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Ellie McKenna

Sunderland, UK

BA (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management

Ellie McKenna has always had a keen interest in business and after leaving college in 2016 she had plans to take up a business apprentice position. However, at the last minute she realised that university was the direction she wanted to go in and decided to enrol onto the BSc (Hons) Business and Human Resource Management course at the University of Sunderland. She secured a placement opportunity at Caterpillar whilst studying and is now working in the HR sector.

I left school in 2014 and decided to study business at college. After leaving college with the highest possible grades in 2016, I secured a business apprentice position within a local school, however at the last minute I decided that it was not what I wanted and so chose to continue my studies and go to university, which is something I have never regretted.

I enrolled onto the Business Management course at the University of Sunderland and have never looked back. The lecturers I had were so helpful and incredibly supportive.

Since embarking on my journey at Sunderland, I have been successful enough to secure a HR placement opportunity at Caterpillar whilst studying, and have recently graduated with a First Class Honours degree and two awards – the outstanding student achievement award in Business and Applied Human Resource Management and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) North East of England Branch Committee prize for Best Business and Applied Human Resource Management student.

My placement year was such a fantastic opportunity; it enhanced my academic skills and general knowledge of the business sector. My placement was made possible due to the support from the University; originally I was undecided as to whether to apply for placement opportunities, but the lecturers and student support team offered advice and upon reflection it has fundamentally been the foundation upon which I have been able to build my career. I have developed in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

Studying at Sunderland is an amazing opportunity which allows you to develop yourself both personally and professionally and is a catalyst from which you can build a future career.”

Published 3 November 2020

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