Waterfront: University increases business links with global insurance broker

UCS students at the Ipswich Office of Willis, Business students enhance their employabaility skills

UCS students at the Ipswich Office of Willis, Business students enhance their employabaility skills at Willis - Credit: Archant

Students enhance their employability

Undergraduate students from University Campus Suffolk (UCS) have been working with Willis, the global insurance broker, to enhance their CV writing skills and develop their interview techniques to boost their employability whilst studying.

The Employability Skills Workshop, hosted by Willis at their landmark Ipswich Offices, was organised for seventeen students currently on a range of Business Degree courses at UCS.

Tommy Philpot, a first year BA (Hons) Business Management student at UCS, said: “I really enjoyed taking part. It gave an insight into graduate jobs and the professional workplace and the tips on CV writing and interviews were very valuable. After visiting Willis I’m keen to apply for an internship and work placement.”

The Workshop was delivered by two second year BA (Hons) Business Management students who had already completed work placements with Willis and a UCS graduate who is currently employed within the Corporate Aviation department of the organisation.


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Gemma Mayhew, one of the second year students to deliver the Workshop, said: “Helping Willis organise and facilitate the workshop was a fantastic opportunity to share the experiences and knowledge gained from our internships at Willis with our fellow students. The workshop also provided us with an opportunity to develop further our presentation and oral communication skills; skills that are crucial to our own personal and career development.”

UCS and Willis have been working partnership for the past six years and in 2013, seven UCS BA (Hons) Business Management graduates all secured full-time roles within Willis after originally being part of a graduate summer work placement programme.

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Gary Shoesmith, education liaison director at Willis said: “Willis is extremely proud of its mutually beneficial relationship with UCS. The strong emphasis UCS place on employability has been evident throughout our six-year partnership. In addition to providing work placements for UCS students we have also recruited 16 UCS graduates over the past few years, all of whom are engaged in key roles helping us service our existing clients and generate new business.”

Carol Faiers, a senior lecturer at UCS, added: “UCS is committed to ensuring its graduates enter the workplace with the skills, qualities and attributes required by employers. It’s a win- win situation as our student’s gain an insight into working in a professional environment and Willis are able to employ many of these talented and well qualified young people once they graduate. Building this partnership over the past six years has provided a range of excellent opportunities for our students to gain professional experience and enable Willis develop a ‘talent pipeline’.”

UCS has continued to build partnerships with a number of employers to provide opportunities for students to undertake summer work placements and internships, as well as part-time employment, alongside their academic study. Many students go straight into employment with work placement providers and overall, 90% of UCS students go into employment or further studies within 6 months of graduating.

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