The Next Generation Award 2015: Nicole at Toyota – Launch of the Toyota Mirai and developing apps

In Nicole Agba’s month-long placement with Toyota, she got a chance to work with the marketing team on the upcoming launch of the hydrogen-powered Toyota Mirai.  gen_award
“I was tasked with working out how to present technology and data about the vehicle to companies who will be buying the car and also to everyday consumers,” she explains.

Nicole set about designing a mobile app for the car to provide more information on hydrogen fuel cell technology using videos and images. The app would also offer more details about the car and its history, as well as locations of refuelling stations.

To present the app, her proposal was to have an envelope with a tablet device in the car’s glovebox and an electronic business card attached to it.

“I was given full scope to do whatever I wanted to do, and there’s potential for Toyota to use it as a product eventually.”

Along with her Mirai project, Nicole researched other Toyota marketing schemes and created her own ideas, which she then presented to the head of marketing at Toyota. There was also time for a trip to the firm’s manufacturing plant in Derby.

“I was told that no one has ever described the factory as ‘cool’ before, but I was like a kid at Christmas,” she says. Find out more about her experiences in the video here.

Nicole’s penultimate placement is with McLaren, where she worked on colour and material design.

If you’d like to win an internship at Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota, plus £9000, submit an original idea or innovation that would improve the UK automotive business in one of four categories – mobility, connectivity, sustainability or customer experience.

Entries close at midnight, 28th August

Graduate profile of the month

Congratulations to all graduating from Loughborough University this week!

Get inspired and have a look at our graduate profiles to see what happened next for our graduates and what advice they can offer to you.

July’s profiles is Martyn Tobin. Martyn graduated in 2014 with a BSc DIS Air Transport Management. He is now a Graduate Consultant at Tracsis plc.

 Martyn TobinYour background:

Before attending Loughborough University to study Air Transport Management I worked part time in various retail outlets whilst studying at New College Swindon to obtain the necessary UCAS points.

I’ve always had a passion for flying and subsequently at the age of 17 I obtained my National Private Pilot’s License. The experiences I gained from my flying and volunteering at my local airfield gave me an appreciation of the aviation industry. As such, I began to research future careers and University courses within this field whilst attending college.

Where are you now?

I graduated from Loughborough University in July 2014 where upon I joined Tracsis Plc as a Graduate Consultant. Tracsis is a leading provider of strategic and operational planning to the rail and bus industry with offices in Derby and Leeds. Since joining the consultancy team I’ve been given many opportunities to get stuck into a variety of projects for clients such as Network Rail, National Express Coaches and Train Operating Companies.

How did you get there?

The Air Transport Management degree at Loughborough University includes a one-year placement opportunity after completion of Year 2. After applying for a variety of placements, I was successful in joining the Train Planning Department at First Capital Connect. During my placement I gained first-hand experience of a working Train Operating Company.

Upon my return to complete my final year, I chose to study the Rail Operations module, which was taught by a visiting industry professional. During this module, the lecturer offered careers advice; as well as forwarding by details to Tracsis.

Prior to attending an interview with Tracsis, I utilised the Careers and Employability Centre at Loughborough University for advice on my interview technique, which included a mock interview. The advice they provided was invaluable in securing the position.

Where are you going?

After completion of my degree at Loughborough University and being fortunate to have a fantastic job at Tracsis, I aim to continue my professional education by studying an MSc part-time. My long-term aspiration is to hold a senior management position within the industry.

What if anything would you have done differently during your time at Loughborough University to help you prepare better for your career/life upon graduation?

During my time at Loughborough University, I struggled with some of the statistical modules in my degree. However, if I had my time again at Loughborough I would have utilised the support services during my first and second year. During my final year, with this support, my grade increased by 10%.

What advice would you give now to a student studying your subject at university now?

