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Tell us about your placement:

I secured my placement through the Work Based Learning Department in the University, where I looked regularly at the placement vacancies on the website and applied internally by writing a cover letter and an updated CV. After the organisation received my application I was invited in to their Chester office for a ‘chat’ (an informal interview). During my placement my main duties have consisted of research tasks of a range of different topics from facilities in the area to endangered newt species and their conservation sites. I have been using GIS to present the data I had collected in the research tasks that I completed. Through these tasks I have learnt a lot about the job role. The most enjoyable aspect of my placement has been working as part of a team of people with varying expertise. The most challenging aspect of placement was understanding how to best approach the CEEQUAL assessment questions, as I have never experienced legislation reporting before.

What skills have you developed whilst on placement?

I have developed my GIS skills considerably, time management, problem solving, communication and efficiency. I have developed my skills by having to work to a deadline while carrying out tasks that I had never done before, being included in discussions with a team of professionals. I have improved my GIS skills by using the software in new and innovative ways.

How has your placement prepared you for your future career?

My placement has prepared me for my future career as I have observed the way in which the working day is constantly changing depending on current deadlines and I have an increased awareness of the breadth of legislation that must be followed. I am now sure that it is the career I want to pursue as the staff find solutions to evolving problems from ecology to project management every day.

What have you learnt about yourself during placement?

During the placement period I have been made aware of how I will never be a morning person, I have also learnt that I am easily bored, and the changeability of this role has kept me engaged and enthusiastic throughout the placement period. I am also now aware that this is a career that I will one day like to have.

What were your expectations before starting your placement?

Prior to going on placement I expected to be an office hand with a slight insight in to what the consultant role actual means instead of being integrated with the team. My expectations have been exceeded as I have been treated like a graduate employee and supported and included by the team, this has impacted my enjoyment of the placement.

What advice would you give to students embarking on Work Based Learning?

Make sure that you’re actually interested in what you’re applying to do. Show willing in the workplace, then you will get the chance to have opportunities that you weren’t expecting. Be organised the best you can- meal deals add up to more than you think.

How would you sum up your placement experience?

A rewarding insight into the day-to-day life in the workplace of an environmental consultant. Placement has allowed me to focus on what I want from my degree and the career path I want to pursue while equipping me with desirable work experience for my CV.