When Jamie walks into the room, she looks every inch the professional businesswoman. The BA (Hons) Business Studies student is currently on her placement year, working at JP Morgan and learning a lot every day.
She admits that the transition from student life to the world of work has been a bit of a challenge, but one she’s relished: “It’s quite hard to adjust at first, but I’ve learned a lot and developed my skills so I feel that when I come back for my final year I can put those into practice.”
It’s easy to see why Jamie has excelled on her placement - she’s even been asked to stay on with the firm for a few extra weeks once her placement for the university officially ends in mid-May. She’s excited about the prospect of getting a bit more experience under her belt as she explains the ins and outs of her job in the financial services sector.
Since starting her work placement, Jamie has faced a range of challenges, including working with complex financial products, such as contracts for difference, which are used as a form of financial trading, and is also closely involved in fund management at the firm. She’s enthusiastic about the experience it has given her and feels as though her course at BU has prepared her well for the world of work.
“[I like] the wide variety of subjects I’ve had to study. In the second year we were allowed to chose specific options so that we could take what we’d learned in the first year and pick the ones that we particularly enjoyed and study them in more detail,” she explains, adding that the ability to adapt the Business Studies degree to suit her interests was one of the things that attracted her to the course at BU in the first place.
“I studied A-levels that were quite tailored towards business and I really enjoyed that. As a result, I wanted a course that I could tailor towards different subjects but while also covering quite a broad range of subjects,” she states.
It isn’t only Jamie’s course and work placement that has helped bolster this ambitious young woman’s CV though - she was also part of a team who made it to the semi-finals of the IBM Business Challenge, a national competition.
She becomes very animated when talking about the contest, explaining that the initial stage was run online, after which the chosen teams were invited to London to compete in a live event at the semi-final stage. “We ran an online company, so it’s all hypothetical, but for the semi-final we went up to London. It was run over one day and we had to imagine we were running a business and make business decisions. Ultimately, whoever made the best business decisions won, sadly that wasn’t us on the day!”
Although she’s disappointed they didn’t manage to bring home the prize, she’s very proud of her achievements and sees it as a useful experience that can only benefit her. Jamie has been keen to make the most of her time at university outside of her course as well.
“I’ve been a PAL (Peer-Assisted Learning) leader, so I can help first-year students in their progression and transition to university life,” she says, continuing: “I’ve also signed up to the Language Lab to develop my Spanish skills.”
She has also enjoyed her time living in Bournemouth, advising any new students to make the most of the beach and the other outdoor spaces the town has to offer. “There are lots of parks, as well as the beach, and it’s not a city, so it hasn’t got that big, polluted feel that you’d get in big city,” she says with a smile.
Jamie also points out that, because there are plenty of accommodation options, both on an off campus, you can find somewhere to live in your first year that suits you. She chose to live in the town, which she feels gave her the best of both worlds, allowing her to study on campus and make use of all the university’s facilities, but also giving her access to the social life Bournemouth offers.
“I think your option are quite wide by studying at Bournemouth because there’s an emphasis on not just the academic side, but also on the societies and clubs. As a result, when you leave your CV is as broad as it can be so your opportunities are vast,” she comments.