Although studying at Loughborough University is fun and relaxed, it’s very important to keep reminding yourself of your aspirations. My key advice would be:

  • Attend all classes and that includes tutorials.
  • Make use of the facilities such as the Careers and Employability Centre.
  • Join the LSU Transport society ‘Velocity’. This society provided me with some fantastic opportunities including access to private tours around Bombardier and Airbus. In addition to the educational and networking benefits, you also meet likeminded individuals.

The Next Generation Award 2015: Flying from car launches in Austria to the Paris design studio

Nicole Agba’s month with Peugeot was jam-packed with trips to Austria and Paris to work in a range of different departments with the manufacturer nicole

After a stint on the sales floor of the flagship Peugeot dealer Robins & Day in Coventy, Nicole set off for 24-hours in Gratz, Austria, for the international press launch of the Peugeot 208.

Nicole worked with Peugeot’s PR team to test drive the hatchback and to get a taste, first-hand, of how the company positions its products to journalists.

Next-stop for Nicole was a week at Peugeot’s design studio in Paris, and an opportunity for her to further develop her skill as a designer. “I created concepts for a superyacht, and found that designing an interior space was a nice contrast from car cabins because it lets you use more materials that aren’t suitable for automotive design.”

“Peugeot gave me a really varied experience within all areas of the industry and I became completely immersed in the automotive world,” Nicole explains.

We loaded Nicole with an action cam so she could capture some footage of her european adventures, you can watch the video here.

Nicole’s third placement is with Toyota, where she worked on marketing projects for the Toyota Mirai, the world’s first production hydrogen car.

If you’d like to win an internship at Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Peugeot, Skoda and Toyota, plus £9000, submit an original idea or innovation that would improve the UK automotive business in one of four categories – mobility, connectivity, sustainability or customer experience.

Entries close at midnight, 28th August

SEO Summer Launch Pad 2015

SEO London we will be holding an exciting range of events this summer for students in all years.

Through the SEO Master Class series you can complete exclusive summer workshops and/or work experience with partner firms in the industry or industries you may be interested in interning/working in next year to determine where you best fit.

Most of the SEO Master Class events will take part in late August or September. The SEO Academy Training and Summer Schools will take place from late July to September.

Travel Costs:
Reasonable travel expenses will be reimbursed for students from outside London attending partner firm events

Applications for the Summer Launch Pad close on Sunday 19th July but places will be confirmed sooner for early applicants. After the 19th July students can still apply to SEO for any of our general industry programmes which include being fast tracked for partner firm intern and graduate schemes.

See for further details and to apply

Volunteering opportunities from VAL

 Children and Young People

Volunteer Cook / Chef
TwentyTwenty need a volunteer to prepare hot lunch meals for students to eat within the Lifeskills Centre. Find out about this role.

 Health & Social Care

Carers Telephone Befriender
A great opportunity from Voluntary Action South Leicestershire to support carers and to help alleviate the loneliness that they can feel. They are looking for friendly and empathetic individuals to volunteer as telephone befrienders. Find out more.

 Education and Learning

Podcasts in the Park (Leicester)
Led by interns, you will assist in the creation of podcasts based on the histories of Victoria Park, Abbey Park, Spinney Hill Park, Braunstone Park, Evington Park or Shady Lane Arboretum. Learn more.

Family History Volunteer
Learning for the Fourth Age currently need a volunteer to work one to one in Quorn helping with researching a family tree. An interest in fashion and sewing would be a bonus! Find out more.

Bottersford Learning Mentor – Dementia Support
Learning for the Fourth Age are looking for a volunteer to work one to one and in small groups with older people enabling them to keep learning and enjoying their interests and hobbies. Find out more.


Melton RSPCA Shop Volunteer
The RSPCA is looking for a volunteer to help in a thriving and busy Melton charity shop. The volunteer will assist the managers of the shop and provide cover during managers’ absences. Read more about this vacancy.

Volunteer Photographer
Woodside Animal Centre need a photographer to take high quality pictures of the animals in the centre for the website to enable them to be re-homed successfully. Learn more.

