Way back in March, the careers team interviewed Amanda Jane Law, one of our graduates who participated in the Unite scheme. We asked her some questions about why she did a Unite placement, how it helped her, and what happened next! You can have a watch here:
A while ago I spotted that Amanda had been interviewed by Tom Little for In-Cumbria. Here’s a little bit of an extract from the article, but you can read it in full here.Unite with Business, run by the University of Cumbria, gives students and graduates the chance to complete paid placements at Cumbrian businesses, with some gaining full-time employment as a result.The scheme, started in 2012, recently got funding to continue until September 2014, and organisers are so pleased with it they have already put a new scheme in place to replace it. One talented graduate who gained full-time employment after completing a Unite with Business placement is Amanda Jane Law. She declined the chance to go to prestigious art schools in Edinburgh and London to study a degree in Contemporary Applied Arts at the University of Cumbria, and she hasn’t looked back. She graduated in 2011 and in 2012 she jumped at the chance to work for the Hesta Scene? gift shop in Caldbeck, through the Unite scheme. The company was so impressed with her that they offered her a dream opportunity to become their product developer, allowing her to jump onto the employment ladder, and use the shop as a springboard to set up her own business. She now splits her time between working on her own art, and working for the shop that sells it.
So what is Unite?
Unite with Business is a consortium of six north west universities, including the University of Cumbria, which provide free business support to SMEs. They take on a graduate for 20 days at no cost to themselves on a full or part-time basis. Typically projects have included designing or re-designing a website, developing a communications or marketing strategy or even prototyping a new product. The graduate is paid for their work via the project leaving the business free to concentrate on the project brief.
One of the benefits that graduates bring to the business are the up-to-the-minute skills they can bring, which can be beneficial to local businesses in many ways; by increasing sales, improving efficiency, updating branding, or expanding knowledge of social media marketing. For the graduate it is an ideal opportunity to get some real world industry experience, to enhance your CV, and also to find out check if a particular business or business sector is right for you.