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Boosting student employability with business placements

A unique opportunity for our students to gain professional experience.

Written by Kim Kontos |

Students looking at iPad
Gaining such experience at such a stage during the Law degree and being part of such projects is priceless to say the least.

I was able to get hands-on experience of what the corporate world in Pakistan looks like and what kind of work is typically expected of a corporate lawyer.

Boosting the employability of our students is at the forefront of a new and exclusive initiative; Business Placements. The University of London has collaborated with top international companies to offer students the opportunity to gain experience within a corporate working environment. Our first Business Placements were completed successfully in Pakistan last August.

About the Business Placements initiative

This initiative seeks to source internship and work experience opportunities for University of London students within innovative, successful and highly-regarded organisations. The programme is distinctive in delivering accessible, exploratory placement experience as well as confirmatory placement or internship experience. It enables students to clarify their careers motivations through the whole coaching and placement process and will therefore bring better-prepared graduates to the labour market. 

Joanne Harris, Associate Director: Student Experience describes the programme as “a valuable extension of the learning experience of our students that will assist them in the future challenge of finding and securing a job. The application process is competitive, but also set up to be a learning process where individualised feedback and advice is offered to the students who are not selected. Shortlisted students will take part in an interview, either in person or on a video call, in order for the final selection to take place. This replicates the job application and interview process that graduates will need to go through when looking for employment, and offers it within the safe environment of a learning experience with helpful feedback and advice. The successful students went on to experience a two-week placement at Haidermota BNR where they received both challenging and high-profile tasks as well as invaluable networking opportunities.”

First business placement in Pakistan

In August, five Undergraduate Laws students living in Pakistan made it through the rigorous application process and were invited to a two-week business placement at one of Pakistan’s top law firms, Haidermota BNR, in Lahore. 

Simon Askey, Director of the Undergraduate Laws Programme, is “very pleased to note the success of our students on their recent placements with Haidermota BNR which provided them with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills in a professional setting.  Working in a law firm as a student can be an intimidating experience and I was pleased to note that all of the students reported that they adapted and overcame challenges through teamwork, determination and perseverance.  Their involvement in evaluating bids and researching cases will have been invaluable in giving them exposure to and experience of the busy day to day environment of a thriving law firm, as well as an excellent opportunity to further develop key skills. I hope such opportunities become available in more countries and for more students in the future.” 

Enhancing Employability

“I am confident that our students will continue to impress the companies that offer business placements, and therefore create invaluable professional networks and job application experience that will assist them greatly in their future employment. We very much look forward to developing what we can offer to enhance the employability of our students.” 
Joanne Harris, Associate Director: Student Experience

Students share their experiences

Students concluded their placements by submitting reflective logs in which they also offer some insightful impressions of their experience, what was learned and advice for their fellow students.

Highlights of the business placement

On this unique experience, Taha explains that “working on the largest projects in Punjab and Pakistan, has given me confidence beyond comprehension. Gaining such experience at such a stage during the Law degree and being part of such projects is priceless to say the least.”

In terms of commercial awareness, Shezre was “was able to get hands-on experience of what the corporate world in Pakistan looks like and what kind of work is typically expected of a corporate lawyer. A fast developing area of the law is Procurement, and I was able to gain knowledge of the firm’s ongoing bid process which I believe was an exclusive opportunity to gain commercial awareness in that area.” Also, “the environment was very pleasant and the associates were eager to help, which made every learning experience a fun and exciting one.”

“It gave me a sense of fulfilment, knowing that my work mattered and was being used to settle real life issues,” said Mahbano. “Another highlight of the internship was to meet like-minded individuals, it acted as a motivation for me to work harder and reach a similar point in life.”

Fatima found that “it was very considerate of the associates and partners to involve us interns in such confidential and crucial tasks – the trust they put in us really motivated us to be spot-on about our work.”

More information:

  • Five of the 30 applicants were admitted into the Business Placement at Haidermota BNR, Lahore.
  • Haidemota BNR is a top law firm that comprises 13 partners and over 35 associates with offices in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and an affiliated office in Dubai. The Business Placement was located at the Lahore office.
  • The Student Experience Team at the University of London International Programmes works with various departments and partners to improve the student experience and launch new initiatives that benefit our students worldwide.