Bridging business, technology and automotive
After undertaking a summer placement at Faber Exposize UK, Cameron saw the benefits of being able to apply his technical knowledge and the benefits that come from 'building the bridge' between IT and the business.
"I knew from the start that I wanted to attend a university that had a strong emphasis on the industry placement year." He says. "It gives you the foothold in the working world and helps you structure your career path."
An Aston Open Day later, and Cameron knew that he wanted to take Business Computing and IT. The rise in new technologies has businesses having to adapt to a new way of operating - Cameron wanted to be prepared for that challenge.
For his placement year, Cameron worked at Volkswagen Group as an ‘Information Systems Strategy Project Coordinator’, which essentially means he supports and manages IT strategic initiatives – from bespoke IT builds right the way through to project delivery. If the systems aren’t working properly, or are falling behind the place of future technologies (such as Digital Direct Selling), his role was to bring them forward. Quite the responsibility for someone in their early twenties.
Some highlights of Cameron’s role with Volkswagen Group UK was to visit their parts distribution centre (‘the place is huge, covering 62,000 square metres!’), as a member of the team responsible for a system roll-out across the company. "We went to identify what equipment would be updated and it allowed us to plan-out a strategy."
Professional placement with a company car
As a welcomed perk, he also got a company car on his first day. "It was very daunting. We received an email a couple of months before detailing what car we were going to receive, but it was still crazy. I got taken to collect my keys to a brand new top spec Volkswagen Golf, with only a few miles on the clock." Cameron and many of the other VW undergrads on placement shared similar stories, of touching the breaks for the first time and driving ‘very carefully’ around Milton Keynes.
As for after his placement, which will finish this July, Cameron plans to visit New Zealand over the summer before his final year at Aston. "I am looking forward to going back to Aston and completing final year, a year in industry should help me succeed as I’m now used to working 9-5 and I can see the benefits of attaining a good graduate scheme by seeing the graduates at VWG."