Elliot - Business Engagement, Careers, and Employability

Hi there, I’m Elliot, a first-year BSc Computing student from the University of Suffolk. Shortly after starting my degree in September, I was made aware of the micro-placement programme, a scheme which offers paid work to students on a short-term basis to gain skills and experience working for a specified team within the university. Thinking this was the perfect opportunity to gain some further insight into the world of work and what it entails, I applied for the programme in October, happily receiving a place working for the BECE, (Business Engagement, Careers, and Employability), team after a short interview with Annabelle, one of the lovely career advisors based here. My role was set as a Data Administrator, which was great for me as the job role was greatly linked to the degree I am currently studying.

During my time as part of the team, I learned how important it is to be organised and detail-oriented when working with data. As a Data Administrator, I was responsible for managing large amounts of information, as well as ensuring it was accurate and up to date. In this field even small errors or oversights could have serious consequences, so I made sure to double-check my work and pay close attention to every detail.

Secondly, I learned how to use a variety of data management tools and software. I was able to apply the concepts I had learned in my education so far to real-world situations, and I gained hands-on experience with tools like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Forms, Mailchimp, and Eventbrite. These skills will be invaluable to me as I move forward in my career, and I feel confident that I can leverage them to make meaningful contributions to any organisation I work with in the future.

Finally, I also learned the importance of effective communication and collaboration. As a Data Administrator, I worked closely with other members of the team, including my amazing line manager Emma, who would keep me in the loop with the most important tasks that were currently outstanding, as well as co-ordinating my efforts with other members of staff working on the same project. During my time working for BECE, I explained data concepts in a way that was accessible to everyone and worked with others to find solutions to any problems that arose. Through this experience, I developed my communication and collaboration skills, which will be essential in any workplace.

Overall, my placement as a Data Administrator was a valuable experience that taught me a lot about working with data in a real-world setting, an environment that I ended up enjoying so much, I decided to go down the optional pathway of Artificial Intelligence and Data Science within my Computing degree. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to have learned from everyone within the team and to contribute to the success of the university through my work on the project I was assigned and am looking forward to applying what I’ve learned in my future career.

After my completion of the micro-placement programme, I have since used the skills and experience gained to secure a place upon the internship scheme of Suffolk County Council, which I found out about through various emails and Brightspace posts about the opportunity. In this way, I will spend my Summer working for their Digital Content team, working on, and updating their existing websites, as well as developing new ones. The micro-placement scheme has helped to increase my confidence so much when applying for work, so I encourage everyone else reading this to take the same steps!