Alan Chu

Meet Alan Chu who utilised the placement year on his course to gain valuable work experience enabling to land his dream job. He is currently the Finance and Operations Director at Beechbrook.

Current job roleFinance and Operations Director
Year of graduation1999
Course of studyBA(Hons) Business Studies

University experience

Alan grew up in London and was looking for a university which wasn’t too far away from home but would also enable him to live independently. The University of Hertfordshire was perfectly located for him. Alan loved the sense of freedom he had and felt secure knowing he could still travel home easily. He enjoyed student life and made good friends, which he’s still in contact with today. Alan also met his wife while studying with us.

Alan applied to his chosen course because the variety of modules allowed him to keep his options open as he hadn't decided the area of business he wanted to work in. Our course was ideal because Alan could discover his interests and strengths along the way. A work placement year was another big deciding factor. Alan had little work experience before starting his degree and was highly motivated to change this. His sandwich year with the Audit Commission in London gave him the chance to learn essential office and IT skills. He became more confident and his insight into business was a valuable talking point at interviews.

Career progression

Alan joined the graduate audit trainee scheme with PricewaterhouseCoopers and qualified as a Chartered Accountant. He then worked as a Financial Controller at a mid-market private equity house, Graphite Capital. After spending seven years in the finance industry he joined a private debt fund manager, Beechbrook, as the Finance and Operations Director. This has given Alan the opportunity and responsibility to provide loans and equity solutions to small and medium-sized businesses across northern Europe.

I managed to get a placement year with the Audit Commission in London. This really helped boost my confidence and provided me with experience. I would recommend a sandwich year out in industry; it is really valuable.