Magnificent seven UCS graduates join Willis

The seven graduates with Carol Faiers (top left) and Gary Shoesmith (top right).
The students are C

The seven graduates with Carol Faiers (top left) and Gary Shoesmith (top right). The students are Chetan Mistry, Lucy Joachim, Kelly Walton, Kim Birch, Jacob Fordham, Sarah Maker, and Peter Vamvakidis - Credit: Archant

Seven University Campus Suffolk (UCS) BA (Hons) Business Management graduates have received their degree awards at a ceremony held at the Ipswich Town Hall on Wednesday having all secured full time roles within Willis, the global insurance brokers and one of the largest employers in Ipswich.

The students were originally part of a graduate summer work placement programme and, as a result of their success on these placements, the company offered them all full time jobs upon graduating.

Carol Faiers, Senior Lecturer in the School of Business said: “At UCS we pride ourselves in helping our business students get work placements with local businesses, as we know that this experience can lead to full time jobs. We have worked with Willis for six years and it’s a win-win situation. Our students get invaluable work experience and Willis are able to employ these talented and well qualified young people.”

The seven students, Chetan Mistry, Lucy Joachim, Kelly Walton, Kim Birch, Jacob Fordham, Sarah Maker, and Peter Vamvakidis have all started exciting careers at Willis.

Gary Shoesmith, Education Liaison Director,at Willis Group, Ipswich, said: “Our relationship with UCS has flourished over the past few years and has formed an integral part of our Ipswich based recruitment strategy. By working with the students from their first year we have been able to build their understanding of the skills and attributes sought by employers. As a global insurance broker we also value the diverse range of international students recruited by UCS.

“All 13 UCS students employed by Willis since 2010 are still with us and importantly making significant contributions to our business operations. “The emphasis UCS has embedded in student employability upon graduation has been very refreshing. We anticipate our UCS relationships growing ever stronger as we seek to significantly grow our Ipswich operations over the coming years’.

Jacob Fordham, now working as an Account Handler with Willis’s Reinsurance department, advises other students to take the opportunity of the summer internships that UCS help to organise.

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“If you do these internships when you finish university you’ll have the right experience that employers are looking for. So that when you go to interviews it will show that you have the drive to do well.”

Kelly Walton, now an Account Handler within Corporate Aviation at Willis Aerospace, said: “The course equipped me with a great level of business knowledge and provided me with opportunities I would not have had otherwise.”

UCS has over a 92% of their students going into employment or further studies.

All seven students recognise the importance of the links that UCS has forged with local companies in being able to help them find jobs post their studies.

The careers guidance service at UCS provides students with information, advice and guidance before, during and after their time at UCS to support them in making the most of these opportunities.

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