Aston University student advocates for diversity and inclusion during her placement
Aston University BSc (Hons) Business and Management student Isabella Mugoba Naziwa completed her placement at Atlas Copco Compressor Technique UK, which is a world leading global manufacturer specialised in compressed air and gas solutions.
The job role
Isabella worked as a marketing communications assistant, which involved creating web pages for new products, producing leaflets, managing the social media account, and looking at website analytics. She also supported the company's charity initiative, for example, she created a marketing campaign for World Water Day.
Isabella got involved in advocating for diversity and inclusion, stating that "engineering and manufacturing, in general, have a long way to go". Her placement project reflected this as she chose to focus on race and ethnicity in the workplace. Atlas were open to hearing different ideas and allowed Isabella to question things, which really helped with her confidence and professional development.
Employment after graduation
After graduating, Isabella landed a job with the company she completed her placement with. Atlas were so impressed by Isabella that they created the job role, Diversity and Inclusion and Digital Communications Coordinator, specifically for her. Whilst the role still involves creating web pages and social media content, Isabella now works on a variety of projects, such as for International Women's Day and Pride Month as well.
Isabella says, "it's really an honour to be able to do something that I love, advocating for diversion and inclusion but also being able to have a role that includes digital marketing, which is what I'm doing my masters in at Aston University in September."
Isabella says one of the highlights of her placement year was that she was able to work for such a forward-thinking organisation that provided her with the freedom to bring forth new ideas.
One day she would be working with an engineer and the next with a business analyst, which she thoroughly enjoyed because she was able to learn so much from everyone's stories and advice. She says that being able to speak to such a range of different people was "a great part of my placement year."
Application of studies to the placement year
In Isabella's second year, she took up the role of Afro Caribbean Society (ACS) Marketing Manager. This was her first leadership role in marketing, whereby she was responsible for running different events and campaigns which greatly grew her confidence.
The time management aspect of her studies really helped her during her placement year as well as the responsibility of being a student rep because that helped her gain the confidence she needed to speak up in meetings. The knowledge she has gained from her marketing modules has also really helped her when it comes to actually doing her work. Isabella says, "I really like the fact that I’m still using my actual degree even now I’ve finished it."
Advice for future students
Isabella highly recommends that all students complete a placement year because of the real-world experience they gain. Although Isabella got all five university offers, she chose Aston University because completing a placement year was of high importance to her.
She says it is a really good year to figure out what it is that you enjoy, and what it is that you might not enjoy. During the placement year, she encourages students to go beyond their roles by getting involved with lots of different things to greater benefit them in the future.
Isabella says, "I would tell students thinking about doing a placement year to do it. I love the University as a whole. I've had a great four years, but the placement year changed my life completely, in personal development and professional development. It was amazing!"
A degree is not enough, you need real experience
It’s a really good year to figure out what it is that you enjoy