Aston University student excelling during placement year at Traffic Group Signals
Aston Business School, BSc (Hons) Business and Management student Jack McLarney, has been working in Operations and Marketing for Traffic Group Signals, one of the UK's leading suppliers of portable and temporary traffic lights. Jack’s role for the company consists of three parts.
The first is to improve customer experience and perception in after sales. Jack has played a vital role in improving the customer experience by assisting with the re-design of the company’s cardboard boxes used for the packaging of the product. He has also helped with the creation of a reliable next day delivery service.
The second aspect of Jack’s role is helping to build the company’s e-commerce platform, an online portal which enables customers to order products remotely. Prior to the creation of the online portal, customers were required to order parts over the phone, and only a few select employees had the product knowledge to be able to assist with enquiries. This product portal has allowed new staff without that prior knowledge to get more involved, and also allowed customers to become more self-enabled.
Jack’s final role for the company is helping to improve the operational facilities of their goods in and goods out centre. Jack has helped with the re-design and implementation of a new work trolley and scissor lift, amongst others.
Completing his placement year during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic was a unique experience. Jack was required to work from home often, which granted him further autonomy over his workload. Jack says that the experience helped him immensely with his personal development, as he was required to hold himself accountable, develop his independence and practise self-discipline.
Jack has particularly enjoyed the operational side of his role at Traffic Group Signals. This has provided him with an insight into the direction he wishes to go in when applying to graduate opportunities in the near future. His ultimate dream job is to work in Formula 1 in a strategic management or operational efficiency role.
Overall, he has loved his placement year and is grateful that it was such a major focus for Aston University students to partake in. He describes the year as being a big change from university, and the 9-5 routine has reformed his attitude towards work. When Jack returns to Aston [University] for his final year he plans to “prioritise getting work done in the day” so that he can enjoy his evenings and weekends.
During his time at college, Jack really enjoyed his business A level. He discovered that he wanted to work with people, and felt that studying Business and Management would allow him to do so. Jack chose to study at Aston University as he knew that the business school was one of the best in the country. “I always heard good things about Aston [University], and when I visited the campus, I instantly got a good feeling”, he says.
Jack also always wanted to complete a placement year, as he felt that it differentiates you and set you apart from others, especially with such a popular degree as business and management. He liked how the placement year was such a central part of the university’s degree programme.
Jack has really enjoyed studying Business and Management so far. He says, “the course director Dr David Carrington is so supportive, he is always there for a chat when you need one and has helped me so much”.
Jack is very excited to return to university so he can be around all of his friends again and enjoy all of the extra-curricular activities once more. Jack loves getting involved with different things such as, “go-karting, rugby and running in the amazing parks and tracks around Birmingham. No matter your interests, there will always be something for you to do in Birmingham”, Jack says.
Advice for future students
Jack would highly recommend Aston University to all prospective students. He advises students to be open minded to all of the opportunities the university has to offer, such as the student union, the sports clubs and its central location in the city.
Attack university with an open mind. Say yes to things you wouldn’t normally do and go out of your comfort zone. When you have a go and try something new, it will always be beneficial in the end.