Lara Joumaa - UKTI placement

Lara Joumaa studied Interior Design before joining GCU London at undergraduate level.

She worked with BMI as part of her UKTI placement, Here she talks about her placement experience and the process of applying. Lara is from Lebanon.


BMI is a company which organises 52 student recruitment fairs and agent workshops in 15 different countries, while the Latin American platform,, connects institutions with over 400,000 Latin American students a month.

Well known as the organiser of the largest and most important recruitment fairs in Latin America, BMI’s clients include universities, language schools, government associations, higher education colleges, boarding schools and educational agencies from over 36 countries.

What made you want to apply for the placement at GCU London?

I applied for this placement because I believed it was a great opportunity to gain some experience in the field. In addition to that, to be given the opportunity to implement what I have learnt in the field of marketing.

How did you find out about the UKTI placement?

I received an email from my program leader in International Fashion Marketing –Thomas Peschken – about this opportunity.

What was the selection process like?

The process went very smoothly, and I was accepted after my interview as I firmly fit their requirements, in addition to knowing the Arabic language.

What international business project were you working on?

I worked as a Marketing Research Associate for the Middle East. I was responsible for everything that had to do with the fairs taking place in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Qatar.

How has it helped you with your studies?

This process had nothing to with my visa. This process has helped me by giving me an insight to the marketing world and how it progresses with time. In addition to that, I have learnt the different aspects involved when organising events – from brochures to ads to shipping and contracting.

What has the placement been like? What have been the highlights and what have you learnt?

The placement has been an excellent experience. It was a great atmosphere filled with people who are now my friends and have taken time out of their work to assist me and guide me in the work field. I have gained experience that I will carry with me for my future career.

How long did your internship last for and roughly how many hours were you working with the company per week?

My internship lasted approximately 5 months (February to June), where I worked for 8 hours per day, twice a week.

What will the future bring?

My future plan is to hopefully graduate with my master’s degree and go to my home country Lebanon to pursue a career in marketing and advertising. This is a vast opportunity filled with many aspects and I am willing to explore all my options, from event organisation to the fashion industry. Many options are open to me and I am looking forward to what my career will hold in the future.