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Karina - Student Services Micro-Placement

 

I decided to be part of the Micro-Placement Scheme, because...?

In three words – Micro-Placement Scheme. In other words - a wonderful opportunity for someone who would like to gain professional skills in the areas they would like to have experience in. The variety of positions given are what makes it a great possibility for anyone who wants to explore their passion and gain insight. For me personally, as a student enrolled in a course related to computing, I applied for the option of the IT help desk in the Infozone, which at that time seemed to be one of the roles I was mostly interested in. However, I asked for the University to let me know if there is another Micro-Placement role, for which I may also be suitable for. After being given several options, I agreed on the Student Services/Careers position. I became very excited when I started the placement because I knew from the beginning that it would help me develop new skills as well as it will give me the opportunity to meet more people, staff from the University as well as other students from and outside this scheme.

Interesting experiences during the placement...?

I joined the Micro Scheme in December 2019 and I participated in multiple events already and I found it very useful so far. Some of the events I helped running were during International Money Week which main idea was to encourage students to save and think about their incomes and their spending. As a student myself, I found these events quite engaging because I learnt various methods to accomplish my own money goals and budgeting.

During the Money Week my main job was to run a stall, which contained different types of food as each type was presented by two brands, one of them cheaper than the other. The whole idea was to check what were the students’ opinions - which brand is more likeable and guess which one is the more expensive from the other, without knowing the brands themselves. The experiment was to prove that the cheaper brand could be better than the more expensive one, and the outcome was surprising – many students enjoyed the cheaper brands more and agreed to buy cheaper food with better quality from that moment on. The most expensive products are not always the best products.

Interview process...?

I used to be very shy during interviews and I have always considered it as a bad trait of mine. However, the moment I got accepted for the Micro Placement role’s interview, I reached out to Careers services in order to develop my soft skills, which are useful during interviews and in professional environment. The Careers’ team was kind enough to give me feedback and advices, which greatly helped me improve and succeed in my future interviews.

When the scheme’s interview day finally came and I entered the room, the panel warmly greeted me with smiles and immediately made me feel comfortable. This was a great icebreaker and boosted my confidence. The questions were allowing me to express myself and the interviewers were giving me enough time to answer. I didn’t feel pressured, I can go as far as to say that I was even supported. The interview turned into a valuable experience.

I also benefited out of the Micro-placement scheme with...?

As part of the Micro placement I was given the opportunity to job shadow software staff positions at the University of Suffolk, the two teams who are maintaining OASIS and Brightspace. I met both teams in two separate days and was given two hours for each shadowing session. It was extremely interesting for me to gain some insight on the duties and responsibilities of the teams as well as to meet new people with experience in the area I would like to go towards to. It was inspiring personal experience which also made me determined to apply for one of the advertised at that time permanent position of Web Services and Process developer in the University of Suffolk. After going through the interviews, I was offered the position. This, of course, wouldn’t be a reality if I didn’t take part in the Micro-placement scheme and didn’t gain the skills and abilities in the first place. I realised that if I didn’t do the first step, which is to be brave and apply to the scheme, I wouldn’t be here having this permanent web development position today. So, every small step matter – just send that application. You wouldn’t know how it is going to benefit you if you don’t apply, right? Just do it!