Building technological skills is increasingly vital in a digital world. That’s why Paula Cengher, undergraduate student studying Business Management with Innovation and Technology, chose to complete a placement year with Volta Support.

Business Management with Innovation and Technology student Paula Cengher and her placement supervisor
Business Management with Innovation and Technology student Paula Cengher

“I wanted to finish my degree with some experience under my belt,” explains Paula. “Volta Support are a hardware support company with national clients, providing 24/7 emergency support with IT issues. They have a real customer service focus, which is what originally drew me to the company.”

Paula chose to study at Salford Business School having achieved an outstanding triple A* in her extended diploma in computer science.  

“The course here at Salford is really unique, because it combines business skills with coding and socio-technical skills,” says Paula. “Not many universities offer this kind of course, and I think this is really important because of how quickly technology is advancing. Combining this with a business-focused outlook has really set me up for a career in the tech sector post-graduation.”

Paula is the only woman on a male-dominated team, and while she finds this challenging, her peers are extremely supportive of her professional advancement. She has enjoyed the flexibility that Volta Support offers, with hybrid working meaning she gets a great work-life balance.

“The placement has really improved my time-management skills, and I feel this will be beneficial when I return to complete my studies at Salford. It’s also given me an insight into how businesses actually work, and I’ve learned real life skills from my time at Volta Support,” says Paula.

Anthony Whitton, Co-Founder of Volta Support, commented: “I’m proud to discuss the invaluable contribution of Paula. Taking on a placement student was a strategic decision made by me and my business partner. We aimed at creating a dynamic, fast-paced learning environment while injecting fresh perspectives and ideas into our team.”

“Paula has been instrumental in various projects and support issues, bringing enthusiasm, curiosity, and a willingness to learn to everything she does. She has seamlessly integrated into our team and demonstrated a strong work ethic and a genuine passion for the industry. Her presence has not only enhanced productivity but also encouraged good habits and collaboration among team members previously lacking in this department.”

“Furthermore, having Paula as a placement student has provided us with an opportunity to give back to the community by offering hands-on experience to aspiring professionals. It aligns with our commitment to nurturing talent and investing in the future of the IT industry and the country.”

Dr Mohammed Ali is Paula’s academic supervisor, and a Lecturer in Digital Business and Information Systems at Salford Business School.

“Doing a placement is invaluable for students like Paula,” Dr Ali said. “We see many students return with a new confidence and commitment to their work. Learning digital skills is essential for anyone entering the business world these days, and there’s no better experience than learning practically and on the job. Most of our students who undertake placements go on to achieve First Class degrees due to the skills they learn in the workplace, such as prioritisation, meeting deadlines and working well with others.”

“The BSc Business Management with Innovation Technology (BMIT) programme is dedicated to equipping students with the knowledge and skills to bridge the gap between organizational and technical needs by aligning IS/IT strategy with business strategy for value creation. This alignment aims to drive digital transformation and innovation, thereby improving decision-making and fostering business growth.”

While Paula is returning to the University to complete her studies, she intends to continue working for Volta Support part time, sensing an opportunity for growth within the company, and with a view to taking on a full time role upon graduation.

Could you benefit from taking a placement year? All students studying undergraduate Business Management with Innovation and Technology have the opportunity to spend a year in industry as part of their course.

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