Learning at the ‘coalface’

19 Nov 2017

Each year, we offer student placements giving those who take part practical experience of the business and how it operates.

This year one of our students is Ryan Brown, a Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Business Management student.

An alumna of Portadown College, Ryan has been studying at QUB for two years and, to gain real-life experience of the workplace, chose to take a placement year as part of his course. Using QUB’s own job portal ‘MyFuture’, which advertises placement and graduate jobs, Ryan searched for roles which would allow him to put his university learning in practice. He spotted and applied for a Human Resources placement role with BIA, applying via the airport’s website, going for an interview and then meeting to discuss the role further, resulting in an offer. He is now in his fourth month of placement and learning ‘on-the-job’ – ‘every day’s a school day’, as they say (even when you’re at work!).

Speaking about his placement, Ryan said: ‘I’m really enjoying my HR placement at Belfast International Airport. From going through the application and interview process at the beginning, to working with the HR team and other departments within the airport, I feel like I’ve learnt so much already. It’s been a real insight into life outside university and I feel I’ll be much better prepared when I’m ready to enter the workplace after I graduate. That’s not to say I’m ready to stop being a student yet though – I’ve still another year to enjoy after this!’

Head of HR, Jaclyn Coulter, said that taking on placement students such as Ryan is beneficial, not only for the students, but for the airport as well:

‘We’ve really enjoyed having Ryan here and it’s great to have enthusiastic students join us, ready to put their education and learning into practice. At BIA, we feel it’s vital to support and invest in local schools, colleges and universities because, quite simply, they hold the key to our future – our young people. We look forward to building our relationships with the students and their places of learning and to welcoming more placement students to join us in future.’

Following its 2016 Corporate Responsibility (CR) report, BIA compiled a CR Action Plan for 2017. The plan promises a commitment to Employees, Environment, Community & Charity and Educational Activity. Included in it is a pledge to provide educational visits to the airport, mentors for pupils studying at schools partnered with BIA and three placements for university students. To see the full 2017 Action Plan, click here or, for more information on CR within the airport, visit our website here.


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