Name: Francesca Sdanga
Degree: International Business and Management
Year of graduation: 2019
Employer: Careers and Placements
Part-time job title: Careers and Placements Associate
What did a typical day in your part-time job look like?
A typical day as a Careers and Placements Associate involved working alongside Placement Coordinators and Careers Consultants to help Aston students develop the skills required to stand out in a competitive job market. During the year I helped by supporting career fairs, contributing my ideas about branding and marketing materials at focus groups, and writing posts for the Careers and Placements blog.
What was the highlight of your job?
The highlight of my job was meeting new, incredible people and the chance I had to help other students with their placement search. While working for Careers and Placements, I had the opportunity to attend careers fairs and directly network with the companies attending. During the focus group workshops, I liked that I could give my contribution to improve Aston University services.
What skills did you develop?
By taking part in videos and live Facebook/Instagram stories addressed to students, I became more confident in public speaking and expressing my thoughts. What’s more, while working in a team I enhanced my interpersonal and communication skills.
Why did you decide to get a part-time job?
I chose to apply to the Careers and Placements Associate role because after coming back from my placement year I wanted to give my personal advice and experience back to other students, and hoped that my stories would inspire other students. What’s more, I thought it would be a very good opportunity to help Aston University stand out among other universities, by giving my personal feedback and new ideas.
How did you juggle working and studying?
Luckily, working as a Careers and Placements Associate was very flexible, as I had the possibility to decide which shifts to take on, depending on my lecture timetable. The shifts didn’t usually require me to work very long hours, therefore I was always able to manage my time well between working and studying. I think the key to succeed is to plan in advance, so you know better what to do with your time.
How have the skills and experience you’ve gained from your part-time job helped you in other areas of your life?
Collaborating with the Careers and Placements team made me become more aware of all the Aston University services that are specifically designed to help students with their grad job hunting and that I could personally use.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about or looking for a part-time job?
It is a great way to meet new people and enlarge your network, while also developing and gaining skills that might be instrumental once starting a graduate job.
Did you do a placement?
On my placement year I worked for Robert Bosch in Germany as a Project Management Assistant.
The benefits of doing a placement abroad are many – you not only have the opportunity to learn a new language, but also getting to know new people and new cultures. While living in another country you become more independent, self-confident and you discover new traits of your personality that you didn’t even know they existed before. Furthermore, when living and working abroad you can test whether other countries’ lifestyles are more suitable to your needs than your native country.