Communication Studies and Politics undergraduate and member of the School of the Arts (SOTA) Student Press Team, Gee Canning, has been discovering how graduate Mathilde Chapal made the most of placement opportunities during her time at Liverpool.
Mathilde is now a Corporate Events Officer in Corporate Communications at the University, after taking part in SOTA 300 whilst completing her degree in Politics and Communication Studies. The SOTA 300 module incorporates placements with a local company, group or institution related to English, allowing students to develop their skills in a practical or vocational context:
What inspired you to sign up to the SOTA 300 module?
It sparked my interest when I received an email from the module co-ordinators about it – I was really interested in the different placements they had. I wanted to have a bit of hands on experience and I thought it was a really good chance to be able to network.
How did you find your placement went?
I was placed in the publications team within Corporate Communications at the University. I liked it because I got to do a lot of different things. Ideally I would have quite liked to have started something at the beginning and finished it right up to the end of my placement, but obviously you can’t do everything!
What kind of things were you asked to do on your placement?
I was regularly asked to write news articles, for example on research that had been carried out at the University. It was important to learn to write the article in a way that would make everyone understand it, because not all readers would be familiar with the subject. Then I would add a picture and post it to the website.
My favourite thing, which I get to do every year now, is working behind the scenes at graduation – I love it!
Did you have any work experience previous to the SOTA 300 module?
No, that was the big one. I had a job in a bank where I did administrative duties, so I did have some experience but it was not as good on my CV as the placement with Corporate Communications was.
How did you make the most of your placement with Corporate Communications?
I took the time to speak to everyone I was working with and found out what they liked to do. I also paid attention when I was given instructions and made sure that I was not shown how to do things twice. Most importantly, I just enjoyed the placement.
What made you realise that a job in events was the one for you?
I had just graduated when I was first offered a temporary job, but as the months went on I became more involved with the different departments and gradually took on more responsibility. Once I realised I liked events they offered me a position on the team.
What advice would you give to those who are looking for a job they have work experience in?
It sounds really obvious but networking. To me, it didn’t feel like networking because I was not actively thinking: “If I speak to that person I’ll get a job out of it!” I was just interested in people and what they did, and wanted to give a hand.
Do you think it is important for graduates to look for a job they are going to enjoy?
If there is a job you really like then you are a lot more likely to spend time drafting your CV and covering letter. I spent loads of time doing that for this job, because I really wanted it.
By Gee Canning
School of the Arts students interested in the placement module (SOTA300) should consult the ‘Arts Work Sessions’ VITAL page for further information.
If you’re interested in getting involved in other placements or internships, please contact the Careers and Employability Service.