January 4, 2017, by Postgraduate Placements Nottingham
The Wonderful World of Placements
Paul Rice, Placements Delivery Manager at Postgraduate Placements Nottingham, shares a personal reflection on why working with postgraduates is a ‘best bet’ for business enhancement.
A colleague once told me that the business of universities is to teach and anything else is a bonus. Well I have to say whilst I understand the sentiment I disagree completely! Universities are centres of excellence for knowledge and a focal point for creativity, learning and expertise. I firmly believe that the cure for some of the world’s worst diseases will come out of University research; that the keys to some of greatest challenges facing the world are, or certainly will be, in the heads of our academics and students in academic institutions across the globe. Yet in our pursuit of those ideals we do not endeavour for splendid isolation, indeed we want to thrive as part of the community.
Over the last twenty years I’ve worked for three Universities and run national programmes partnered with dozens of universities across the United Kingdom, and one thing has been absolutely clear the passion for knowledge and being able to apply it. Universities are crying out to work with businesses to embed their work and to foster closer links but time and again businesses tell me that Universities can be challenging to approach, they can be confusing, labyrinthine and even scary. Yet these businesses are our lifeblood!
“What hasn’t been well communicated in the past, in my opinion, is the business value to the employers of taking on placements. Altruistic reasons aside, there are concrete practical reasons to take on a placement and the results can be astonishing.”
In the case of Postgraduate Placements Nottingham (PNN) there are dozens of graduates in new full time jobs and millions of pounds of additional value have been added to businesses as a result of a postgraduate placements taking place. New markets, new products, new ways of doing things, new emphasis and new directions; postgraduate placements are a leading route for innovation and business growth in businesses both large and small at all stages of their development. Right now, for example, we are currently working with an innovative start up business to launch a new brand, as well as with established international businesses that are looking to diversify and develop.
After twenty years of placing students, graduates and postgraduates with businesses I never cease to be amazed at the changes that come about, the new thought processes, the fresh perspectives, the new markets and development that open up – all from that initial interaction. And many of our host businesses move from placements onto other knowledge transfer activities with the University and are keen to host further placements to look at strategic business projects.
So if you are looking to enhance your business competitiveness, want to research new markets for export, conduct feasibility studies, develop your social media or just about anything then PPN at the University of Nottingham really is your best bet.