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The experience was very positive. Our student was a hardworking individual. I am very happy to work with her and hope she will continue working hard to achieve her goals for future career development. I am confident that by the end of the placement she will also have built on her existing skills; that we will see an improvement in her communication skills; and she will be able to take on a more proactive approach.

How has the student’s role added value and benefit to your organisation?

Russell IPM values young peoples’ education and we have a large number of apprentices and trainees within our organisation. As a company we also find that the fresh perspective many young people bring can result in many benefits to the business. Our student was a hard working individual and a very good team player. She likes working both as part of a team and on an individual basis as and when required. She has helped our formulation team to deliver samples in time and also helped the Research & Development team for new product development.

Can you offer advice to other organisations considering hosting second year undergraduates on work placement?

A meeting/interview prior to the placement is essential. It gives both the student and the organisation an opportunity to discuss their objectives in the placement to ensure it can be as successful as possible. It also helps if there is a similar mutual scientific background e.g. chemistry, biochemistry.

What would you say are the most important skills and quantities you look for in a prospective employee?

The most important skills and qualities are: positive attitude: eager and willing to learn new skills; critical thinking and problem solving; communication skills; hard working and ability to work alone and as part of a team; honesty; technical competency; work ethic; flexibility; determination and persistence; self-management.

Do you think it is important for students to undergo Work Based Learning during their studies?

Yes it is very important for students to undergo Work Based Learning during their study as practical based learning along with theoretical learning will help them to understand better for future career development. It can create and enhance the student’s awareness of the needs and methods of industry/commerce technical, commercial and managerial. It also prepares them for the world of work and the experience will most likely be advantageous for them when applying for employment.