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Find out about BA (Hons) Media and Communication student, Jessica’s experience of studying abroad in Florida, before coming back to the UK for her placement at Waitrose.

Placement Title: Communications Assistant

Company: Waitrose

Where are you from? Surrey

Why did you decide on BU? They offered my dream course that covered all the skills and units that I hoped to learn about while at university. A family friend had also graduated from Bournemouth two years before I started and he could not have had better things to say about his experiences during his time there, so his positive experience influenced my decision.

Me at an event

What inspired you to study abroad? I’d always dreamed of studying abroad since I was a young child, but logistically it wasn’t something that I could do for my full degree. As soon as I knew that Bournemouth offered the opportunity, I leapt at the chance!

How was your experience? I would 1000% recommend it to anyone! As cliché as it may sound, I think that studying abroad really helped me to develop as a person. I went not knowing anyone,  so being half way across the world on your own can seem pretty daunting but it helps you to step out of your comfort zone, try new things and make new friends. I studied at the University of Central Florida, which is located in Orlando. Studying in America not only allowed me to experience their way of teaching, but I also had the opportunity to travel to places such as New York and Chicago, so not only was I learning through education but I was also gaining independence by travelling to different places.

Why did you decide on the long placement versus the short placement? From previous experience, you can’t learn any skills in detail or get a real feel for a job in as little as a few weeks. The year-long placement allows you to understand the role in greater detail and to also try different aspects of the job role. There is also the potential to gain experience in other areas of the company or business. This can be a real eye-opener and allow you to explore areas that you may not have the opportunity to do during a short placement.

Three words to describe your placement search: reassuring, time consuming, inspiring.

What gave you the most satisfaction during placement year? To see the hard work that you put into writing a press release being picked up by journalists and then appearing in the media.

Two tips for future placement students:

  1. DO start looking for your placement  early, even if in September/October time you’re just looking at the types of applications that there are and the skills that the jobs you are interested in are looking for.
  2. DON’T be downhearted if you are rejected with your first application, remember that everything happens for a reason and there are plenty of great opportunities out there. If you can, contact the company and ask for some feedback on your application then you know where to improve.

Jessica’s LinkedIn profile

Feedback from the supervisor….Jess Hughes, Senior PR Manager

What 3 essential things do you expect to see on a student CV applying for a placement?

  • ​an interest in communications
  • an interest in working for our brand and the kind of company we are
  • ability to demonstrate how previous experience and skills could be transferred to benefit this role (not necessarily directly relevant experience – more showing how what you’ve done in the past could be applied to the role here)

What has been the best thing about having our student on placement? ​Jess is a great person to have in the team.  She has been really happy to get involved in all aspects of communications and is a great help – both for essential day-to-day tasks and on more complex projects and in-depth work.

Any advice for students wanting to apply for a placement at your company? ​​Think about what genuinely interests you about communications and about the company you’re applying to, it’ll be a great help in the application and interview process.

 

 

 

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