Ellie Nixon, JCB
I'd wanted to take a year in industry since the start of my degree, I have always been someone who learnt by "doing" so the idea of working as part of my study really appealed to me. Having a local placement has meant that I get a balance between trying something new and being in a different environment but also staying linked with Keele. JCB offer 'familiarisation days' before the Undergraduate scheme begins, which gives the opportunity to meet other people on similar schemes.
Having a local placement meant that it was really easy to travel to these kind of events whilst still finishing my second year at uni. Having a local placement also keeps doors open with future opportunities with the company you work at for 12 months. I chose JCB because as such a huge employer for people in Staffordshire, it was always the company I heard about working for growing up. It is a thriving, global business which invests in young people and their development.
I knew the support JCB provide for people on their schemes from my Summer placement there, which only encouraged me to return for an Undergraduate year. The best thing about my placement is the variety, although it is a business-oriented scheme I can sometimes be out at the quarry or working on the shop-floor on the machines we make. Partnered with this is the development opportunities I have been offered by JCB, and the confidence in my ability offered by the HR team. Although I am only halfway through my placement, I already feel that I have so much practical knowledge that I can take back to Keele for my final year and upon graduating in my future jobs.