Matt Holt, BU alumnus

BU alumnus, Matt Holt, is working at the cutting edge of aviation technology, as a project manager for Airbus Defence and Space.

BA (Hons) Business Studies is now called BA (Hons) Business and Management.

Matt honed his project management skills on the BA (Hons) Business Studies, a course he chose to help shape his future career. He said: “I chose Bournemouth because I was attracted to the location, campus environment and facilities. When I came to the open day I was also struck by the enthusiasm and energy of the staff. Business studies appealed to me because I had enjoyed it and done well at it at school. I also felt that it would give me a solid foundation as I explored my future career options.”

Having completed his first year, Matt decided to specialise in the degree’s project management and operations pathway. When it came to his placement year, he was able to apply what he had learnt so far to a project management role with Formula 1 team, Mercedes. Matt said: “It was great to gain practical experience of project management and to do that as part of a championship winning team. The fast pace of the work and strong sense of team spirit really appealed to me.”

Having returned to university to complete his final year, Matt was focused on getting a good result that would stand him in good stead when it came to securing his first role. With a keen interest in aviation – and spurred on by his experiences with Mercedes – he applied to and was accepted by Airbus Defence and Space. He said: “My experiences at university certainly helped me to land the role with Airbus. I had been through assessment centres for the placement with Mercedes and had also learnt how important it was to pitch your CV and covering letter to meet the individual requirements of each role. Airbus was also impressed that I had already achieved the Chartered Management Institute Diploma in Management and Leadership as part of my course.”

Since joining Airbus, Matt has been project manager for a team working on the HAPS Zephyr Project – a product designed to plug a gap in the market between drones and satellite technology. HAPS stands for High Altitude Pseudo-Satellite and the product is designed for use in areas such as border control, where it can stay in the air for longer periods than a drone, but at a much lower cost than satellite.

Matt said: “I made the decision to go to university relatively late, but looking back on it now I am so glad I did. It has completely shaped the direction of the career I am now following. Even if you are unsure of what you want to do when you leave school, university is a worthwhile investment as it gives you three or four years to explore your options and define what you want to do. My advice to others is to put in the effort required to make yourself stand out from other graduates. For me, that meant getting involved in activities such as the Peer Assisted Learning scheme, which gave me the opportunity to gain new leadership skills and experiences.”