Full name: Romina Javandel
Degree title: Accounting for Management
Organisation name: The JobShop (part of Careers+Placements) at Aston University
Location of your placement: Birmingham
Placement job title: Marketing and Communication Assistant
What does a typical day on your placement look like?
A typical day may include assisting the JobShop team with supporting students through their opportunity search, applications, and recruitment stages to encourage and increase engagement in early work experience opportunities. Also to update management information on Aston Futures (where is the Careers+Placements online jobs portal) and the JobShop Customer Relationship Management database. I have also supported and coordinated the Volunteering Service through business engagement activities, assisting with building relations with UK-based charitable organisations.
Has coronavirus and the subsequent lockdown affected your role at all?
The Careers+Placements team was amazing with providing opportunities for remote learning. Yes, there were changes, for example the face-to-face communication became online communication and the talks were completed via Microsoft Teams, however, that was well organised, and we were clear on what we had to do.
During the lockdown, I had this opportunity to work on different projects that would help and improve the student relationship with the JobShop. I cannot describe how supportive my manager and C+P Team have been during this time – it was an honour to work with them.
What skills have you developed during your placement?
I have developed many skills during my placement such as communication skills as I spoke to many students who were looking for a part-time job and volunteering opportunities. I also made marketing calls and spoke to employers which helped me to become more resilient and it helped me to practice how I can speak professionally with the employers and enhance my telephone skills. I also developed time management skills when planning and scheduling on how much to spend on every tasks and it helped me to meet my targets.
What has been the highlight of your placement?
Being part of such an amazing team was great.
How did you secure your placement?
I applied to many placement roles through Aston Futures and received lots of rejections, but I did not lose my confidence and I kept applying until I secured my placement at the JobShop.
During my placement search, the Careers+Placements team supported me a lot. Firstly, I made a good relationship with my Placement Coordinator – she advised me on how I could make my CV look better and supported me through applications and interviews. Secondly, I attended workshops that were ran by C+P such as psychometric testing workshops, interview workshops and etc.
My advice to students looking for a placement is that keep applying to placements and make Aston Futures your best friend.
Has doing a placement helped or changed your plans for the future?
Doing a placement has helped me gain many skills that I could apply in my final year and future workplace. It has given me an insight of what it is like working in a real environment and what I want to do after I finish my degree. As an accounting student, I have found out that I am passionate about finding a graduate job in marketing as I really enjoyed my placement year.
What advice would you give to other students thinking about doing a placement?
I would definitely recommend placement year to EVERY student as placements give you the opportunity to gain skills specific to your subject or industry of choice, as well as the employability skills required for real-life work. It also increases knowledge of an industry or sector, allowing you to make better informed decisions about future career choices.
My placement also gave me the opportunity to meet amazing people, build up my network and have a lot of fun in the process. Take every opportunity that comes your way and you will graduate ready for the job of your dreams.
What tips would you give to other students to help them make the most out of their placement?
Going out on placement is very exciting and you must make sure that you make the most of it. Also, make sure that you:
- At the beginning of your placement, set realistic personal goals that you would like to accomplish.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Always remember that a placement is a learning experience for you. Seek advice and raise questions whenever you encounter something that is not familiar to you. Be open-minded about new ideas.
- Network. One of the key tools of job-hunting is utilising your network to find your next career step. Build professional relationships with your supervisor(s) and other managers in the organisation.
- Have regular meetings with your supervisor and ask them for a feedback on your work.
- Take the initiative. Employers encourage employees to tackle tough problems and to think “outside the box” in order to find solutions.
- Enjoy yourself. Most placements are great experiences, so make sure you have some fun while you’re working and learning.