Part 1 – Elliot Piper (BSc Business Management, 2014)
At NBS/UEA, we have an Employability Strategy called Graduates of Global Distinction. Director of Employability, Dr Graham Manville provides a definition of what is meant by a Graduate of Global Distinction. “At NBS we produce graduates that can manage in any sector (public, private or third sector), in any location (regional, national and global) and manage at any level (first level, middle management and board level). Our best graduates are equipped with the following attributes: ‘Resourcefulness, Resilience and Renown’ which makes them stand out from the crowd. Resourcefulness means having a can-do attitude with an innovative mind-set. Resilience means that they will not let temporary set-backs prevent them from achieving their objectives, they learn & develop from the challenges that they face. Finally they aim for Renown and that involves either making a difference societally and/or by demonstrating superior subject matter expertise from what they have learned in the classroom. This could involve exhibiting work at a conference, making a presentation to experts in their chosen industry, having their work published or being called upon for expert opinion.
Our blog will feature a series of case studies from our graduates that have demonstrated those attributes and are now making their mark in their profession. The first case study is alumnus, Elliot Piper (BSc in Business Management, 2014) and he tells his story in his own words.
Written by Elliot Piper:
Since leaving NBS in the summer of 2014, I moved into employment within four weeks of graduation. I moved into an internship with Swedish based company ID24, for an overview of the product offering of ID24, please watch this brief video clip. Like most 21 year olds I was limited in my practical work experience so to dive straight into work was important for me, to gain vital business experience. I took the decision to take a 6 month internship in Uppsala, Sweden focusing on Marketing. I was lucky enough to join a company where I saw real value and potential in the product and really bought into the whole idea. I was asked to stay with the company post-internship and grow with the business helping to develop the company’s marketing efforts in the US and Europe. I have now spent the last 2 years here focusing on Marketing and Business development and this has involved focusing on where we see the company in 5 years’ time and how we will get there.
It has been an interesting journey for me in a relatively short space of time since leaving UEA in 2014. Around 80% of our business is done outside of Sweden where our HQ is based meaning there are plenty of travel opportunities. Being part of a small company means we are very reliant on one and other to excel, there really is no hiding place here. If you do not do your job, it doesn’t get done. This brings a high pressure environment but also an environment which allows young and ambitious business graduates like myself to flourish and partake in some great experiences. This year I was invited to speak at a Global Retail conference in Stockholm to share my experience and opinions on the future of retail. It was a great honour to be recognised as an industry expert and invited to speak in front of many retail veterans.
I was always relatively proactive in my approach to employment while studying; I always read emails from lecturers and my tutor (which is actually how I came about my internship). There are some really amazing schemes out there for young graduates to get into both domestically or internationally like I did, you just need to be proactive and make yourself aware of them.
I still apply theory acquired through studying Marketing practically today. Whilst studying, I was very keen to get a mix of practical and theoretical modules but found that I was much more of a hands on learner. I particularly enjoyed the Entrepreneurship (NBS_6010Y) and the Strategic Brand Marketing (NBS_6023Y) modules. The mix of practical problem solving skills alongside presentation skills, theory and work ethic skills allowed for the creation of skilled and knowledgeable graduates – just what employers are after.
As mentioned above, I was recently invited to present a seminar at a retail conference. I used theory learned from studying at NBS in this seminar in the form of Keller’s model of brand equity and Porters five forces.
But in everyday work I think the work ethic is the most important skill I use each and every day, no employer expects a graduate to be the finished article, but what you can offer them is a hard-working attitude, it will get you a long way while you learn on the job.
Keller’s Model of Brand Equity
Life at UEA
I was a member of the UEA Rugby club throughout my three years at UEA. Sports teams are a great way to make friends for life; I arrived at UEA not knowing anybody, but within a week I instantly had 30 friends through the Rugby club. I think it is important to remember everyone is in the same boat as a new first year student so it is important to get to know as many people as you can and you will meet some truly amazing people around campus.
UEA offered a business course with plenty of variation. As a 17 year old choosing my University opinions I really didn’t know what career path I would take. it was therefore key for me to study a degree which covered a range of topics that would give me plenty of experience and knowledge and would help me find my preferred area of business.
Our company mission at ID24 is ‘ 1. Get things done 2. Know how to have fun 3. Dream big’. I think I speak for most employees at ID24 in saying that if you can demonstrate these three traits in your job search and in your interviews, then you really can become successful. Most importantly, do what you enjoy and what you are passionate about or else you won’t want to get up to those 7am alarms after long!
With many thanks to Elliot Piper for contributing to the NBS Blog