Work Placements

A key feature of all our undergraduate courses, which has laid the foundations for many successful careers, is the work placement scheme.

You spend the third year of a four-year, or second year of a four-year course on the hospitality and tourism courses, in full-time paid work with an employer, who can be chosen from the many prestigious international organisations who come to us regularly with opportunities.

You gain invaluable, real-world business experience and have the chance to demonstrate your competences and develop new skills. You are supported by the School throughout, and assessed on both your own self-development and the value you add to the organisation.

You gain an advantage over other graduates and build contacts for the future; indeed, many placement students secure a job with the same employer on graduation. Recruiters value highly the maturity, poise and understanding that a placement can bring.

Following your placement year, you apply the experience in subsequent modules of your programme within the theoretical framework of business.

"It is great to get a year's 'hands on' work experience which will give me an edge over others as I move into a graduate role. A placement taught me what I like doing and I now know exactly what I am looking for."

Emily Brown
BA (Hons) Business and Management
Placement at IBM, London


Recent placement employers


Placement Profiles

Aimee Ralph

Aimee Ralph

Course: BA (Hons) Business and Management
Placement: Aldi, Swindon

"I've spent over two months in-store, training as a deputy manager and helping run the store. Then I spent time with an area manager learning their role and aspects of their job. Now I'm doing project work and currently in charge of Christmas allocations, redistribution of lines, changes of merchandising and price change."

The module Buying, Merchandising and Store Design that I took at Brookes has really helped me in the Christmas project. I'm also using the report writing and Excel skills I learnt at Brookes, when creating official documents for directors.

I've been supported by Brookes throughout my placement. My tutor contacts me regularly and I was visited when in store.

A placement definitely helps you understand what the working world is like. I believe the experience and opportunities it has given me will help me get a job in the future. It also gives you a chance to 'try out' a company you are interested in and if successful on your placement they may have a graduate position for you when you leave university.


Maria Ivanova

Maria Ivanova

Position: Assistant Accountant
Placement: Oxford Study Courses Ltd. (2010/11)

"I have grown personally during my placement year and the real working experience gave me confidence. I have found a job that helped build on my strengths and fight with my weaknesses and also made my career choices much clearer. The real hands on experience enriched my knowledge about accounting and finance and provided me with essential employability skills."

"Maria has had an excellent year with us and we are going to miss her. She is the first placement student we have had and has made such a good impression that this year we will have three students. As this was a new position, the responsibilities were not defined and Maria took the opportunity that this presented, rather than finding the lack of structure to be a problem for her. For each task she was given, she took complete responsibility, improving the process. Over the year she has been with us, Maria has developed in many ways and she is now a much more confident person. Her communication skills have improved and are now very good, both written and oral."

Jane Atkin
Finance Controller
Oxford Study Courses Ltd


Guillermo Martinez Arastey

Guillermo Martinez Arastey

Course: BA (Hons) International Business Management
Placement: Microsoft, Reading

"My placement was a priceless opportunity to gain extremely enriching experience in a leading corporation. Working at Microsoft for a year allowed me to develop practical business skills and industry knowledge, making my university studies much more valuable."

When I first decided to search for placements, I had little idea of the value of the jobs offered. I was amazed to see, not only the amount of high-profile organisations offering internships, but also the level of responsibility for these jobs.

At Microsoft, I was responsible for supporting the management of the company's retail business for fifteen countries in CEE and MEA. I was involved in many senior management meetings where I gained a lot of knowledge on how large multinational corporations run their business. I was also in charge of planning, tracking and analysing sales for the region and reporting the results to management. I left Microsoft after a year with a clearer idea on what the corporate world is about and what it demands, at the same time of considerably improving key skills that will definitely help me in my future career.

"Guillermo was by far the best placement student I have had whilst at Microsoft. He has proved to be hardworking and diligent and has shown a passion for Microsoft and its products which was appreciated by all his colleagues. The quality of work that he has performed during his internship has been of outstanding and I consider that he has done much to raise the profile of Oxford Brooks University at Microsoft."

