The teaching and the variety of teaching styles, such as group work, lectures and presentations on IBML were really good. I am glad I studied a range of subjects as I now have a good understanding of how a business works. I have also learnt other skills, such as group-working, presentation skills and how to run meetings. Throughout my degree I found the academic staff very approachable and helpful on the occasions where I needed assistance. Because IBML is a relatively small course there is lots of camaraderie and working together in small groups so it is easy to make friends. Since graduating we still stay in contact and meet up.
The year abroad stands out as the highlight of my time at Aston. I spent six months studying in France and six months studying in Germany. I felt v ery well prepared before I arrived due to the support of the Placement team. They helped me to secure my placement in Germany and they also assisted with finding suitable accommodation.
I undertook my work placement at Bosch Packaging Technology in Stuttgart. I worked in the Continuous Improvement Process Department, supporting a team of internal consultants. I undertook research, prepared presentations and tested project management software. The highlight of the year was having a picnic in a vineyard! There was a really good team atmosphere at Bosch and it was a nice environment to work in.
My work placement gave me a ‘can do’ attitude as I had to solve problems in a foreign language. After six months of work I felt independent, confident, determined and more focused on my studies so it was a really beneficial time.
I also undertook a study placement in Strasbourg which was a steep learning curve. As an English student I wasn’t given any special consideration, I had to keep up with the rest of the class which is a lot of pressure but shows how well developed my language skills were after two years at Aston.
Overall I think the placement experience is important because it really helps when looking for a job. It is difficult to demonstrate why you are the best person for a job if you have not done a work placement and my confidence and ambition were enhanced as a result of the experience.
IBML is a demanding and challenging programme and this prepared me well for the world of work. Having studied languages and a wide variety of business subjects I feel that I have lots of career options. Throughout the degree there was a good balance of academic subjects and practical skills and this helps you to stand out from other graduates. When I graduated I felt well prepared and found a job within a few months.
I am currently working as a Business Development Co-ordinator at Truflo Marine (an engineering company) with responsibility for continuous improvement and marketing.
My placement with Bosch Packaging Technology gave me a good grounding and helped me understand the manufacturing environment which helped when applying as I had relevant experience from my placement year. My placement year has helped shape my career path as I worked in the field of Continuous Improvement and found that it was suitable for me and I intend to continue progressing my career in this field. Many of the modules I studied during my degree programme have been very useful for my work and I have been able to apply theories on management to my job.
I would definitely recommend Aston University to someone with a languages background. It’s a campus environment in a big city and the friendships you make can last a lifetime.