Placement Ambassador – Ryan Mottershead

Placement Ambassadors are Stage 3 students who have returned from a placement year.  They are happy to offer advice and guidance to stage 2 students looking for a placement. 

Why did you choose to do a one year commercial placement?

The top graduate jobs are highly competitive so I wanted to have some professional experience before I graduated to make me stand out when applying for jobs upon finishing my degree.


Which company did you work for? What was your position?

Cummins Turbo Technologies – Industrial Sales Placement


What was the highlight of your placement year?

The stand out project I worked on was designing and implementing a new method of measurement to monitor and improve the prototype process for new turbochargers. However, the whole year was a highlight as many of the tasks I ended up doing were far beyond my job description, working with colleagues all around the world.


How has the placement experience helped your own development?

I’m now a completely different person and am able to communicate with people in a much more professional way. My whole outlook on the working world has improved, whereas before I viewed work as this terrifying idea where I’d sit all day in a quiet little bubble, I now see it as an opportunity to use my skills in a practical way. It’s genuinely made me excited to graduate and move into the working world.


What elements of the placement have been most useful in helping you move towards your careers goal? What is your career goal?

Networking. I’ve met people all around the world who have provided references for me as well as offered me jobs. I was involved with the recruitment for my replacement meaning I’ve seen what the difference is between a good candidate and a poor one – from this I’ve been able to identify what’s negative about a candidate and adapt myself during application processes.



What advice would you give someone who was thinking about doing a commercial placement?

Research the area you are applying for, keep up to date and be aware of news and events that affect your chosen industry and your specific business area.

Doing a commercial placement is probably the best decision I’ve ever made. When I was in Stage 2 I thought I’d be ready for a ‘proper’ job, but when I started I realised how much I still had to learn. The year out has made me prepared to go into a graduate role. Many companies also look at experience rather than just academic accreditation; I can’t emphasise this point enough.

If you have any placement related questions, feel free to email him at