Imran Razzaq
CEE & MEA Business Management Director
Microsoft EMEA Retail Sales and Marketing


Wilson Wei Sheng Yapp

Wilson Wei Sheng Yapp

Course: BA (Hons) Accounting and Finance
Placement: Mattel UK, Maidenhead

"It was absolutely an amazing experience having witnessed industry movements, communicated with so many business professionals and getting involved in various industrial events."

My placement year at Mattel has been one that was memorable and insightful. It was absolutely an amazing experience having witnessed industry movements, communicated with so many business professionals and getting involved in various industrial events. It was about learning business but moreover, it was about learning how one can fare in a business environment and to see what improvements can be made. I would definitely encourage any student to take up a work placement as part of their courses and take it as an opportunity to challenge themselves during that year.

"Wilson has been a real pleasure to work with. He has achieved over and above our expectations, not only in his tasked role but in roles outside of his responsibility, adding to the business in many ways. Wilson has made a real positive impact on the team as well as our surrounding colleagues and will be missed both personally and professionally. He has a great future ahead of him."

Helena Mansell
Licensing Manager
Mattel UK Ltd


Lorna Bladen

Lorna Bladen

Course: BA (Hons) Marketing Management and Sociology
Placement: ProspectSoft, High Wycombe

"My placement taught me that I need to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way, such as meeting new people and taking on board new responsibilities."

My placement year at ProspectSoft was an invaluable experience that has opened up so many possibilities that have enhanced both my personal development and career planning. My placement taught me that I need to make the most of every opportunity that comes my way, such as meeting new people and taking on board new responsibilities.

Since returning to university, I have become more actively involved in extra-curricular activities and it was my placement experience that has given me this confidence and knowledge to be more innovative and not be afraid to try out new things.

"Over the past 12 months Lorna has proven herself to be exceptional. She has taken on a considerable workload and completed every task to an extremely high standard. Lorna has also taken it upon herself to find new ways to market and promote the business, finding particular success in applying for and winning two significant awards. She has demonstrated that she is a true all-rounder; however she also has particular strengths in communication, organisation and attention to detail. Not only has Lorna's marketing work been exceptional but during her work recruiting new members of staff she has received praise from the managers of all the departments in the business."

Patrick Johnson
Marketing Manager
ProspectSoft Ltd


Mark McDonnell

Mark McDonnell

Course: BA (Hons) Business Economics
Placement: Productivity and Reform Team, HM Treasury, London

"I feel my placement at HM Treasury has been pivotal in shaping my degree ... I would highly recommend a placement to anyone!"

I feel my placement at HM Treasury has been pivotal in shaping my degree. It has exposed me to a wealth of knowledge and experience which has helped forge my future career ambitions; it has also helped me to apply my basic microeconomic and macroeconomic knowledge to real life policy formulation. I would highly recommend a placement to anyone!

"Mark has thrived in the HM Treasury environment. He is a productive and committed worker, making a major contribution to many important pieces of work. He has an obvious enthusiasm for policy and analysis and applies his economics training well to a diverse range of issues. He has taken personal responsibility for his development and has developed skills such as technical analysis which have become a key resource for the team."

Sam Jolly
HM Treasury


Vicky Watmough

Vicky Watmough

Course: BA (Hons) Business and Marketing Management
Placement: ProspectSoft, High Wycombe

"I enrolled in the Business School's 'Skills for Placement Search' module which was really useful as it gave me the skills, knowledge and practical experience I needed."

I decided to do a work placement for developmental reasons as well as to bolster my job prospects. I enrolled in the Business School's 'Skills for Placement Search' module which was really useful as it gave me the skills, knowledge and practical experience I needed to give me the best chance of securing a placement.

