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By: Gordon Rankin

As part of my final year at St Mary’s University, I visited the Sky offices in Osterley to get some feedback, advice and support on my digital business assignment. Today, the majority of organisations whether large or small, rely on being digital. It’s why I chose the digital business module at St Mary’s. It gave me a brilliant combination of relevant knowledge and a practical aspect that will help me in my career.

Personalised mentoring

We were given the opportunity to choose a mentor who we would keep in touch with over the course of the assessment process. My mentor guided me through using PowerPoint placemats to present information in a visually engaging way. This is a tool that I can use in my career, and far more useful than the traditional assessment method of writing essays.

St Mary’s gave me a list of mentors from various sectors and organisations to pick from. It was great to find someone experienced in the areas that interested me most. I am drawn to the media sector, so a mentor from Sky was an ideal choice.

Once I’d completed the first draft of my assessment, I contacted my mentor asking for feedback and guidance. She invited me to meet her and her colleagues to get professional help on how to work with placemats.

A real understanding of how business works

During my day at Sky, I was introduced to employees from different departments who regularly manage and present vast amounts of information. They all assessed the strengths, and weaknesses of my placemats, and suggested improvements.

They gave me real-life examples that Sky used and showed how these could be adapted to my work. It gave me lots of ideas about how to create a compelling placemat using the information I’d gathered. I was delighted with the result, and with the high grade I received.

Getting valuable practical experience

This experience didn’t just help me to get a great grade. It also allowed me to gain practical experience and insight into how organisations operate day–to-day. This is so useful in developing my career in management.