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Learning to be Professional Student Stories

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 15 years, 3 months ago

SCEPTrE invited returning Professional Training Year (PTY) placement students to submit entries for a story-telling competition on the theme “What did learning to be professional through the work placement experience mean?”

 Learning to be professional competition.pdf


Students were encouraged to develop creative and imaginative accounts of the physical, intellectual, and emotional challenges they encountered during their placement experiences.  Twenty-eight students submitted essays from a broad array of academic disciplines and professional fields.  A synthesis of their conceptions of waht learning to be professional meant is given below together with links to individual stories. All references to students’ names and placement locations have been anonymised.  SCEPTrE would like to thank all the contributors who have generously shared their experiences of learning to be professional.   


Learning to Be Professional - The Story of My Placement Experience  

This synthesis document draws out the themes from 28 students stories of their placement experience.


Individual entries by field and site

Entry Academic Field Placement Role and Site Synopsis
1 Management Buying and merchandising finance intern in a major clothing retailer A hands-on role in the finance industry of a favourite clothing retailer led to a graduate job offer.
2 Management Operations intern at a large international computer company The initial temptation to climb the social ladder at work later challenged this student to re-evaluate his priorities.
3 Sociology Part 1: Runner at a creative media production company
Part 2: Client services coordinator at a media trends research firm
After her first company in the creative media industry fell into administration, this student gained valuable skills in balancing multiple priorities. 
4 Entrepreneurship in Technology, IT and Business degree Marketing assistant at a major international software producer A large-scale software marketing promotion led to a team Marketing Director's Award.
5 Law Legal assistant at a firm in France Pursuing a placement abroad meant learning to balance personal and professional interests. 
6 Music & Sound Recording Runner/Assistant engineer at a music recording studio Advancing from simple tasks as a runner, this student gained professional sound editing skills and helped set up a major movie soundtrack recording session. 
7 Psychology Educational psychology intern at a special autism school A new placement position was created for this student to work hands-on with challenging autistic students.
8 International Hospitality Management Hospitality intern at a hotel in New Zealand A bold decision to work abroad led to dramatic personal and professional growth during "the best year of my life."
9 Management Procurement trainee at a global pharmaceutical company Taking the initiative to produce a comprehensive company procurement report led to a leadership award.
10 Management Marketing assistant in a global electronics company Top tips on gaining the most from your placement: meet regularly with managers, take on a major project and start networking!
11 Biochemistry Cancer researcher at a university in Finland The decision to pursue cancer research in Finland resulted in an international conference presentation and overcoming culture shock.
12 Psychology Intern at a psychiatry postgraduate research institute Balancing three jobs and a long commute, this student gained practical exposure to conducting psychology research projects.
13 Food Science and Nutrition Intern at a product and ingredient development laboratory From the initial concept to the final result, this student saw all the stages of bringing a product to the supermarket shelves. 
14 Computing and Information Technology Programmer/analyst at a major global pharmaceutical company "Learning to be a professional was not just about learning more technical skills, but learning how to work collaboratively in a team."
15 Chemistry Lab technician at a fuel cell development firm Overcoming an educational weakness, this student specifically chose a lab-intensive environment to improve her employability.
16 Dance and Culture Intern at a major touring ballet company "This professional work placement has been integral in introducing an area of the dance industry for which I am now passionate and intent to succeed in."
17 Chemical Engineering Intern at chemical engineering contracting firm A position with a major chemical engineering contractor provided opportunities to witness first-hand all the phases of an engineering project.
18 Psychology Learning support assistant in a secondary school This student overcame many challenges with special education students, misbehaving pupils, and a steep learning curve.
19 Mechanical, Medical & Aerospace Engineering Engineering support intern with major airline producer in France A keen awareness of the technical context of the workplace was gained during this aerospace engineering placement.
20 Management Secretariat administrator in global petroleum industry "My placement has been a challenging, rewarding, and enlightening experience that has given me many transferable skills that I will be able to take forward with me in my future career."
21 Business Management Commercial assistant at an entrepreneurial baby food company After a series of challenges and financial crises at a small company, "I don’t know how I survived but I’m very proud to say I did."
22 Psychology Occupational psychologist at assessment and consultancy unit Working in an occupational assessment office developed organisational skills and time management.
23 Psychology Research project evaluator at a local educational Excellence Cluster This student gained confidence and independence by completing a major research project for a local council educational enterprise.
24 Psychology Psychology assistant at a prison Assisting in a prison psychology department offered some unique life experiences and a change of career paths.
25 Music & Sound Recording Assistant at an independent recording studio This student used her creative and technical skills in a music recording studio and was credited on several albums.
26 Psychology Intern in community mental health team An inside perspective of a community mental health organisation raised awareness of challenges in the field.
27 Law Parliamentary lobbyist intern at climate change campaign Bold efforts to campaign against climate change resulted in a parliamentary bill: "I feel honoured and proud to have been part of such a campaign effort."
28 Music & Sound Recording Product specialist in digital media industry A few perks of working in the digital media industry included travel in Europe, a salary increase, and a Playstation 3.




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