BP’s Ultimate Field Trip – by Mary Ryall Zuazo

I heard about BP’s Ultimate Field Trip in my first year as a chemical engineering student, and the amazing prize meant I was keen to take part even then. Nevertheless, I decided to wait until my second year to apply for the challenge as I felt I needed a bit more technical expertise. When the challenge was introduced in my second year, I formed a team of three and got started.

We made it to the second day of the two day semi-finals, only to find out we did not make the final. Nevertheless, the experience was an invaluable one; I became friends with a team member who I didn’t really know very well prior to the challenge, and after pitching and presenting to BP staff with years of technical expertise, I don’t think presenting to lecturers will ever be quite as daunting again. Considering we are university students, the hotel and free food weren’t bad either…

Even if we didn’t make it, last year there was a Birmingham team in the final, and this year there will be again! What puts people off entering is usually the daunting nature of a challenge which you may know nothing about, but coming up with an idea is mainly attributable to research or sparks of ingenuity during lectures. Once you have an idea, you simply work with your team to develop it, and have, what I can assure you, is an amazing experience in the meantime.


by Mary Ryall Zuazo

Stop the Press: New record label creates loud noise on campus

New Street Records team

The University of Birmingham is funding the launch of a student-run record label, directed and managed by Laura Hand and Anna Bleising, both final year Business Management students.  Their label, New Street Records, will provide a team of over 70 volunteers with entrepreneurial skills, as well as pursuing the long term objective of encouraging more successful business start-ups in the region.  In addition to providing students with valuable practical experience, the label will encourage innovation in Birmingham’s creative and music industries in order to help local and wider creative communities.  The label will serve as a career springboard for young musicians in Birmingham, as well as providing crucial professional experience in different sectors for the students running and developing the label.

The label is funded by the University of Birmingham Circiles of Influence campaign, an initiative supported by the University’s alumni.  Entrepreneurship & Innovation will be supporting the team of over 70 student volunteers giving them the skills and confidence to take the project forward.  New Street Records issued a press release this week (17th February 2015) and have also been featured in the Birmingham Mail praising the University of Birmingham and Entrepreneurship & Innovation for their support.

If you would like to receive start-up advice or project support, please contact Entrepreneurship & Innovation by emailing ei@contacts.bham.ac.uk.

Bespoke UoB Internships: Branch intern, Pertemps

Kirsty-Whitehead1Kirsty Whitehead



Organisation:  Pertemps, Birmingham
Placement Student Name:  Kirsty Whitehead
Placement Title:  Branch intern
Dates of Placement:  Summer 2014


Nature of the business:

We’ve been helping people find the right jobs and helping employers find the right people since 1961. The reason we’ve been so successful is simple: we make sure we know our business inside out. Permanent, temporary, or contract positions, private or public sector, we do our utmost to find the right people for the right jobs. Our commitment has allowed us to build an impressive client list, from major organisations to small businesses, that trust us to find them the very best people.

Brief description of internship opportunity:

The role within a branch is very diverse but the ability to offer a positive 1st class customer service is absolutely key. As part of the team you will work closely with the Manager, Consultants and Administrators to gain a full understanding of the recruitment business and the processes involved. Duties include:

  • Researching local markets, companies in the area, generating sales leads by using every available tool, especially the internet, to pass leads to the consultants.
  • Researching local unemployment stats – preparing a report to include findings above.
  • Organising the interview process, from initial introduction to finding a suitable job.
  • Communicating with applicants to update their skill, experience and CVs as necessary.
  • Undertaking customer service surveys to measure the Pertemps service by telephone and e-mail.

Interview with Kirsty Whitehead, Summer intern 2014:

What made you apply for this opportunity?

I was interested in working for a well established company to give me a taste of work within the recruitment industry.

On a day-to-day basis, what were your duties?

My day-to-day duties involved things such as answering the phones, responding to emails, interviewing temps when they came into register, filling bookings from clients, loading bookings onto the Pertemps system, loading temps onto the Pertemps system and dealing with any queries any temps may have such as pay or holiday questions.

What skills are you developing throughout your placement?

I feel like I am more resilient at handling stressful situations within the work place, as well as general skills such as how to phrase emails and deal with challenging individuals, which I felt I could do before but not with as much confidence.

Has the role helped you decide what career you want to pursue?

It has undoubtedly made me consider the possibility of a job in recruitment when I finish my degree!

Do you feel more confident/more employable as a result of the placement?

Yes, I feel more confident in myself and in my abilities and definitely feel like I am more employable as a result.

What do you like most about your role?

The satisfaction of putting someone into a job!

What would you say to other students who are looking for work experience?

To definitely go for it! I didn’t do the internship through Pertemps because I knew I wanted to be a recruitment consultant when I left university, because if I am being honest I didn’t know much about the recruitment industry at all! I did it because I knew it would be a worthwhile experience regardless as to how it made me feel about my future career!

Anything else?

Thank you to Pertemps and the team at Northampton Industrial for the opportunity!

Posted on Friday 6th February 2015