A Students’ Experience of an Industrial Placement

The opportunity to work in the industry being considering for a career was phenomenal. Not only would this be beneficial when applying for future jobs, but also putting knowledge learnt throughout the time at university into practice.

Finding the right placement is crucial, but of course, starting something new is nerve wracking; nevertheless, it was well worth it. When else would being able to work, benefit towards completing a degree, and benefit job prospects.

Taking a placement within a computing discipline, however, is difficult to narrow down. There is such a wide variety of options from networking to programming. The key ingredient is, it must be something relevant yet have some curiosity to it.

Taking the chance in an IT department at a secondary school opened a whole new window of scenarios. There were several hurdles to overcome, not just computing related, there were also protocols that needed to be followed. This included not only those for the IT department but for everything from the students to school policies. Each day would face new challenges, from teaching and helping students, to maintaining a healthy network system within the school grounds. With these challenges arising, not only did it help develop the skills and knowledge learnt within university, it also helped with interpersonal and professional skills. Something that can only be learned and strengthened within certain environments.

Whilst spending time within the school as a member of support staff for the IT department, it meant there were a range of different tasks that were essential. As part of the placement module a project was required but was often not the main priority of the job but was essential to pass meaning time management was a crucial skill strengthened in the workplace.

Instead simple administration jobs needed to be completed. One of these simple tasks was providing staff members with new machines. It was important to make sure everything was set up correctly. Such tasks provided and broadened knowledge whilst in the workplace environment and the essential skill to interact with others at ease. The worry of making a mistake was present in tough technical situations; it was ok, there would be someone around to help make it right. The encouragement the team provided was incredible, making it possible to believe anything could be accomplished even if the knowledge was not there. It was a place where getting stuck in was key to success.

To say a placement is easy would be wrong. It was not something where you could sit back and relax, having it complete itself. However, the journey was the most pleasurable time spent throughout university. Not only did it allow for bigger and better opportunities for the future, it allowed for a well improved personal development. If given the chance to do this, grab it with both hands and don’t let go. It is one of the best experiences to have ever completed.

Post by: Jessica Trapmore – Year 3 Information Technology

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