Home > Employment > My life as a placement student

My life as a placement student

By Eleanor Spall, Enterprise Assistant

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February has absolutely raced by – with the launch of our biggest Enterprise project flare, preparation for the Work Experience Fair, and not to mention the ongoing student consultations, I’m struggling to grasp that we are already into the third month of the year! Recent weeks have really tested my ability to time manage, whilst maintaining the highest levels of communication with other members of staff. My tasks have varied from coordinating promotional roadshows for flare, dealing with student queries, to organising departmental involvement with Fairtrade Fortnight. All of which have meant organising meetings with colleagues, as well as continued communication to ensure each and every role is managed.

As you may or may not know, part of completing a sandwich placement year is to not only complete a full time working position, but to also write a report on your placement progress. For a Humanities student, this currently means writing up a total of 3,000 words before the end of March; what better way to get me back into the essay frame of mind hey! This is something that you have to complete independently alongside your employment – yet another advocate to improving your time management skills.

Learning to prioritise my workload is another important aspect I feel I have almost completely mastered – along with the art of politely saying no! I am definitely the type of person to take on as much as I can, with the hopes of not letting anyone down. However, I have had to learn the hard way that sometimes it is simply not possible to do everything. As much as I would like to say ‘yes – of course’ to each and every request made of me, I have realised it is important to take on only as much as is realistic to complete.

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For anyone reading this thinking of applying for a placement, internship or even graduate position, The Hertfordshire SU is offering a workshop this month, aimed at teaching you how to be ‘assertive without being aggressive’: Negotiation & Assertiveness Skills. This is something I would highly recommend to anyone currently in employment, as well as anyone business or entrepreneurial minded. It is much better to be successful in your endeavours than to perform at a satisfactory level on a number of tasks – quality over quantity as they say! If you are lucky enough to have a supportive team and manager around you, I am sure they would encourage the same frame of mind.

For me, March brings the submission of not only my placement portfolio, but also the submission of our department’s NUS Green Impact workbook. Fingers crossed both result in success!

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  1. 04/03/2015 at 11:25

    Reblogged this on eleanorspall and commented:
    A blog post written by myself as part of a series about my placement experience so far.

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