Event Volunteer (Music Festival)
Volunteers will be required to undertake a variety of tasks such as: manning the box office, wristband-checking, artist liaison, selling raffle-tickets, and customer service. Learn more.

Sport Volunteering Opportunities – Sport@VAL

Hot opportunities

Walk of Life Volunteers Needed
Location: Loughborough
Rainbows’ Walk of Life raises the funds the charity needs to help  Rainbows offer the very best care and support to children and families from across the East Midlands. The group is looking for volunteers to help with the running of the day. Jobs include manning stalls, car parking and/or marshalling Parks. Learn more

Support Visually Impaired Athletes
Location: Coventry
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, British Blind Sport is staging a Festival of Visually Impaired Sport. It is an excellent opportunity for anyone who is blind or partially sighted to try new sports, learn new skills, gain confidence, make friends and above all, have fun. Volunteers are needed on the day for a variety of roles. Learn more

Latest Opportunities

Football Managers and Coaches
Location: Melton Mowbray
Mowbray Rangers junior FC currently has 12 teams from the age of 7 – 17 but could have more if there were willing volunteers to manage and coach additional teams. As a result, the club is seeking volunteer coaches and managers and would support any willing volunteer and help them achieve FA coaching badges. More information

Run Marshals
Location: Market Harborough
Parkrun Market Harborough is a free, timed 5k run or walk that takes place every Saturday morning at 9am in Welland Park. Volunteers are needed to carry out tasks ranging from directing participants so that they don’t get lost to assisting with the timing system. Find out more

Assistant Coaches
Location: Leicester City
The Active Sports School is focused on providing children with the opportunity to make new friends through the alliance of sports. The group is looking for enthusiastic and motivated volunteers to assist the head coaches with running an exciting project aimed at children 6-16 years old. Learn more

European Wheelchair Basketball Championships
Location: Worchester
Applications are now open for volunteers for the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, taking place in Worcester from 28 August to 6 September 2015. The Championships provides an exciting competition of twelve men and seven women’s teams fighting for the European Title and for highly coveted qualification places for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Find out more

Colour Blast Dash
Location: Melton
The Laura Centre offers a wide range of bereavement services to help people cope with sudden death. On 29 June, the centre will use ‘Colour Blast Dash’ to raise funds. Volunteers are needed to support the event by becoming marshalls or by joining the Colour Blast Regiment and showering the runners with paint. Learn more

Girl’s Team Manager
Location: Hinckley
Hinckley Rugby Football club is looking to establish a U14 or U16 Girls XV as part of its existing Mini-Junior section. As part of that process, the group wants to identify a female team manager to help develop and manage the team in association with an already identified team coach. Learn more

Advice on how to break into the fashion PR industry

UK PR Manager, Melissa Collins, works for high street fashion retailer River Island. Melissa CollinsHere she talks about her career within fashion PR and offers advice on how to break into the industry.


What’s a typical day for you?

Working in fashion PR at River Island, no two days are ever the same! The role is so diverse that I could be on a photo-shoot one day, a breakfast meeting with journalists or in the press showroom the next. I work with press and bloggers on a daily basis to keep that communication strong, whether that’s selling a story/collaboration in or helping out with sample requests. My role requires me to build relationships internally too, so I also liaise with the buyers and designers at River Island ensuring we know what they are buying and what the focus is for the upcoming seasons.

What do you love most about your job?

I love fashion and the buzz you get when you see your brand appear in the likes of Vogue, GQ and other prestigious magazines. I get to work on some fantastic events, press days, product launches plus once in a lifetime campaigns such as the Rihanna X River Island and the 5 Inch and Up X River Island collaborations. Both were amazing and such fantastic experiences to help drive forward and be a part of, from the original ideas right through to the finished piece.

What is the most challenging aspect of your job?

Time! There are never enough hours in the day! When I first started working in the World of PR, I was working with just magazines, paper and broadcast journalists. Now that online plays a huge part, I feel I have to spread myself thinly across all areas as I work with bloggers and vloggers too.

