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The MPA placement experience

At MPA  we firmly believe in the importance of investing in fresh talent. Young people bring excellent new energy and ideas, which are essential to the working environment especially in a rapidly growing business. For the past few years we have taken on placement students from Nottingham Trent University. Our current placement students, Zach Simmons and Harvey Featherstone, working in the Business Insights and Marketing teams respectively; share their experiences so far.

Why did you join MPA?

Zac Simmons

“As I’m from the local area I knew MPA had a history of working with placement students and have lots of employees who are studying while working. I wanted to work for a company that cared about my degree and sees value in it, and MPA certainly do that.  A year-long placement in industry is something I have always believed would be beneficial to my degree and crucial for my career development; and working at the MPA has shown me that I wasn’t wrong.”


“As part of my 4-year degree, I am required to have a year in industry. When applying for placements I had an open mind as to the industry I went into, I wanted to find a business that did something that interested me. When I saw that MPA was part of the innovation scene, working with clients at the forefront of their industries, I knew that this was something  I wanted to be part of. I also wanted to work for a company where my development would be valued and at MPA I knew that the opportunity would be there to be part of a team where I could make a real contribution.”

What have you been up to on placement so far?

Zac Simmons“No two days are the same and there are constantly new challenges / problems that need to be solved. The most enjoyable part of the role for me is overcoming a challenge and seeing the result of that influence strategic decisions within the organisation. Being in a position with responsibility means that sometimes I am pushed outside of my comfort zone, but this has improved my confidence which will definitely help me in the future. I have received training on numerous software programmes, which have allowed me to develop my analytical skills making me better able to fulfil my job role, while also improving my future employability. Overall, I have developed an appreciation for how challenges and constraints affect business decisions.”


“I have had so many opportunities to improve my skills. My team show a lot of confidence in me and are always willing to let me try new things. My responsibilities have grown, no two days are the same, and I have been able to build upon my existing knowledge of marketing theory in real life business scenarios. I have learnt the importance of providing content that engages clients and is relevant to their business needs. For MPA  the client’s innovation is part of their culture, and we try to support this any way we can. In my time at MPA I have been able to attend industry trade shows as well as accompany consultants on individual visits. I am also a member of the social committee tasked with organising company social events; this has improved my organisational skills and given me the  opportunity to work with several people from around the business.”

How has your placement at MPA aligned to your degree?

Zac Simmons“So far working at the MPA has given me access to real life situations where theory and models learned from studying Business Management have been implemented; this has been valuable in helping me better understand their advantages and disadvantages. Overall, my experience so far has supported my understanding and provided practical insights into how theory is used to solve certain business problems.”


“A large part of my degree is focused on strategic thinking, which helps my day to day work because I can better understand how the work my team and I do, contributes to achieving company objectives.  With such hands-on experience there is always the opportunity to apply things that I have learnt during my degree to different scenarios, and the team encourage me to always contribute where I can.”

What’s the best thing about working at MPA?

Zac Simmons“The best thing about working for the MPA is seeing how your work effects the whole business, and how you can implement real change within the organisation. The support and development systems in place, have challenged and encouraged me to become more engaged with my work, so that I’m constantly learning and progressing my personal development.”


“Having relocated for this placement I was made to feel so welcome. The culture at MPA is very supportive and everyone wants you to succeed. There are also plenty of social activities that take place over the year, which are a good chance to get to know people from other areas of the business that you might not necessarily work with often. While there are additional pressures that come with having such a hands-on placement opportunity, I think it’s the best way to develop and improve my career prospects, and MPA support this. It’s great that I’m not just able to come up with new ideas, but I am able to implement them too. I would certainly recommend MPA to any students thinking of doing a placement year”

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