Who was your placement with and what was your job
I carried out my placement
with Plymouth University on the student placement scheme as a technical
assistant within the Technology Information Service department.
What attracted you to this placement
I was particularly
interested in this role due to the variety and diversity of the job. I was
familiar with the University from a student’s perspective,
but was interested to experience it from a staff perspective and to see what
systems and services were being applied to enhance the student experience.
How did you go about securing your placement and
what was the process for this?
I applied for this role
after I saw it advertised on the University placement website, I went on to complete the online application form
which led to an interview. My interview consisted of three segments. Firstly,
there was a multiple choice test to assess my subject knowledge. After this, I
had a technical scenario test to assess my problem-solving
skills as well as my customer service capabilities. The final part was the
interview with the panel.
Can you describe the various roles and
responsibilities of your placement?
My responsibilities were
really diverse during my placement which kept each day interesting. I helped to
run the laptop clinic where we resolved various issues with student laptops. I
also provided technical support at various help desks as well as dealing with
networking issues in the halls of residence.
How did the Careers and Employability Department
(Placements Team) support you both before your placement?
I found the careers and
employability department really useful. They helped me write my personal
statement for my application and helped to guide me through the whole application
process. They provided me with a valuable insight into what employers are
looking for in CVs/application forms. Once I secured an interview they helped
to prepare me for this by building my confidence to do my best in the
How did the academic staff support you during your
The academic staff were
really supportive and helped me understand the importance of carrying out the
placement year. My placement tutor, who was also one of my lecturers, came to
visit throughout the year. She encouraged me to be proactive in my role and get
involved in more projects that would provide me with valuable industry
experience. She also helped me understand how a lot of my placement knowledge
and experience could be applied within my final year. I learned the benefits of
maintaining my work ethic to help with time management and meeting deadlines in
my final year.
How did your previous studies enable you to be
successful during your placement?
My first two years at
University provided me with the knowledge base I needed during my placement
year. I was able to apply my technical knowledge to real-world situations,
which enhanced my understanding and demonstrated useful applications of what I
learnt in lectures into a working environment. Non-academic skills, such as
time management, communication and organisation skills – that I developed on my
course – were also beneficial during my placement year.
How will your placement help you with the final year
of your degree?
The placement year teaches
you so much about the working environment which you can correlate into your
final year to help you achieve your best. My placement year helped me develop
my final year project idea, providing me with confidence knowing I could start
my final year with a plan. My colleagues during my placement year ended up
being the clientele for my final year project, and it was great to have them on
hand to test and provide input into the development of my project. Bringing
across my 9-5 work ethic from my placement year also helped me avoid a lot of last-minute
hand-ins with more efficient time management skills.
In terms of your career development so far, what
have been the benefits of undertaking this placement?
year provided me with valuable industry experience that set me apart from other
graduates, helping my CV stand out. Most importantly my placement year provided
me with assurance. I knew the IT area I
wanted to work in and what type of job I wanted after graduation. It helped me
develop a passion for working within a higher educational environment with a
lot of variety. The experiences from my placement year helped me obtain my
current role as a data and system officer in a similar higher educational
What would you say to a prospective
student thinking about undertaking a placement year?
year is extremely beneficial and I would highly recommend it to any students
considering it. Not only will a year in industry
give you valuable experience and provide a better understanding of working
life, it can also help you pick up new skills to achieve a better grade in your
final year. Doing a placement year will also help you grow your network by
building connections with industry experts and individuals who can help you
throughout your career.
Was the fact that Plymouth
offered a placement year a motivational factor in your decision to choose
Plymouth? If so, why?
Plymouth due to the quality of my course and the facilities at the University. Initially, I wasn’t concerned about doing a
placement, but once I started on my course, the tutors and placements team
pushed the importance and value of a placement year which motivated me to apply