Anna Gill

Procurement Placement Student

  • Business Management
  • Northumbria University
  • Placement Year (10 Months+)
  • JN Bentley

Describe your role and what it entails.

In summary, day to day responsibilities all lead to servicing sites and our clients by getting them what they need, when they need it and at the right price. This involves sending enquiries and orders, processing tenders and building relationships with suppliers. One big positive about starting as a placement student is you learn from the bottom up, which helps you really understand and learn about Bentley’s.

What have been your highlights?

As a placement student you are paired with a member of the team for your whole year so I always had someone to ask if I was unsure. Everyone in the team is helpful and friendly, I never once felt I was left on my own to sink or swim.

The environment in the office is good. Just the right balance, as long as you keep on top of your work you can have a good laugh. There is lot’s to do outside of the office as well from nights out at the Bingo to charity walks etc.

However, my biggest highlights have to be receiving my permanent job offer, final year university sponsorship and recently being submitted to achieve my Chartership in Procurement and Supply.

What have been your challenges?

As my placement year was my first serious and office based job I expected a very serious and quiet office so was actually quite nervous when I started. On my first day I realised straight away this was not the case at Bentley’s. Thrown into ‘The Buying Challenge’ with other placement students, I found it all a bit daunting, but looking back I think this was just first day nerves. The way the department got me involved in everything from day one definitely helped my confidence grow….something you definitely need in Procurement!

What have you learnt from your experience in the role?

I have learnt A LOT! I have learnt so much about an industry I knew nothing about on day one, as well as also learning a lot about myself. The role has helped me grew in confidence and improve my skills. The responsibility you are given and the freedom to control your own work load has improved my organisational skills significantly. Working in Procurement you are always communicating with other departments, whether it is accounts or site agents and design teams located in other offices. Procurement is a great department to be in to learn about the business and improve your communication skills.

What advice would you give to a student following in your footsteps?

Doing Business Management at university and covering various modules such as Marketing, Supply Chain and Finance, I was unsure what I wanted to do and applied to placement years covering all categories. If you’re unsure on the role/s as you have never experienced it before or even heard of it, give it a go! If you get the job, don’t be afraid to ask questions, no matter how stupid they sound!

There is a lot to learn but it is worth it, you won’t just be doing basic orders and enquiries you will be just like any other member of the team. By the end of your placement year you could be placing orders over £100,000.

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