New scheme helps students build careers

An innovative project run by London Metropolitan University is helping graduates get where they want to be following their studies.

Date: 10/07/2012

An innovative project run by London Metropolitan University is helping graduates get where they want to be following their studies.

The ‘Partners in Employment’ scheme is run by London Metropolitan Business School and builds links between the University and industry to both enhance students’ learning and provide employment opportunities when they graduate.  

For one inspirational graduate, the scheme has rewarded a remarkably brave decision. Elina Varpa quit a well-paid job with major company KPMG in her home city of Riga, Latvia, to come and study MA Events Marketing Management at London Met. Now, after taking part in the competitive scheme, she has been offered a contract at leading company W&O Events Management.     

“I was working in client relationships on some key accounts with KPMG, but I knew that events management was what I really wanted to do”, she said. “I decided to apply for courses and received an offer from the University of Greenwich, but London Met really stood out for me so I came here.

“It’s a great place to study. The course is very much project based so you get a lot of real experience instead of just writing essays! The staff are very friendly and approachable and the library facilities are great.”

It wasn’t always easy for Elina, however, and there were times when she questioned her decision. “Sometimes I thought I had made a huge mistake leaving a successful career behind. The graduate job market, like everything else, is tough at the moment and I was worried that I wouldn’t find a fulfilling job at the end.

“But then my lecturer, Justin Lance, suggested I compete in the Partners in Employment scheme and, after quite a challenging selection process, I was offered a job with W&O. It’s a brilliant scheme and I’m so grateful to Justin and W&O for giving me this opportunity.”     

For Sallie Coventry, Managing Director of W&O, the scheme is invaluable for companies looking to recruit the best talent from universities. She said: “We believe that it is important for businesses such as W&O to engage actively with the educational establishment to help foster talent for the future of our industry. 

“We are delighted to have partnered with London Metropolitan University on this project and look forward to welcoming Elina into our team.” 

The Partners in Employment scheme was spearheaded by Justin Lance, Academic Leader in London Metropolitan Business School, and underlines the University’s commitment to developing student employability. 

Justin said: “The scheme has been a great success this year, and is set to continue into the future. We have worked with a variety of companies including Concert Live, Heart Productions, Think!Sponsorship, W&O Events, and THG Sports, and have provided in excess of forty Undergraduate and Postgraduate students with short and long term work experience opportunities. 

“I was recently invited to talk, alongside Nick de Bois MP, at the Council for Protocol Executives breakfast briefing on the topic of how industry and Higher Education can work together. I illustrated my address with the Partners in Employment scheme, and the concept was well received by the audience. I anticipate that this shall lead to a greater number of opportunities for our students.”  

The Partners in Employment scheme is just one example of London Met's many initiatives aimed at making students more employable. And, according to the latest figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, they are working. The University was recently ranked among the best modern London universities for graduate success.

LMBS graduate Elina Varpa, who competed in the scheme