'Getting to work in the UK as part of my degree was invaluable'

Young man sits smiling widely in grey pullover in square in front of student centre at Huddersfield University.

Elton, from Indonesia, graduated with a BSc in Business with Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of Huddersfield in June 2023. He now works at UNIQLO full-time in London on a rotational graduate programme and is on track to become a manager in the company by the time he finishes.

Elton is wearing a baggy black T-shirt and holding a frisby. He is smiling widely and in the background is the external wall of the Barbara Hepworth Building of Huddersfield University.

'I was part of the Ultimate Frisbee Society and got to travel around the UK competing with other university teams'.

'In the UK, I found a good study-life balance'

During my degree at the University of Huddersfield, I learned so much inside and outside the classroom. In addition to my classes, coursework and degree-related work placement, I tried out new hobbies, discovered new passions and interests and got involved in university life mainly by getting involved in societies and working for the Student Union first as an events officer and then as an academic representation assistant for the Computer and Engineering School.

I was part of the Ultimate Frisbee Society in my first and second year. I had never tried it before, but it has similar rules to American Football. We trained every week, and as well as having fun and getting better at the sport, I travelled around the UK competing with other university teams. I also tried out bouldering and mountaineering.

Group of students from Malaysia and Indonesia at Huddersfield University holding flags as part of a student society meet-up.

'As president of the Indonesian Student Society, I collaborated with other societies to run joint events.'

Group of five Indonesian students in traditional dress - two women on the left, then one tall man (Elton), another woman, and another tall man.

The Indonesian booth at the International Food Festival at Huddersfield University.

'I was the president of the Huddersfield Indonesian Student Society'

For example, for almost three years, I was the president of the Huddersfield Indonesian Student Society. There are lots of societies that represent international students from different countries. Huddersfield is a small town, so there are not many Indonesian students here - maybe only ten or so while I was president. We participated in special events with other societies where we had booths, and we explained more about our culture to other people and had some of our meet-ups as well. One of the best was the International Food Festival, where each society would make food from their own country.

'As a student ambassador, I enjoyed sharing my story with people all over the world.'

'I got to work with a film crew and featured in a global advertising campaign'

'As a student ambassador, I got to share my university experience with people all over the world'

In my final year, I also worked as a student ambassador, supporting prospective and current international students virtually and face-to-face. My role was to help them transition smoothly into university, share my experiences and answer any questions they might have.

'My classes were so international, which brought many different perspectives to the table'.

'The class discussions were insightful and productive'

The quality of education in the UK is really high. Before I came here, I hadn't been in 'seminars' before, which was an excellent way to learn. Every week, we discussed a really interesting topic as a small group. One of the things that made it so special was that everyone came from different countries and had different professional backgrounds. Also, my course offered a sandwich year in industry, so in my third year, there were even more perspectives from people working in all sorts of industries, from transport to retail and tourism. We could compare things in the UK with our own countries and where we had previously worked, which made for insightful and productive discussions.

'During my placement, I gained better commercial awareness and business sense and put theory into practice'.

'During my degree, I did a one-year work placement with Kirklees Council in Huddersfield'

In my second year, I did a one-year work placement as a Transport Data Analyst at Kirklees Council in Huddersfield. It gave me a real sense of what it's actually like to work full-time and within a UK working environment. It helped me boost my skills in different departments and areas. It gave me better commercial awareness and business sense regarding how things are run, not just in theory but in practice.

While working there, I analysed and managed the transport data of more than 850 fleets (groups of vehicles) to evaluate various things, from the productivity of vehicles to the areas they covered and the performance of drivers to improve overall efficiency. I built my stakeholder management skills, coordinating and working with different government departments and external recycling, fueling and vehicle tracking companies to produce reports and data insights for the council.

'The experience I gained during my work placement helped me secure my graduate job'

I met many good people who welcomed me as an international student. They taught me so much, and the experience was so valuable. It's been a fantastic selling point on my CV when looking for jobs. I'm sure that it helped me secure the job that I have now because my employer can see that I already had professional experience in the UK and applied knowledge related to my area of study.

In addition to helping me secure my graduate role, my course also prepared me to successfully work in the industry after I finished. I've been able to apply what I learned within a different context to Kirklees Council.

'I secured a graduate role in London with UNIQLO, a Japanese fashion retailing company with over 300,000 employees worldwide'.

'London is my dream city. There is so much more to it than meets the eye'.

'I'm currently doing a graduate role with UNIQLO in London'

I secured a graduate role in London with UNIQLO after finishing my degree. UNIQLO is a clothing brand from Japan and has been growing in Europe in recent years. There are currently over 300,000 employees worldwide. The scheme I'm on is a rotational graduate programme, and the aim is that, by the end, I will become a manager. I've worked there for a few months already, and it's been so interesting getting to learn more about the business and become part of the team. Moving to London has been a fun experience. It's my dream city. I've enjoyed meeting people at and out of work, making new friends and building new relationships, as well as exploring the city in my free time.

'At university, I was in classes three to four days a week, and the rest was self-study'.

'I have learned so much during my transition from studying to working full-time'

The main challenge has been moving on from university life and transitioning into full-time working life. It's so different. I work five days a week and have different responsibilities than I had while studying. In my course, I was in classes three to four days a week, and the rest was self-study. But now I'm working seven to eight hours a day for five days a week. I've also been learning about how to deal with different kinds of issues that can come up in the working world, for example, competing deadlines and stress. The most important thing is that I can just be myself and work hard, and everything will work out.

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