Written by Tia Hodgson
BA (Hons) Communication and Media
I never expected I’d be doing my placement from home. Especially, the fact it was mostly focused on events. I was about to set off around the country for two weeks doing UCAS exhibitions when I was told they were no longer going ahead. After putting months of stress and work into organising the events, it took me five minutes to cancel them all. I felt very deflated but given the situation I understood.
What I Struggled With
My placement was for Bournemouth University and I primarily organised UCAS events, open days and helped with social media and blogs and vlogs. When we were told to work from home, I worried what my placement would now entail and whether I would have much work to do. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong. I was so overwhelmed with work I started to really struggle. We now were providing virtual open days, attending virtual events and I took on a bigger role with blogs and vlogs and Unibuddy. This meant I already had a lot on my plate, but on top of this lots of people, even those outside my team, needed my support. Along with this, the only equipment I had was my laptop (I really missed having two screens!!) Not having a desk, good wifi or quiet house didn’t help either!
This led to me becoming very stressed and overwhelmed. I struggled to separate work and home life, as I was working where I would normally relax. Switching off at 5pm was more difficult than ever. After a call with my boss we thought of ways to help my working situation. I split my days up into events and comms work to give me more structure to my day and I put my lunch break into my calendar so I couldn’t miss it. Bournemouth University allowed extra time at lunch for our wellbeing so we could get out the house and go on a walk. Any work that other people gave me had to go through my line manager so she was aware of my workload and could manage it. I had lots of holiday to take so I took some time off to relax, and I made sure that I switched off at 5pm whenever possible. Obviously, I did plenty of baking, dog cuddling (they even wanted cuddles during zoom meetings) and arts and crafts, like learning to sew again.
What I Learnt
Once I had my routine, I really enjoyed my role again, especially the responsibility of blogs and vlogs. I was coming up with the content, organising editorial meetings, finding ambassadors, checking content and scheduling. I feel like this responsibility will be extremely beneficial for me in the future, it has already helped me get my new role, head of fashion and lifestyle for Nerve magazine. The experience definitely taught me to adapt to new situations, stay positive, and to manage my time and workload. Whilst, I would’ve loved to attend the events all over the country, my experience was like no other and I learnt so much I could never have anticipated.