What makes the fashion industry so exciting to work in?

It’s constantly changing and I’m excited to see where it goes in the next 10 years. I think the digital world is set to grow and grow, especially YouTube; this is an area which is growing rapidly and I can see it getting bigger and bigger. However, I really hope the online world doesn’t dominate the media world and make more print titles fold as I still think there is a place for both the glossy magazines/national papers and the bloggers and online magazines. They just have different offerings.

What would look for in a candidate if you were looking for someone to join your team?

I would look for experience within the fashion industry; whether that’s within another PR team, in a retail environment or working for a magazine. It’s also important to be a people’s person; you have to meet and develop relationships with new people – press, bloggers, vloggers – so whether that’s face to face or over the phone, you have to have confidence and good communication skills. I would also look for someone who has a hunger for both fashion and PR.

Have you got any advice for people wanting to get into either fashion or PR?

Be confident, creative and persistent – live and breathe the industry! You will have to complete a lot of work experience to get that first break, but the knowledge and connections you gain are worth it. Work experience really helps to leverage those ‘foot in the door’ opportunities. Go above and beyond what is asked of you on your placement or internship, if you make a good impression, chances are people will remember you which is vital when that entry level or assistant role comes up. Networking is also key. Don’t be afraid to add people you meet on LinkedIn and build your profile so it showcases your experience and skills. Many in-house recruiters use LinkedIn to find talent so make sure yours is up-to-date!

What sums up fashion PR for you?

Fashion PR is fun, creative and very fast paced.



Volunteering opportunities from VAL

Health & Social Care

Befriend a Person with Mental Ill Health
Network for Change provides supported housing, outreach and day services to adults with mental health problems living in Leicester and Leicestershire. The group is seeking volunteers to befriend adults with mental ill health. Full training will be provided. Learn more

Day Centre Volunteers
Age UK is seeking volunteers to help with a variety of tasks in its Oadby and Wigston day centre. Volunteers will help with tasks like games, making tea and lending a listening ear. Find out more

Education and Learning

IT Trainer
Cooke e-Learning provides informal and accredited courses for local people to help them understand how to use a computer, improve their basic skills, gain qualifications and find work. The group is looking for volunteers to help deliver basic IT courses to residents living in Beaumont Leys who have limited IT experience and are keen to learn how to use the internet. Learn more

Help Develop and Deliver Training Programmes
The Get Set project develops unique and diverse voluntary work experience placements across departments in Leicestershire County Council for young people. The project is seeking a Learning Support Assistant who will help develop and deliver a range of training programmes such as safeguarding adults or interview skills. Learn more

Children and Young People

Warning Zone Guide
Warning Zone is a safety education centre that aims to provide every Year 6 child with an awareness of how to stay safe and an understanding of the consequences of offending.The group is seeking guides who will take small groups of young people around the Waning Zone. Learn more

Help Develop Young Volunteers
As a Youth Action Team Volunteer you will be involved in a range of activities and projects that will support the development of young volunteers aged between 13 and 25. Find out more


Newsletter Volunteers
South Wigston Community News is a community newsletter for people of South Wigston to advertise their events, offers and news to the local community. The group is looking for volunteers to help set up the new South Wigston Community News. More information

Pilot Careers Live

Royal Armouries Museum

Armouries Drive – Leeds LS10 1LT

Saturday July 4th 2015

10am – 4:30pm

Pilot Careers Live is guaranteed to inform, inspire and advise students on what it takes to become an airline pilot

Find out all there is to know on how to take the first steps towards a professional pilot career:

  • Pilot Selection – what do airlines look for?
  • What qualifications do you need to start training?
  • When can you start?
  • What are the costs?
  • Career opportunities wit the Royal Air Force
  • Life as a Pilot – What can you expect?
  • Combining a university degree with pilot training…find out how
  • What are the job prospects?
  • What are the salaries?
  • Is funding available for training?

See for details and to book tickets