James Robertson

BA (Hons) Business Studies

James Robertson was pleasantly surprised by the level of responsibility he enjoyed on his placement. And he certainly rose to the challenge – his impressive performance has won him a place on Unipart’s prestigious graduate scheme.

James’ placement

James spent a year at automotive manufacturer and supplier, Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems (UEES). Based in the production, material and control department, James was focused on a huge range of logistics challenges, working on the biggest contract in the business’s history.

The verdict

"It’s been a very enjoyable year. It’s been the greatest challenge of my life but also the most rewarding by far. This environment is very stressful, time critical and can be super-complex but no-one at your placement should expect you to know it all - as long as your attitude, commitment and willingness to learn are all top notch, you will definitely learn a lot and do well!"

Confidence-building responsibility

"It was a frightening logistic prospect to manage and control in a lean manufacturing environment. I felt I was given a huge amount of responsibility during my placement and definitely didn’t expect to have so much influence on the project. I was given the sole control of packaging (establishing requirements and tractability) and was the first point of call in terms of part supply for the first build phases of this project. Working with the people at UEES and our external suppliers has greatly improved my confidence and ability to communicate effectively as I felt this is probably one of my greatest weaknesses. I genuinely feel more assured in myself now when meeting new people and feel that I can build up relationships quicker."

Award-winning work

"I worked with my logistics manager, the dispatch team leader and the dispatch guys to see how best to improve the dispatch area as it was very dirty, unorganised and parts were going missing. This work over the course of two months drastically improved the work efficiency of the lads down there and we won the Unipart award for the most improved area. The dispatch area went from 16th (out of 20) to 3rd when audited."

Straight into the graduate scheme

“During my time here I have worked with some of the graduates who are on the graduate scheme. Due to my good work, I have been offered a place on this once I have finished my final year at university so will more than likely be returning to the Unipart Group. I will hopefully be able to move around various sites within the Unipart structure, build upon the experiences I have had and learn more about this business.” Getting the experience employers want “I think my placement year is more beneficial than my final degree classification as employers these days are looking for people with experience rather than grades on paper. Getting a 2.1 with a year of industry is much better than getting a first in my opinion.”