Aston University student undertook her placement in the Netherlands

Aston University BSc (Hons) Business and International Relations student Lauren Shipstone completed her placement at Dremel which is a multinational brand of power tools and is a division of Bosch.

Job responsibilities

For Lauren's placement year, she took on the position of Business Development Assistant for the 3D printing business unit of Dremel. Lauren worked in a small team with the Business Development Manager of Dremel to try to develop the business into new markets and attract new customers. She was also involved in changing products to meet demands.








Placement highlights

Dealing with the new challenges COVID-19 brought, for example, stock issues, was one of Lauren's placement year highlights because it helped her to develop her problem-solving skills.

Completing her placement in the Netherlands was a huge advantage for Lauren because she learned how to communicate with people from different cultures, got to work with teams all across the world, and learned a new way to approach work. Lauren said, "After 5pm they completely stop working and relax because they care a lot about work-life balance. Working abroad has really encouraged me to go and explore the world and different cultures."



Advantages of a placement year

Lauren's confidence and communication skills have benefitted greatly from the placement year by facing new challenges and working with lots of different teams. Her work-life balance has massively improved too which has helped her to set realistic deadlines and manage her time well in her final year of university.

There are also lots of little things about living abroad that she's had to deal with, like transferring banks, finding accommodation, and finding where to shop for food. This has all aided her growth in confidence.

Lauren says, "It’s quite amazing how much you can develop in a year."









Making new friends

Although there were some other Aston University students that completed their placement at the same place as Lauren, she didn’t get to know any of them because of the lockdowns. Instead, she made close friends with the people who she house shared with. 

A few months before finishing, the lockdowns were lifted, allowing Lauren the chance to socialise more with her colleagues and her housemates.

She says, "I’ve made some great friends and I am hoping to visit them in the summer."



Application of studies to the placement year

Lauren's role was very business-focused therefore she was able to apply the business modules she had completed in her studies to her work projects. The international side of her degree helped her a lot too because it helped her to understand the differences between cultures and how they work.

She found the social side of the university was also very beneficial in preparing her for the placement year. Being a member of the cheerleading committee and the Raise and Give society, helped her gain experience working with teams and putting forward new ideas. This massively helped her in her role as it developed her communication, organisation, and time management skills.








Advice for future Aston University students

Lauren would advise other students not to put too much pressure on themselves to find a placement quickly as she received her offer quite late compared to her friends.   

She commented, "Push yourself and challenge yourself as much as you can in your placement year because it will set you up for the future and for my final year as well. You'll become more confident, and you can excel more in your studies because you’ll develop lots of skills."

Lauren suggests that if you struggle to find a placement in the UK, then it’s worth looking abroad because the application process is a lot easier. For her placement, she had to send her CV, cover letter, and had three phone interviews, however, most UK placement applications involve a lot more processes and testing. 



Lauren said...

It’s [the placement year] massively improved my confidence and communication skills

Although going was quite nerve-racking at first, once you get past that it’s amazing and opens your eyes to the world.