At the end of my second year at university I realised that if I wanted to have any chance of securing a job when I finished, I would need to work on my CV and get some relevant work experience. The only problem was, I was a full-time Geography student with a part-time job and with my dissertation looming, I knew it was going to be a busy year.
Fortunately for me, the University of Worcester offers a work placement module which enables students to gain experience with an organisation of their choice whilst studying for their degree.
As I had a keen interest in conservation and river science, I wanted to select a placement that incorporated my interests and that would also allow me to apply some of the skills and techniques I had already learned in my degree course. I found a very suitable organisation in Cheshire (where I’m from) which focused on the eradication and control of non-native invasive species in the River Bollin catchment.
The best thing about the placement was that I was able to gain valid work experience in a career field that I am interested in. Throughout my placement, I was also able to build up a network of contacts from organisations such as the Environment Agency and the Rivers Trust which will be invaluable if I decide to look for jobs in this area.
Aside from the job-specific skills that I learned, I also developed a number of transferable skills like organisation and leadership which will also improve my employability.
The work placement was a brilliant opportunity for me. It really filled a hole in my CV and as a result I have been able to secure a number of job interviews with different conservation organisations.
I can’t recommend taking a work placement module enough and because the module counts towards your final degree grade it meant that I was able to get the much-needed work experience whilst continuing my studies.