Shwaib Malik – Capital Connections Manchester

A mix of first, second, and third year students spent a very enjoyable day in Manchester as part of Lancaster University’s Capital Connections program which offers undergraduates the opportunity to gain an insight into working at different companies in Manchester. The trip is fully-funded,and it provides students with a fantastic chance to discover what the city has to offer and the chance to make long lasting relationships with Lancaster Alumni.

The first visit of the day was to the impressive offices of PwC where we were given an overview of the range of opportunities available to university students from the UK’s top graduate employer. We also engaged in an assessment day type activity and ice-breaker challenge where we got to know other students in the trip. This was followed by a tour of the incredible PwC office, a Q and A session with some of the company’s employees and then an informal lunch where we could learn about working for a‘Big 4’firm.

It was then onto the civil service, more specifically, HMRC’s Manchester office. I found it very interesting learning about all the different fast stream graduate schemes available in the civil service. What was also interesting to see was the contrast between working in the private and public sector.I learnt that the two sectors both have their plus points, and both present so many different job prospects to university students after they graduate.

A short coach ride took us to Salford Quays where BBC’s Media city’s is located. We split into two groups, with one group of students going to ‘The Landing’which isa building of office space available to SME’s. I was part of the group who were lucky enough to have a tour of some studios which the BBC use for some of their biggest shows such as Match of the Day, Blue Peter, and Breakfast. Some of the students even got a chance to do a bit of news and weather presenting themselves!

The group recuperated in the Landing for an evening of networking with a number of former Lancaster University students who now work in a range of different industries. The event began with some speed networking where students could get to know some of the alumni using prompt cards. Soon after however, we were free to network with those who worked in sectors that we were individually interested in. I found the networking session definitely the best part of the day, and I was really pleased to have some great conversations with BBC journalists and learn more about what they do. I will certainly take on all the advice and insights from successful alumni in areas which I wish to work in the future.

Overall, it was a fantastic trip and I would certainly recommend everyone to make the most of this fantastic opportunity provided by the university.