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Lauren Bruen

What made me decide to do the Micro-Placement scheme?

I have always worked throughout studying so for me I was used to having to balance my time between work, studying and a social life. For my undergraduate degree in Events Management, I had two part time jobs alongside studying which I sometimes struggled to maintain whilst doing my degree. I finished my undergraduate degree with a 1st and therefore, it gave me the courage to apply for my master’s degree in criminology. When I started the masters, I knew that I wanted to work less hours so that my master’s degree did not suffer, therefore I started looking into what the University could provide regarding flexible working hours. That is when I came across the Micro-Placement Scheme! When I saw that it was only 30 hours of paid work I applied. Not long after applying I had my interview and got a position working with my lecturer at the time Mike Seal, on a diversity project! The reason I applied for the role was due to the flexibility that it gave as well as it being a small number of hours, so it was manageable with my masters!

What I gained from doing the Micro-Placement scheme?

I gained a huge amount of experience in such a short amount of time during my time on the Micro-Placement Scheme. Me and Mike had regular meetings to discuss the steps for the Diversity Project and I was always fully involved which I loved! Some of my first tasks were sharing questionnaires with students from all years to see whether the questionnaires were engaging enough. These questionnaires and feedback resulted in a focus group with university students from various ethnic backgrounds. I gained experience through confidence building, learnt how to engage students from all years and I also got involved with a project that I believed was super important so that the University of Suffolk has a wide range of students from various backgrounds, culture and heritage. Halfway through my Micro-Placement my lecturer Mike Seal left the University. This left me in a bit of a sticky situation, therefore I contacted Annabelle Richardson to let her know. She was super supportive and offered me to finish my Micro-Placement doing work for her. This was great for me as it gave me even more opportunities to gain experience to add to my CV. My hours with Annabelle resulted in me learning new skills about marketing and promotion as I reviewed the University’s website and gave Annabelle feedback on improvements. Overall, I gained so much experience and I was shocked on how much I learnt in such a small number of hours.

 

Would I recommend it to other students?

YES! Annabelle was always so helpful and so quick to reply to me when I needed to ask any questions. I loved that it was so flexible, and I wish that I had found out about it sooner so I could have done it for my undergraduate degree too! Annabelle also let me know when there were additional work hours available which was super helpful especially if I wanted to gain more experience for my CV as well as gain some extra money. Recording my hours was easy and the payments was a bonus as it paid for my petrol and car parking at the University! Another huge bonus was the fact that Annabelle was then able to write me a reference when I applied for a job role after university which helped me get the role that I am currently in! I would recommend the Micro-Placement to any students that want to gain some money, work flexible hours, and gain some amazing experience for their CV.