One 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.