William Loake

For the last three years William Loake has been promoted like clockwork.

As first-class International Business and German graduate, he landed his professional placement as a Trainee for Deloitte in 2014, and has worked his way up to Consultant.

Based in Zurich, Switzerland, he handles the international tax and financial affairs of major businesses and enjoys Swiss work culture in the heart of the city. Not bad for one year out of university.

‘Senior managers started talking to me about my graduate role at Deloitte within three months of working on placement. Within six months I had received a contract through the door. It was amazing; a complete weight off my shoulders.’

William made an impression. He attached himself to high-level executives and got involved in projects outside of his remit. It paid off with a healthy salary increase and a permanent role after graduation.

How to make the most of your placement

‘Go above and beyond. Don’t limit yourself to what’s just in front of you, think ahead to where you want to be.’

The first step in the journey, William says, is to pick a subject at university that you can get behind. One you are interested in.

‘I had an appetite for business, but I knew that could come later. I wanted to do something I simply enjoyed. International relations interested me and I wanted to learn German to business standard. The course at Aston was a great fit.’

The path to a great graduate role

Working as a Consultant is a far cry from William’s first role as a General Assistant in Asda, but even when he was stacking vegetables, he pushed himself to understand the business and logistics in retail.

‘I watched and learned from my manager. My advice to students is to do the same, no matter what the job is. There is always the opportunity to learn and grow as an employee and person.’

William was made Supervisor and was even offered a permanent role, as well as career development opportunities, but he didn’t bite.

‘I wanted more and I knew I didn’t want to work in retail forever. That’s where Aston came in and, well… the rest is history.’