Business studies graduate, Holly Bathurst, recently joined BU’s Global Festival of Learning in Vietnam to discuss how industry partnerships could support student employability.
Holly, who works as an IT HR Demand Manager for Siemens, has maintained connections with BU since graduating in 2013. She said: “Industrial experience has always been central to my university experience and so is something I feel very strongly about. The fact that BU offered a placement year was the main reason I chose to study there. I know that if it wasn’t for the placement and other simulated business exercises that I undertook on my course, I wouldn’t have the job I’m in today.”
Holly first experienced the IT industry during a placement year at IBM in London. She came into contact with Siemens while delivering a consultancy project for the company in the final year of her degree. Holly said: “The project became the unofficial start of an elongated interview process, where the team at Siemens got to know me and I got to find out more about the company and its opportunities. I secured a graduate role and spent the next two years in different departments before taking up my current position supporting the IT needs of our HR teams across North West Europe.”
Despite busily building her career, Holly has regularly returned to BU to speak with current students, provide lecturers with industry insights and to promote the business studies programme to others. As part of the Global Festival of Learning, Holly joined a panel discussion about internationalisation and student development at Foreign Trade University in Hanoi and at the Co-Op company in Ho Chi Minh City. The event formed part of a four-day festival of collaborative working, lectures and workshops exploring global talent and UK-Vietnamese relations.
Holly said: “It was fantastic to be involved, both as an industrial partner of BU and as a graduate. I was able to talk about what Siemens is looking for in terms of skills and attributes, as well as reflect on my own experiences. Professionally it gave me an opportunity to develop my skills in public speaking and to build business relationships in an environment which is culturally different from the UK.”
Since returning from Vietnam, Holly has continued to support BU by judging a student World of Work competition which Siemens has sponsored by providing £200 of Amazon vouchers for the winning teams. She said: “The standard of entries has been exceptionally high, making it very difficult for the judging panel! We really were wowed by the student’s work as they put in a huge amount of effort and showed such creativity and imagination, which was just inspiring.”