Natalia Miteva

Communication, Media and Culture, 2016

Natalia Miteva

Communication, Media and Culture student Natalia Miteva is currently undertaking a work placement year with motor giant BMW Group UK, as she prepares to head back to her final year of studies she reflects on her year out.

I am a current Communication, Media and Culture student at Oxford Brookes University, however, two years into my studies I was already eager to put my knowledge into practice and couldn’t wait to get exposure on the job market, and so I started applying for work placements. I eventually got offered a place with BMW Group UK, and I am currently employed with them on a one year contract based in their UK Head Office in Farnborough.

I have been with the company for about 9 months now, working as an assistant in the Aftersales Department, this is a very dynamic and fast-growing sector of the business. I work with some incredible colleagues: they have all been so supportive, and I have had the opportunity to learn from them and gain a variety of expertise and skills. Frequent performance and development reviews with my manager have also helped me strengthen important transferable skills and discover talents I never thought I had!

Since starting on my placement I have been involved in many different projects and events and the increase in my responsibilities over time has proven very rewarding. My role is based around marketing and promotion; on a daily basis I support the team with launches of new products and the maintenance of existing ones, and pilot initiatives on a national level. I’ve also had the chance to apply and test many of my academic skills learnt during my course, including market research and competitor analysis around customer behaviour and trends.

The powerful role of culture and communication has always intrigued me and exploring the matter in a corporate setting was a new and exciting venture for me. The recent launch of BMW’s employee brand was an ideal opportunity for me to dig deeper into the organisation and write an Independent Case Study on it.

As my placement is coming to an end, I am now looking forward to returning to student life and my final year at Brookes. One thing I know for sure is that I am coming back with a greater focus and determination to succeed, as well as the ambition to pursue a progressive career globally.

To any other students considering taking a placement my advice to them would be that it is something everyone should try. Even though it might seem challenging writing applications and looking for employers alongside doing coursework and sitting exams, you will definitely be grateful for the experience later on. It will enable you to develop on both a personal and professional level, increase your confidence and prepare you for the workplace after you graduate.