Chioma - Doctoral College

My 6 months experience with both departments were indeed very productive and fulfilling. It all started with me getting the good news that I had been accepted into the scheme and I remember being so excited to start.

Suffolk Doctoral College

It was lovely meeting the team and was such a privilege to be part of the great work the department does which includes offering support to all PhD Students and all PhD applicants. In my role as a data officer, I assisted the team to organise and structure their data of students and applicants for easy accessibility and processing. I also engaged in marketing activities for the department as I was involved in sharing publicity materials in all the University of Suffolk Buildings across the waterfront. I helped prepare Brochures and seminar materials for PhD students and applicants.

My highlight working for this department was when I had to learn how to handle information securely. Prior to the placement, I had only learnt about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) in the classroom and had not had a real-life experience of where and how it is being practiced. It was very interesting for me to see this very important ACT being implemented in a real-life scenario. That was an experience I really cherished and I’m proud to say that I am no longer a novice when it comes to GDPR implementation.

As an aspiring PhD student, I indeed enjoyed contributing my quota every step of the way and it gave me joy to see that I was helping the team to meets its set goals and objective at that point in time.

Careers and Employability and Enterprise Department

It was a privilege to also get to work with this very important and vibrant department as well, they were a welcoming team and I was introduced to the outstanding work the department does, which involves offering opportunities for employers to connect with students and graduates of the University. In driving this goal, I was excited to be given the duty to update the contact list of employers, this was an interesting activity for me as I learnt how to liaise, create and follow up a professional correspondence with companies interested in the bi-yearly career fairs. I was able to accurately record and report the outcome of this exercise. I also helped out with trying to transfer the department’s online video recording materials from the old platform to the new one, while also highlighting all that have been done over the years in terms of online seminars. It was fulfilling to me that I was able to valuably contribute to the team by completing these very important tasks.

Overall, I acquired new and reinforced already learnt skills, such as communication, meeting deadlines, recording and reporting information, promptness, professionalism, attentiveness, active listening, research, effective feedback mechanism, goal setting also Time Management, I had to improve on this skill as I had to manage the responsibilities being a MSc Student, a healthcare worker, a mother, a wife and a data officer in my two designated departments that I worked in. Planning my time became a skill, I had to master.

In conclusion, my experience was unique as I had the advantage of working in 2 different departments, met different teams, learnt data and business skills from both departments and contributed valuable the goals of these departments at the time. I am fulfilled, and would definitely do it again, if given the opportunity. I would also highly recommend this scheme to any student aspiring to gain hands on experience of real-life work. It is a viable and transformative experience as I was not the same person on completion of my micro placement. I became a better and refined version of myself.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity and a big thank you to the Business Engagement, Career and Employability Department for such an excellent initiative.