of her course the Business Management student took part in a 12 month placement at Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC) in Sheffield.
“I loved my placement from start to finish,” said Amy. “There were times that were hard, but the best thing about the placement was how much autonomy and support I was given right from the beginning. No matter how crazy my ideas were – ERAC were happy for me to pursue them. In turn this led to changes in employee development, diversity training and community projects.
“As with any business placement, I learnt lots of new skills as well as developing existing ones such as organisational skills, communication and negotiation skills, and marketing and accounting for a small business – however some of the biggest skills I learnt were softer, personal skills such as time keeping and consistently getting up early!”
She added: “Skills that I learnt on placement are hugely beneficial to my degree. Everything I have learnt in my third year so far has made so much more sense as I can practically see where different theories fit in practice.”
Throughout the placement, which was organised through the University’s Careers Service, Amy transformed the under-performing branch of ERAC and helped to double its revenue in a short space of time.
In recognition of her intuitive business management skills, Amy was presented with the prestigious award at a special ceremony which took place in London last week (15 February 2013) and was attended by over 400 representatives from both the corporate and higher education sectors.
Entrepreneur and business founder Nick Holzherr, who was runner up The BBC’s Apprentice last year, gave an inspirational speech into the challenges and successes achieved through his own work experiences.
“I was incredibly shocked to win the award. I couldn’t quite believe that I was shortlisted for the final four so this is amazing,” said Amy.
“To me all I had done was my job – just being given the opportunities I had at ERAC was enough. I was very grateful to be nominated and to win was definitely the icing on the cake of a fantastic year.
She added: “Because I completed the graduate training programme five months ahead of the usual schedule I will be able to be promoted straight away when I return to ERAC which is fantastic.
“A placement not only allows you to develop professionally but it also helps you to improve personal skills such as time management. Even if you decided on your placement year that this career isn’t for you, it is something much better learnt whilst still studying and learning at the University then as a post graduate.”
The University of Sheffield’s Careers Service provides students the invaluable opportunity to develop skills for success through a variety of careers workshops, placements, internships and part-time jobs. Visit myVacancies, the Careers Service online jobs board to view live vacancies http://www.shef.ac.uk/careers/students/jobs
Or for more information about the Careers Service visit http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/careers/index
For a full overview of the day and all of the award winners, visit the website at www.rmpawards.co.uk.
The fourth National Placement & Internship Awards benchmarks success across all stakeholders in the undergraduate market. From employers to universities and students, this inaugural event is attended by over 400 representatives in the field of work experience and celebrates their outstanding achievements.
As well as the Awards, RMP Enterprise runs the award winning website RateMyPlacement.co.uk and produces ‘A Students’ Guide to the Top Placement & Internship Employers‘. On-Campus Promotions is another arm of the business which executes tailored, targeted, and trackable campaigns on campus while our unique data capture app is transforming the way that organisations collect student data.