Skip to content Skip to navigation

Loughborough Life Blog

Other Blogs

Five minutes with: Liam O’Connell

22 February 2024

2 mins

The Graduate Management Trainee (GMT) Scheme is open to current Loughborough University staff as well as recent graduates.

Current GMT, Liam O’ Connell, provides some insight into his experience.

What was your job at the University before applying to become a GMT?

I was a Food and Beverage Assistant in the Catering Team within Estates and Facilities Management. My responsibilities included bartender duties, catering dining halls and sporting events and table service for functions.

What made you want to apply to the scheme?

I wanted to explore diverse career paths, leverage my strengths and identify areas for professional development. The scheme’s six tailored placements provide this opportunity and the University’s commitment to exposure to senior leaders and strategic projects fuelled my passion to contribute meaningfully.

Did you have any reservations as a current staff member?

I had some nerves, as is normal when starting a new job, but working on campus for eight years provided a solid foundation. It’s a really supportive environment so any doubts I had were short-lived.

What have you learned from being a GMT?

Communication and authenticity are paramount. I’ve gained confidence in expressing my thoughts and have learned the importance of stepping out of my comfort zone. The scheme emphasises flexibility and offers so many opportunities for professional development.

What has been your favourite project so far?

In my initial placement as a Data Analyst and User Experience Officer in the Library, I led a data audit and contributed significantly to a Library spaces survey. This project helped to shape Library services in line with its strategy. Currently, we’re planning an innovative flagship event to promote the University-wide strategy and this has been an exciting opportunity to be creative.

What impact are you hoping for the scheme to have on your career?

It’s already been transformative. The responsibility and support have facilitated crucial skill development and I anticipate continued growth throughout my remaining placements.

Find out more and apply to the Graduate Management Trainee Scheme.

If you would like to feature in ‘5 Minutes With’, or you work with someone who you think would be great to include, please email Soph Dinnie at

Loughborough Life

The Loughborough Life blog features all the latest events from across our campuses. Find out what's happening near you and get involved.

Scroll to Top