'Earn while they learn' proves a huge success

'Earn while they learn' proves a huge success

The first batch of students to study a unique 'earn while they learn' programme run by Sheffield Hallam University and Nestlé have now graduated.

The 11 students were part of the Nestlé Academy Fast Start Programme, which places students in a paid training role while they study for their degree.

The programme, a first of its kind for the food industry, was set up in 2013 and gives students commercial experience while they study for a degree in Professional Business Practice.

During the three-year course the students undertook a range of roles at the company including sales, marketing, HR and supply chain functions working on real-life projects. 

They now all have permanent jobs with Nestlé in roles including assistant brand manager and customer demand planner.

Prof Kevin Kerrigan, pro vice-chancellor and dean of Sheffield Business School, said: “I would like to congratulate the students who have graduated from the Fast Start programme and wish them well in their new roles at Nestlé.

"The students have benefited hugely from being able to apply the theory they learned at university directly into the workplace to solve real-life business issues and they are reaping the rewards now as they start careers with a major global company.”

One of the graduates, James Alasdair, is now order capture team lead and manages a team of eight people.

James, 23, from York, started a traditional degree at Durham University but left to take up a place on the Fast Start programme.

He said: "It's been a challenging three years to be working while doing a degree but it's nice to have a ceremony like this to take time to look back at what you have achieved.

"I applied for the Fast Start programme as I wanted to work for a company like Nestlé but it was also important to me to get a degree.

"I got the best of both worlds and got to work in a number of different areas of the business and work out where I wanted to be."