Produced by Guest blogger
This is a guest blog by Rebecca Hughes, a final year student studying BSc (Hons) Software Engineering. Between her second and third year, she joined marketing agency Greenwood Campbell for her placement year. From picking up invaluable skills to getting her first taste of office life, Rebecca tells us how she found the experience.
I started my placement at Greenwood Campbell Tech Agency, Bournemouth, U.K., in July 2020. Greenwood Campbell specializes in creating high quality websites and applications for new and existing companies globally. The agency works closely with charities, senior living housing companies, medical sectors, health and fitness and volunteering agencies with the ethos of being the ‘human’ tech agency and everything provided should enrich lives and strengthen growth using the newest and best technologies.
I came to work with Greenwood Campbell from applying through the University’s career hub.
After a couple of interviews with mid-level and senior developers, I was taken on as a junior software developer. My main roles being fixing support issues with previous client websites and applications, testing of applications and websites, full stack development of new websites and applications, requirements gathering, creative designs of new user interfaces and most recently, being able to create new worlds inside the Metaverse using AR and 3D-modeling technologies.
Starting my placement during the COVID-19 pandemic was not like anything I had experienced previously. Being on a hybrid WFH and office scheme was quite daunting at first, it was my first time working in an office-based job and I felt my skills benefited from face-to-face interaction with others. However, this was not an issue at all at GC. I received so much support from all of my colleagues and constant reassurance which has led me into furthering my technical and collaboration skills immensely.
GC has a great sense of culture, with so many group activities planned every month for everyone to enjoy. These included zoom quizzes, escape rooms, mini golf, summer parties, badminton and more. I found that this deep-rooted sense of culture has greatly impacted how I work and how comfortable I am expressing myself to my colleagues.
Being involved in a small-medium sized company has allowed me to really expand my knowledge and skills over a very wide range of areas. I was able to take on multiple roles throughout the software development process and really understand how things work from start to finish. As well as gaining technical knowledge in C#, .NET, SQL, Umbraco, Sitecore, HTML/CSS and more, I have also greatly improved my personal skills in communication, project management and collaboration. All of these skills are invaluable to my future career, university degree and lifestyle.
I plan to carry on with Greenwood Campbell and further work on my skills to become a mid-level/senior developer within the company. I found that working in a small-medium sized company has allowed me to witness and work in all areas of the company and gain skills in other areas I may not have seen in larger companies such as marketing, finance, business and project management.
Taking a placement year has been indispensable to my final year of university. I have gained so many more skills and knowledge which I have been able to use in my final year modules and has given me a significant head start on my dissertation. It has also given me the opportunity to stay on at Greenwood Campbell after graduation.