Amy outside of the Esther Simpson building

Amy Punchard

Why did you choose Leeds University Business School? 

I chose Leeds University Business School because, from attending an open day, it was clear how passionate the staff are about their areas of research, and how dedicated they are to making sure that every student achieves their best. The quality and variety of modules and the range of employability opportunities went above and beyond any other universities I had looked at. 

What do you enjoy most about your studies? 

The best thing about my course is how easy it is to tailor it to my interests. The wide range of optional and discovery modules means that I have been able to study topics that I never thought I would have the opportunity to learn about. Even within modules you can often write your assignments and dissertation about industries and topics that interest you. 

Do you have any noteworthy achievements from your study at the Business School that you can tell us about? 

In 2019 I was the winner of the Enterprise category of the Marks and Spencer Future Needs competition. For my winning presentation, which covered how Marks and Spencer can market to the students of the future, I was awarded a £500 prize and a trip to a studio in London to tell them more about my ideas. I found out about this competition through the University and it was my course that gave me the knowledge and inspiration to enter. 

In my second year, for my Consumer Behaviour module, I wrote my coursework on the marketing of Coca Cola and Pepsi. I was especially proud of this piece of work, so I entered it into the Global Undergraduate Awards and was awarded Best in Europe for the Business Category in 2020. 

How has your experience been with the facilities, the staff, your peers and the student union? 

The University facilities like the libraries, lecture halls, and fitness centre are so well appointed and designed. Every single member of staff I have encountered has been kind, an expert in their area, and happy to help with anything no matter how big or small. 

If you studied abroad, how was your experience? Where did you go and what were the highlights? 

I was lucky enough to be offered a place on a summer school in China in 2019. I spent 2 weeks at the Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, learning about marketing, economics, and business from a Chinese perspective. If the Business School hadn't emailed me about this opportunity, I would have never even dreamed of going to China so I am immensely grateful for this opportunity. Other than seeing baby pandas, the highlight for me was making friends with people from all across the world, and the experience was truly enlightening. 

If you completed a year in industry, how was your experience? Did you feel supported by the University in finding your placement? 

I completed a year in industry with Arla Foods, working as a Marketing Undergraduate. This involved brand management duties for the UK's top two butter brands, Anchor and Lurpak. All the support I could have wanted was available from the University, from chatting to my tutor about where I saw myself working, to practice interviews at the Careers Centre. My placement itself was invaluable in preparing me for the workplace, and I was part of such a close-knit team who were dedicated to my development. It gave me focus and insight for my final year, and I intend to return to Arla after I graduate. 

What do you think of Leeds and the surrounding region? Where is your favourite place to go in the area? 

I love everything about Leeds! The city is so dynamic and alive, but at the same time it has lots of green spaces to relax in. I've lived in a couple of different areas and have always found a nice sense of community, but I would probably say Roundhay is my favourite area - home to Europe's second largest city park and Tropical World. Another great thing about Leeds is that it’s so well connected to the rest of the country, so the seaside, lake district, and other cities, including London, are only a couple of hours away. 

What are your career aspirations? Do you think the experience and skills you will gain from your degree course will help you in your future career plans? In what way? 

I've always been excited by marketing, particularly that of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), but my placement year confirmed that brand management is the right career for me, and also sparked my interest in the food industry. Eventually I see myself as a Company Director, but in the next few years I hope to become a Brand Manager, and I feel that my degree has put me on an excellent path to achieve this. 

The fact that my course focused on the latest research and real-life examples, combined with the wide range of management topics I studied, will help me to always have a clear perspective of how my decisions impact the rest of the business and society, which is a valuable skill to have in any career. 

Would you recommend the Business School to others who are considering studying here? 

I would wholeheartedly recommend Leeds University Business School to anyone who wants to make an impact and to really get value from their degree. The opportunities available here have shaped my career, my confidence, and my life, and I really don't think I could have achieved everything I have anywhere else.