Work Experience Award 2022

​Awarded for outstanding impact and/or contribution whilst undertaking work experience E.g. applied project, placement, enterprise residency, scholarly research/innovation solving real-world problems, as part of their course. ​

College of Business, Technology and Engineering​
Megan Fuller – BA Hon Forensic Accounting ​

What they did​
“Employed to assist in the running of our £11.5m revolving bank facility. Role created as extra resource due to function being in bank review measures. Other member of staff left before student start date, therefore left with the sole responsibility of function.​

Student identified errors and inefficiency in the current process. Building a strong commercial understanding of customers and their specific invoicing requirements. Including Irish customers & proforma customers. Wrote new standard operating process and trained 2 members of staff.​

In doing so, made the company compliant with the banks daily cut off window and moved the company out of bank review measures. Subsequently, had the invoicing and cash upload process further streamlined and now completed 4 hours quicker than previously.​

Due to exceptional performance was promoted to Assistant Accountant and took on the full company reporting suite, provided to the senior management team, including multiple reports compiled on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.​

Additionally, student has led a customer credit backlog project to reduce lead time on credits from 3 months to 48hours. This meant managing colleagues to clear existing 1000+ credit backlog including streamlining the existing process so multiple credits could be processed at once.”​

What was the Impact?​
“Bank removed the company from special review measures resulting in a £12k a year cost saving. ​

Due to time saved, company consolidated headcount and decided not backfill vacancy, saving additional £25k a year. Student subsequently promoted from Finance Assistant to Assistant Accountant and has taken on the internal company reporting.​

Now a key member of the month end management accounts team, in taking the reporting suite they have allowed the team to complete month end in 4 days instead of 5. Never previously done.​

Credit backlog project increased customer satisfaction and saved £180k a year as minor claims are now pro-actively pushed back or fixed by our road based technical team rather than the product be binned and a re-issue made.​

The student has vastly strengthened the department with their knowledge and ability. They continually push themselves. Their proactive and positive approach to work has added an enormous amount of value to the finance team. ​

The student has a methodical approach, compiling in-depth notes allowing for team members to be easily trained on their duties. Combined with exceptional accuracy and reliability, their work is also saving time for the Finance leadership team that previously had to check junior staff’s work.”​

How it inspired others​
“The student is a humble, polite, hardworking, and driven individual, the ultimate team player. They embody our company values and have inspired other junior staff across the business to do so. The student has demonstrated to our junior staff (graduates, placement students and apprentices) what exceptional looks like.​

We have seen an increase in output across this tier of staff as they all strive to be the best they can be. A huge part of this is due to the student raising the bar internally.​

The student is an exceptionally talented accountant that will undoubtedly be a future Finance Director if that is the direction they wish to pursue, but more importantly right here and now they have inspired a tier of workers to push their limits higher.​

Our company goal is “pursuit of perfection” the student embodies this with great work ethic, proactive approach, willingness to learn and supporting their colleagues in any way they can. Their line manager who is a passed finalist CIMA from SHU with 3 years’ experience in the business has also taken inspiration from the student’s ability to throw themselves into new tasks, something that they themselves have struggled with in the past.”

College of Health, Wellbeing and Life Sciences​
Chelsey Seeley – BSc Hons Biomedical Science​

What they did:​
“From day one the student showed enthusiasm and drive. They are professional and courteous always and adhere to strict health and safety and patient confidentiality regulations. They show exceptional initiative having only needed to be shown a task once to complete it to a good standard. They are always willing to help regardless of the task. Often the student will stay over to complete a given task even when told they can go home. From an academic point of view they are very good, written work is concise and well structured and any feedback I have given is always acted upon.  They are seemingly never fazed by anything.”​

What was the impact:​
“As we are a small department under ever increasing demands due to the current NHS backlog, the student has been invaluable. Having such a quick learner has meant that experienced staff can delegate tasks knowing that they will be completed efficiently and accurately. As mentioned above, because their university work is of a high standard and submitted promptly it allows me to fulfil my role without having to worry or chase them up.”​

How it inspired others:​
“Our student literally brightens up everyone’s day. Even when we are under extreme pressure they remain cheery and positive and help to keep spirits high. Their dedication to study always amazes me, as they are often studying whilst on lunch inspiring me to push forward with my current professional studies. I have mentored many placement students over 15 years and I can honestly say they are possibly the best we have had. Their singing along to the radio does leave a little to be desired but nevertheless brings a smile to all of our faces.”

College of Social Sciences and Arts​
Max Molloy – BSc Hon Quantity Surveying​

What they did:​
“This individual has fully embraced their placement opportunity. From the first day, they have demonstrated a positive, professional and enthusiastic approach to their work. They have shown an eagerness to learn, to be challenged and to take on responsibility and in doing so, have competently and regularly undertaken tasks that would normally be expected of those with 2 or 3 years more experience. In particular they have:​
1. Taken the lead on the implementation of a new online e-procurement system, becoming the champion for the team and quickly learning how the system operates to provide guidance to the wider team.​
2. Undertaken the site measure for a complex package of street lighting, traffic signage and lighting and electrical work on a project spanning 7km.​
3. As a willing volunteer, confidently presented to the senior leadership team, professionally articulating the background to our project and the key deliverables to be achieved for the customer.​
4. Enrolled on the Industrial Cadets (IC) accreditation to achieve a Platinum leader award, logging their experience to demonstrate skills and competency compliance at the levels required of the IC Framework.​
5. Taken ownership of a subcontract package (high pressure road jetting), including submitting an invitation to tender, completing a tender evaluation, chairing the subcontract pre-award meeting and compiling subcontract documents.”

What was the impact:​
“When welcoming someone into the team who doesn’t have much, if any relevant work experience, the expectation of them is not set very high. Our primary ambition is to provide a working environment in which they can learn and through the course of their placement year, gain sufficient knowledge and understanding of the role that allows them to begin working competently and independently before they leave. With this particular individual they were able to hit the ground running, providing much needed support to the team who were already managing a high workload. This person was able to ease that pressure on the team by pro-actively looking to be given tasks, taking ownership and accountability for them and importantly completing those tasks to a high standard. Indeed this individual was often providing advice to others around them with more years’ experience.”​

How it inspired others:​
“The confidence and enthusiasm of this individual has inspired other junior members of the team to become more involved in the project and more proactive in fulfilling their own roles. Their ‘get up and go’ attitude has challenged other members of the team to perform at a higher level than they were, encouraging them to raise their game and also given them more confidence to interact with the wider site team including going out on site more.”