How a student work placement can change your perspective

Calling rather than waiting for emails, and listening carefully to answers, are two important lessons Highlands student Bradley Le Clercq learnt during his 10-week placement with BDO Greenlight.



As part of my Business and Management Degree at Highlands, students are invited to spend 10-weeks working with a company to get a better feel for that area of business, as well as a general perspective on how people in a business accomplish elements of their jobs.

When my lecturer, David Kaye, first mentioned this to the class, he outlined that it would be with one company, and maybe we would see two or three departments within it, and they would hopefully entrust us with some simple work.

Thanks to BDO Greenlight I have gone above and beyond this mission statement. In just 10 weeks I have shadowed eight members of staff, each in a different company or department, each with a different specialisation. During each part of the placement, the team members have entrusted me to do some engaging support work for them and allowed me to sit in on a variety of meetings.

Outline work

BDO Greenlight is a change management consultancy covering areas such as project and programme management, and specialising in strategic and transformative change. Their clients cover a wide range of industries including finance, telecoms, legal, and many more.

During my placement I shadowed different consultants, helping with everything from forensic accounting, to co-ordinating office moves, and reviewing processes for capacity to digitize.

The variety of skills available within the team and their willingness to support and advise each other, playing off their skill set in a number of ways has been incredible to watch.

I have learnt a tremendous amount just overhearing the answers to various questions discussed in the office about different projects, pieces of software, the relevance of one type of marketing over another, how to best engage staff, and so much more.

Key take away

It may only be a little nugget of wisdom, but so far one of my biggest take-aways from Greenlight has been not to wait for emails, by which I mean rather than watching my inbox waiting for a response, to call someone instead. Due to reliance on instant messaging services this is not necessarily something people of my generation do, but it’s a very useful skill for me to take with me when I leave Highlands and enter the world of work.