BU placement student wins Undergraduate of the Year award

Posted on Friday, October 5 2012

A Bournemouth University student has been given an Undergraduate of the Year award by the company he worked for while on a placement year.

Matt Parsons, who is now in his fourth year of a BA (Hons) Business Studies degree, received the award from company AgustaWestland, which manufactures and sells helicopters.

He beat other undergraduates on placement with the company, which is based in Matthew’s hometown of Yeovil, to be given the Undergraduate of the Year award.

Matt, 23, who lives in Winton, said: “I didnt think that I was going to win.

“Everybody there is really clever, and I knew I had been working really hard but so had everybody else.

“When they said my name, I couldn’t believe it.”

He spent six months of his placement working in the company’s operations department – making sure deliveries were on time and there weren’t any parts shortages – and six months in the sales team, pitching for new business and trying to win contracts.

He was also part of the company’s charity committee and led a project selling t-shirts with helicopters on to raise money for charity.

The t-shirts made around £6,000 and he also helped co-ordinate fundraisers including cake sales, a beer festival and ladies pampering night to raise money for charities including Breast Cancer Research and a special care baby unit.

“I think I won because of the amount of work that I put into working in the operations,” said Matthew.

“Sometimes I was working until 8pm and I was combining it with all the extra things that I did and the fact that I was willing to get involved with as much as possible on top.”

Matt received the award from Alan Chambers MBE, who led the first British team from Canada to the North Pole, at an awards ceremony last weekend.

He is now working with the company for his dissertation and hopes to go into business operations when he finishes his degree.

He said that receiving the award has boosted his confidence.

“I think the award will be the most impressive part of my CV and I believe it will give employers real confidence in interviewing or hiring me, if a high profile company such as AgustaWestland think highly enough of me to give me this prestigious award,” he said.

“I have come back to university with much more confidence than before as it taught me that the more you put into something the more you get out of it, and hard work is recognised.”