Joe Fitzsimons, BA (Hons) Business Studies
Joe has embraced LSBU life - travelling to Paris on an exchange programme, joining societies, working as a Student Ambassador and completing an internship
Joe wanted to leave his home town of Kells in County Meath, Ireland to study at a modern and diverse university in the capital - and LSBU fitted the bill. He wasn't sure what he wanted to study when he first looked at higher education, but Joe hasn't looked back after choosing a BA in Business Studies.
"LSBU is in such a great location and close to so many amazing London sights; it's exactly what I wanted in a university. I didn't have a set idea of what I wanted to study when I left school, but I was interested in business – I love The Apprentice! I was particularly drawn to the Business Studies course at LSBU because it's really broad, the modules were all really appealing and the year placement was an exciting prospect and a good chance to get some hands-on experience, so I went for it. It's a great option if you're not sure what you want to do and it's theoretical without stifling creativity."
LSBU student life
"One of the best things about LSBU is the student life – it's all there for students to enjoy and it's just a case of throwing yourself into it. I spent three months in Paris on an exchange programme called Erasmus, I'm part of the tennis society and I'm in the process of setting up an EU society which has already got a record number of sign ups. Staying in halls during my time at LSBU has been a great experience and I've met so many people, many of whom I know I'll stay in contact with after I graduate."
As a Student Ambassador, Joe also represents the university to external stakeholders and potential applicants. Being an Ambassador is a paid, part time job which helps build students' confidence, provides invaluable communication skills and is a lot of fun. Joe says of being an Ambassador: "I'm part of a community of Ambassadors who are all proud to be studying here, and we love using our first-hand experiences when talking to someone who is considering coming to LSBU. We can give them a real insight into what it's really like."
The extra edge
Having undertaken a placement year, a 9 week internship and a number of part time jobs during his time at LSBU, Joe has worked with the employability team to give him the extra edge he's needed to succeed.
"I've found LSBU's employability to be second to none. So far, I've been offered the role for every single job or placement I've applied for - and that's because of the support the employability team have given me, proofreading my CV and covering letters, and conducting mock interviews to ensure I give the best answers possible.
LSBU has so many links with great organisations and that really boosted my chances of getting an excellent placement in the middle of my sandwich course.
Discovering what you enjoy
Joe particularly enjoyed the marketing aspect of his business degree, so when the opportunity to work for 9 weeks in the LSBU marketing department came about, he jumped at the chance.
"I rotated four teams during my internship and worked in events, PR and communications, market research and marketing. The variety was great and during my time there I designed a survey for EU students, helped prepare for the graduation ceremonies, edited videos on YouTube and wrote articles for the LSBU website, among many other things!"
"The department are really creative, and are willing to listen to ideas and give things a go, which is fantastic as other companies might not have been that responsive to an intern's input. We were also given an individual assignment based on a live project in the department – mine was reviewing graduation merchandise, which was right up my street."
The internship Joe completed at LSBU cemented his passion for marketing: "I'm about to go into my final year and hope to get a job in adverting or marketing when I graduate, maybe in an agency. I'm also thinking about doing a Masters in two to three years' time but we will see!"