I was really pleased when ProspectSoft offered me a place on their award-winning placement scheme. I started as a Marketing Assistant but after training they offered me a Channel Management Assistant role.

I dealt with up to 30 partners on a daily basis and within three months I had gone from a pure marketing role to helping the Sales and Marketing Director make strategic decisions. I was involved in key activities with managers and directors, vetted CVs and ran two assessment days for the next placement students. The support from Brookes throughout my placement and when I came back, was incredible.

At University you learn theory but when you're out in the real world you find out whether it actually works. My work placement has given me a better grip on my lectures and assignments and I look forward to going back to work for ProspectSoft once I've graduated.


Emily Brown

Emily Brown

Course: BA (Hons) Business and Management
Placement: IBM, London

"It is great to get a year's 'hands on' work experience which will give me an edge over others as I move into a graduate role. A placement taught me what I like doing and I now know exactly what I am looking for."

When I was applying for my degree there was a lot of uncertainty about graduate jobs, so it was important for me to incorporate a work placement as part of my course. A Brookes course allowed me to do this.

As a finance analyst at IBM, I had to consolidate and analyse data from four different country groups, checking targets and strategies for each quarter. It gave me a complete overview as to how different cultures communicate and do business. I also gained analytical and problem solving skills by digging deep into individual accounts.

I learnt how to work in a team and how to communicate with colleagues from around the world. As I increased in confidence, I asked positive questions and grabbed every opportunity to improve and develop, especially presentation skills. Three months in, I was sent to Paris for seven days, it was really busy but a huge learning curve and fantastic to meet so many people.

It is great to get a year's 'hands on' work experience which will give me an edge over others as I move into a graduate role. A placement taught me what I like doing and I now know exactly what I am looking for.


Alison Foley

Alison Foley

Course: BA (Hons) International Business Management
Placement: Microsoft, Reading

"I would really advise any student to take a placement year if you want to stand out from the crowd and Oxford Brookes will help you at every step along the way."

I originally applied to Oxford Brookes University Business School because of its good reputation and I really like Oxford as a city. Once I visited the campus I decided that it was the place for me, it felt quite instinctive.

Throughout university I have been very career focused and after my second year, having taken a module that is designed to get students on placement programmes, Oxford Brookes helped me get a position with Microsoft in Reading. During my time at Microsoft I worked on the 'I'm a PC campaign' and also organised the Christmas party, which had over 1,700 guests. As a result, I now know that I want a future career in the technology sector and I have a years' work experience heading in to the job market, which has really helped my CV and given me lots of professional contacts.

I would really advise any student to take a placement year if you want to stand out from the crowd and Oxford Brookes will help you at every step along the way.


Naomi Richards

Naomi Richards

Placement: SweetSpot

"I had only been with SweetSpot for 6 weeks and felt like part of the family! They made me feel so welcome, relaxed and most importantly - useful!"

Starting my placement was a hugely daunting experience. To go from the occasional waitressing job to a full time office job was going to be a huge jump. BUT before my first day began I got a friendly call from the office - 'tomorrow, remember to bring enough clothes for 4 days as you will be coming with us on the Tour Series' (The Tour Series is 10 city centre cycle races around the UK, 2 per week).

I was thrown in head first and by then end of the first week I was drinking in the hotel bar with the rest of the team like I had been there for months.

This picture is from the final of the Tour Series in Southend. I had only been with SweetSpot for 6 weeks and felt like part of the family! They made me feel so welcome, relaxed and most importantly - useful!


"I have been delighted and impressed with Emma over the last year. Her performance and attitude have been exemplary - higher than previous industrial trainees and arguably higher than some of our permanent employees. I know this view is shared by my team and by my colleagues. I hope she will be able and willing to join IBM in the future."

Manager, IBM

Would you like to find out about employing a placement student?

UNDERGRADUATE OPEN DAY


Saturday 4 October 2014
9.30am until 4.30pm

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