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“My placement really helped me develop my analysis skills and build my confidence.”

31 May 2023

Woman wearing glasses smiling

Social Analytics (BSc) student Emelie Baker undertook a placement with the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University as a Student Engagement and Experience Assistant.

Emelie chatted with us about her placement.

During my placement year, I stayed within Cardiff University and I was Student Engagement and Experience Assistant technically, but I did lots of statistical analysis within the School of Social Sciences, too.

And then I had a meeting with my dissertation supervisor, Charlotte Brookfield, and she told me about a job that she was offering, which was a year long placement, and I decided to apply for it. And then all of a sudden I'm no longer in third year and I'm a placement student. So when I did my placement, I did a hybrid working experience.

I worked four days at home and one day in the office. On Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I was at home, while on Tuesday I usually came into the office.

I’d spend mornings making to-do lists and get surveys written that needed to go out, and then I’d use the afternoons to do the analysis.

In the office there was a little bit more of a mix of things. I ran a few focus groups and attended meetings.

The front of the Glamorgan building at Cardiff University

My placement highlight – seeing my work come to life

My favourite moment on placement was probably my last week. My final week was the first week of the semester, so I was kind of half and half working and as a student and it was really nice to see both sides of Welcome Week at the university.

It was a chance for me to see where my work was going because I did a little bit of work with Andy Dodge around placement years and how we can improve them in the school.

Putting theory into practice

My placement really helped me develop like my analysis skills, using what I'd learned in my modules in my first and second years at university and actually putting it into practice.

I did a survey module in my second year and I spent most of my placement year writing surveys.

Through my course I had all the knowledge, but I didn't know how to apply it to situations other than the examples I was given, so my placement was a chance for me to do that, but also in a controlled environment with a specialist, so I had constant support.

Two pens beside a Macbook

I now feel like I could be given a set of problems and do it from beginning-to-end knowing exactly what needs to be done - from writing a survey to analysing it, to writing it up and being able to present my findings in a way that shows what the problem is and how it needs to be solved.

It's really built my confidence in that sense. When I eventually become a lecturer I'll feel more part of the [university] community because I know how how it feels to be on the other side of it a little bit more.

Big thanks to Emelie for chatting to us about her work experience.

Our courses offer an optional placement year during your studies with us.

Find out more about work placements at the School of Social Sciences.

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