Piyushi Pawan is one of our international students from India and is currently undertaking a MSc Business and Management degree. She also recently secured a postgraduate placement with the International Marketing Team at Aston University which she started a month ago – congratulations, Piyushi! We caught up with her to discover how she found the placement, what kept her motivated during the search and her tips for other students looking for a placement.
What role have you secured and with which organisation?
Regional Marketing Coordinator for India, Aston University.
How did you find this placement?
I first met Helena (who works in Aston’s International Marketing Team) at an event held in Chennai, India where I first got to know about Aston. Our second meeting was on campus at the Aston India Futures Group. Helena and I also happened to meet next at the scholarship event where we had a nice, long, general conversation.
So, Helena knew I was looking for some opportunities to work in a placement role. She offered me work on a small project which I did for a couple of weeks and later, she and her colleague offered me a placement. I jumped in for the interview and got hired!
I attended several group meetings and sessions held by Iwan, our Careers Consultant. He always stressed how you can gain work experience by building personal networks and approaching employers proactively. Attending a lot of group events like these helped me to build my confidence and meet people, as we are prepared by Aston staff to not just make cold conversations but actually have patience and build relationships.
How long did it take you to find your placement?
It took me three months – I made over 50 applications and ended up getting two offers.
How did you stay motivated throughout the search?
I was worried a lot of times when my applications didn’t make any progress. The best way is to talk to somebody – my friends always cheered me up and the staff kept me inspired and motivated to not stop working until I found one.
What about this organisation or role stood out to you?
I wanted a role that added value to the academic concepts I had studied in the university and to be able to apply them in an industry environment – plus, a marketing role was much sought for. Having worked with Aston University in part-time roles earlier, I was convinced that trusting their people was the core value of the organisation and this value would help me when I am working independently from home.
What was it like doing a virtual assessment/interview?
After reviewing my CV and cover letter, I was interviewed by two senior members from the team I was going to work with. The interview was conducted via Microsoft Teams. I did the necessary technical checks before my interview began. It lasted for about 45 minutes and the interviewers made me very comfortable in the virtual environment as well.
Will you be working remotely?
Yes, my teammates and I are working remotely and have been asked to continue to do so until the lockdown situation changes. I have now been working for over a month and the training sessions were also conducted online for me.
What are you most looking forward to about your placement?
I look forward to gaining industry exposure and employability skills as I enter the graduate market. I also hope to emerge stronger whilst working in these strange and unprecedented times. I am also looking forward to meeting my colleagues in person and broadening my network.
Do you have any tips for other students currently looking for work experience or placements?
Please ask for the Careers and Placements team’s help to tailor your CV as per the job role requirements, if need be and surround yourself only with positive people who inspire and push you forward. This creates a healthy impact on your mental well-being.