Bournemouth University Retail Management Student Placement Experience at Gatwick Airport:

 As part of the Retail Management degree, students are required to undertake a 40 week placement. Our students have undertaken a wide variety of roles in the past years with big brands often choosing Bournemouth University Students for positions.

One of our students, Helen Hyland, is currently been on placement this year at Gatwick Airport. Helen’s position was the Business Development Assistant within the Retail Team. She was the first student in the role and has had a very successful year. Gatwick Airport have already recruited another Bournemouth University Retail Management student to take over the placement when she leaves.

 Helen has shared a brief insight into her role and her year with Gatwick Airport:

 “The Retail team form part of the Commercial team at Gatwick, whose objective is to maximize income, deliver products and services that are value for money, improve our passenger experience and enhance Gatwick Airport’s reputation.

To align with Commercial’s strategy, the Retail team work to secure new brands to help rrevolutionize the airport’s commercial offering. The Retail team continuously review the 250,000sq ft of retail space to ensure it satisfies the passengers’ needs and are in line with Gatwick’s aspirations.

 My placement at Gatwick was incredibly varied and I have been involved in projects to assist in the improvement of logistics, marketing and e-commerce, as well as continually analysing the performance and profitability of our existing retailers.

I was also given the responsibility to manage my own accounts. This would involve approaching potential brands and liaising with them to discuss business opportunities, drafting legal documents, hosting site visits and analysing the brands financial and design proposals before negotiating the contract with them.

 As Gatwick has undergone a considerable amount of redevelopment in the past few years, with its £1.2billion investment since 2009, it has provided me with opportunities to be involved in future planning, the churn of existing retailers and the delivery of new units, such as Jamie Oliver’s brands, ‘Jamie’s Italian’ and ‘Union Jacks’.

Before Jamie’s opened, I was required to work with and assist various members of Jamie’s team, ranging from members of the PR to Operational team, in the opening of their first Airport restaurant and continued to assist them from then on.

 It has been an invaluable experience at Gatwick where I have strengthened previous weaknesses over time and have had plenty of opportunity to put theory into practice.”

 For more information on the Retail Management degree at Bournemouth University please see here

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