From a placement point of view: the story so far

Find out how Ella, who is studying Environmental Science BSc(Hons), is getting on during her placement year.

I have been a part of the European Sustainability Affairs Team for almost seven months now and it is safe to say I am still learning; my skills are expanding and I’m having a lot of fun in the process!

Right now my job roles vary week by week. I am consistently responsible for standard monthly/weekly reporting alongside supporting the European subsidiaries. Other than that I find myself completing a wide range of tasks from applying for environmental awards with our eco-products to contacting HQ (in Korea!) to discuss trade show details. I am currently creating an eco-ranking that can be used to benchmark our eco products against our competitors.

I still have another 6 months left of my placement and I now understand how valuable this experience is. It has given me a better idea of where I would like to work in the future. I also feel that after working for a year I will undoubtedly appreciate my third year at University a lot more and dedicate more time to university assignments (…hopefully!). I have enjoyed my time so far and I know the rest of the year is going to fly by. It is because of these reasons that I would highly recommend a placement year to anyone who has the option.

A placement out in the field

Jack placementOne of our final year Geography BSc(Hons) students, Jack Burrows, looks back at the diverse range of projects he was involved in during his placement year, and the job he has been offered as a result of it.

I was lucky enough to complete a placement year with the Field Studies Council (FSC) at Orielton Field Centre last year. The FSC is an environmental charity that aims to “provide an environmental understanding for all” which was set up in 1943. They have seventeen centres that range across the UK which sit in or near biological/geographical important sites.

I had a wide range of responsibilities which included, but were not limited to, being a lab technician, qualified first aider, teacher assistant (see the photo), biological researcher, running the tuck shop found on site and collecting meteorological data on behalf of the MET office. And I had a biological article published as well as being interviewed by BBC Wales.

Doing a placement year has been a great benefit to my university degree. Having a year out has given me a break from university life and a chance to have a feel what it would be like once graduated. I was treated as a graduate and left to plan my own work days but still work to deadlines. Not only have my existing skills improved, but I have learned new ones that have benefited my final year, such as time management which many undergraduates may find difficult.

Being on a placement year, also enabled me to collect my own dissertation data and having experts in the field close by to help me. The FSC have also offered me a job, once graduated, on their tutor training scheme.

I advise that students should think very positively regarding placement years. I believe doing a placement year should be made compulsory because it has benefited me a lot; not only in my final year, but once I graduate too.

From a placement point of view: My first business trip

Here’s an update from Ella who is on placement with Samsung. You can read more about it by looking in our placement posts.

In July my team and I travelled to Jászfényszaru in Hungary, to meet with the Samsung environmental coordinators from Europe. This conference happens once a year in order to discuss relevant environmental matters and upcoming legislation. Luckily for me this trip gave me the opportunity to meet colleagues that I now correspond with regularly and more importantly learn about topics that would be significant throughout my placement.
In all honesty at the start l didn’t understand every topic that was discussed (this was mostly down to the fact that I had only been on the job for 3 weeks!). However, having this experience did allow me to ask many questions and generally help me settle into my placement quicker. So, baptism by fire worked and now I am confident to handle any inquiries!!

Alongside the two-day conference we visited an on-site Samsung TV factory. It was fascinating seeing all the complex machinery used to manufacture our products. Not to mention seeing the finished product packaged in 100% post-consumer recycled cardboard! We also visited the Smart Academy which showcased the use of Samsung products as a guide to education.

Overall the conference was a success. Actions were made from the discussions and I was given the responsibility to monitor their progress. This task provided me with information I would not have gained otherwise as well as keeping me updated on current topics.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event and can safely say I am looking forward to the next!

Cyprus field trip

Natalia_Cyprus field trip_Nov 2014_IMG_4088

Natalia and her fellow students examining pillow lavas, one of the highlights of her trip to Cyprus.

Our third year Geology BSc(Hons) students have recently returned from a field trip to Cyprus. Here, Natalia explains what her highlights of the trip were.

This picture is of one of the most remarkable moments for me during the Cyprus field trip. In this locality it was possible to see some amazing pillow lavas, with well visible convex tops and concave bases, and the dykes that cut these lavas. The sequence was formed during a sea-floor spreading when the lavas with a temperature of approximately 1200Cº contacted sea water and cooled abruptly. This violent cooling gave the pillow lavas some characteristics such as a glassy external crust and a finely crystalline interior.

I have no words to describe the feeling of being on the top of the ophiolitic sequence, it was definitely amazing!

Natalia Gauer Pasqualon.

Presenting to peers

Geology poster exhibition Jan 2015_image 3_editedFirst year Geology BSc(Hons) and Earth and Ocean Science BSc(Hons) students have just taken part in a research study based around the geology or oceanography of their home area. As part of this module our students attend a poster session presenting their research topics to their peers.

It’s an interactive event, giving staff and students the opportunity to view the work, ask the presenters questions and for all the students to give feedback to their peers.

A great introduction to research and presentation skills!

Understanding power

Leila DawneyI’m Leila and I’m a senior lecturer in Human Geography here at the University of Brighton, and a cultural and political theorist. This means that I look at theoretical approaches to the understanding of power, and in particular, the relationship between forms of power, and cultural representations and practices.
I’m involved with the Authority Research Network, a research collective spanning the UK, Ireland, the USA and Brazil. We look into questions around the experience and aesthetics of authority, bodies and authority, work and alienation, political activism, alternative voices of authority and the idea of the commons.
These ideas are central to Human Geography, and you can find out more about them in some of mine and my colleagues’ blog posts for the Authority Research Network.

The eye of an intern

Ella Perriton Samsun placement

Here’s Ella with her placement supervisor Bill Skeates.

Would you like to know what it’s like to be on a placement year? Look out for regular updates from Ella Perriton, one of our Environmental Science students to find out how she is getting on in her placement year at Samsung Electronics.

I am a 2nd year University of Brighton Environmental Science BSc(Hons) student currently on placement at Samsung Electronics.

After attending the assessment day back in March (followed a 5.30am wakeup call!) I completed a challenging group activity, an independent task and two tough interviews. I was confident that if I got this internship it wouldn’t be easy, but would soon learn that due to Samsung’s fast paced nature I would experience and learn a lot.

I did get the internships and I am certainly learning a lot. I’ll be sending updates every so often to give you an idea of the kind of things you might be able to do on your placement year.