Name: Sophie Davies
Placement job title: Research Intern
Organisation: Stem Learning
When applying to university I was already interested in the range of opportunities available to gain experience alongside my degree. The placement year I found to be a great way of exploring a career option that I might not have previously considered as it wasn’t directly related to my degree and develop skills that I wouldn’t normally get the chance to experience through my course.
I looked at a variety of different job search websites including Prospects and RateMyPlacement, but I also looked the department’s email newsletters for employability and the opportunities on the York Careers Gateway where this role was advertised.
My work is quite varied and includes; gathering and tidying data for analysis into the impact of the programmes run by STEM Learning. Helping to produce evaluation surveys and being involved in discussions about education research. Some days I have scheduled meetings to discuss projects and other days I work independently in the office where I can discuss my work and collaborate when needed. We have a weekly staff briefing for the whole organisation to share news and updates, as well as having weekly team and line manager meetings. Occasionally there may be a talk or course running in the building that I might be able to go and sit in on – which is always an interesting addition to my day.
The main thing for me would be confidence. Being involved in data analysis and using a programming language on a regular basis has greatly improved my confidence in my own abilities and I will be able to use this not just when returning to my studies but in any future opportunities I might go onto. I’ve also developed my communication skills, and confidence in presentations as well as in effective communication within a work environment.
I still have an open mind on specific career options, but I’ve now identified that I have a particular interest in being able to develop and use my data analysis skills further in any future work I may go onto. It has proved to me that the skills I attain during my degree can be applied in a variety of different sectors, providing me with confidence and experience in how to adapt and transfer them. I will be looking forward towards any opportunities that will help me to develop these skills further and keep an eye out for professional development opportunities.