Laura-Kate Mapp

Marketing graduate

The placement year is the major reason I chose Aston Business School. I assumed that everyone took a placement year at university, but now that I’m working I realise this isn’t the case.

The Aston programme is unique and it’s great that the placement is integrated into the degree. If it was optional you just wouldn’t have the same experiences.
Laura-Kate Mapp
Laura-Kate Mapp

From the first year at Aston you are always thinking long term about employment because you take a placement in the third year so everything you do is to enhance your CV and ensure that you stand out.

When I went on placement I found that I was able to draw upon my experiences and knowledge from the first two years of my degree. The placement teaches things which you can’t learn in the classroom; it’s far more about interpersonal skills and confidence as you need to be able to communicate with people in an effective manner. The placement team were invaluable as they offered skills sessions and loads of information on how to find a job and make successful applications. While we were out on placement the team kept in touch so I never felt like I was on my own as they were always there to help.  The experiences you have on a placement do have an impact on your coursework as you can apply the knowledge you’ve gained to your studies during the final year.

I chose Marketing at Aston because it was a BSc and had a more scientific content than a BA degree. It was nice to be taught like an adult; the lectures were really relevant and interesting. Up-to-date issues are covered and your studies are very vocational as it isn’t just research, but knowledge you can actually apply in the workplace. The lecturers are friendly and approachable and this is really useful during your degree.

Other reasons I chose Aston Business School are because of the campus and city of Birmingham.  Aston is a small campus university in the centre of Birmingham and has a more homely feel because of that.  I liked the compactness of the city as everywhere is within walking distance so I could walk from one side of the city to the other. Birmingham is really student friendly, every night you can go out and it’s busy and lively, it’s not just a weekend city.

The size of the campus is great, because it’s small you see the same faces when you are walking around campus and you can be in the city centre in five minutes having come from a quiet green campus. I stayed in lakeside because of the en-suite facilities but I found that my friends in the towers really enjoyed it as it tends to be more of a community atmosphere as everyone has to share facilities.

The highlight of my time at Aston is making life-long friends. I’m still in contact with many of the people who I met in week one of my first year.  I remember arriving with my luggage and lots of yellow shirted Aston Aunties being there to help. It was nerve wracking on my first day and to see so many friendly faces was really nice. Before I even started on my degree I met loads of people from other courses during Freshers’ week and from living on campus.

I feel that the importance of quality and reputation of a university outweigh everything else. When you have an interview for a job they don’t ask what your room was like, they are interested in the skills and experience which you have. 

I am now involved in recruitment marketing for the KPMG graduate scheme across a number of universities in the midlands. This includes getting involved with sponsorship, advertising, running skills sessions and generally enhancing the profile of KPMG. I am also responsible for supervising and instructing student brand managers on each campus. My placement played a large role as once I’d graduated I already had work experience so was ahead of graduates of other universities who may have had a similar degree but had no experience; it made me stand out.

I couldn’t recommend Aston Business School enough. I think former students are Aston’s biggest source of promotion as they are all really positive. I had a really great experience and would recommend Aston to anyone.

Employable Graduates; Exploitable Research