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Second-year students at University of Chester are currently completing the ‘Enhancing Your Employability through Work Based Learning’ module.

This includes a five-week Work Based Learning placement at a professional organisation and our international students have secured placements with businesses around the world. One of these students is Ophelia Kenaya Nzau, an International Development Studies with Economics student from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ophelia is on placement at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Kinshasa, the capital city of DRC.

The United Nations Population Fund in DRC supports projects developed by the Government which focus on gender equality and improved child healthcare.

Read about Ophelia’s experience so far below:

I used my networking skills to get in touch with the Duty Representative at the UNFPA in DRC. I sent my CV and cover letter and was delighted when they told me I was successful in my application!

I was full of excitement on my first day of placement. UNFPA works on projects which champion the empowerment of women and this is an area I am really passionate about. My feelings of excitement were mixed with some nerves. I had never done a work placement before and this was my first taste of the ‘real world’.

These nerves diminished as I settled into the role. So far, I have translated a range of documents from French to English and produced travel authorisation documents for staff. I am part of a large team and work with colleagues on a number of projects. This has really developed my communication and team working skills.

In the future, I would like to work at an organisation such as the United Nations, so this experience will enhance my prospects significantly. It also proves I had the ambition and motivation to find a placement at a high-profile organisation where I can work on projects I care about.

Furthermore, the placement has exposed me to a professional work environment for the first time and this experience has developed both my personal and professional skills in ways standard classroom learning simply cannot do.

More information about our Work Based Learning programme can be found online.

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