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Transcript: Liberal Arts Work Placements

Bodrun Nahar, Employability and Placement Manager in Liberal Arts >> So my role is to support students in development their employability and professional skills throughout their study programme, so that it makes it that little bit more easier for them to find a job after graduation.

We offer them two work placement options that they can undertake during their studies. This is the Certificate of Professional Communication (with work placement) and the intercalated year-out (which is commonly referred to as a sandwich placement or industrial placement).

So the Certificate of Professional Communication is very much designed to give students an exposure and understanding of the working environment, and after they have completed this short course they then go out to work for an employer for around a month to really get a feel for a working environment.

Tom Liggins, Liberal Arts alumnus >> In the summer after my second year, I did a four week internship work placement with the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands as part of the Certificate of Professional Communication.

So the work placement itself was, in fact, a marketing and communications role for Innovation Alliance. So me, as a Liberal Arts student and three GSD students got the placement and it all revolved around one of the main networking events that Innovation puts on every year called VentureFest. The four of us planned how we were going to help at the event. So registration then going around the various stalls, meeting, interviewing different stakeholders and innovators who were there talking about the event, then also going to different seminars, taking notes on the projects that were being talked about.

In the following three weeks, so the rest of the internship, we could put together a marketing campaign to advertise the event for the following year and the successes of the event itself. And so that included a Twitter campaign, digital marketing posters that we put on Twitter and Facebook. We each wrote a blog about the different seminars that we attended and what had been talked about. And we also created a series of videos about our experiences of the event, which also included interviews with stakeholders and innovators that we met at VentureFest. So it was it was a really broad range of skills. And yeah, it was really interesting and a very good, good kind of lead into a marketing role at a job, at a company like Innovation Alliance.

Iain Mansell, Deputy Director at the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands >> We gave some placement opportunities to four students at University of Warwick to help with an event called VentureFest West Midlands that we run every year at the NEC.  

Our experience with the placement students was fantastic. They absolutely blew me away. They helped with every aspect of running VentureFest from being front of house, welcoming people on the day, going out and interviewing people for video content, writing blogs, managing our social media accounts. We actually could not have done it without them.  

As our student placements were all around marketing and communications, I think it was really valuable to show the students that they've actually got a huge range of skill-sets that they don't really appreciate. So when it comes to being a digital native, they've grown up with so many of the marketing tools that we use and people are paid good salaries to manage within companies.

Bodrun Nahar, Employability and Placement Manager in Liberal Arts >> The intercalated year out is when the students have completed their second year, so they actually do a four-year degree, and in their third year they go out to work for an organization for a minimum of seven months up to 12 months, and all the learning actually takes place in the working environment.

So when you do join us, do you think about different areas that you are interested in and just remember that you're not on your own. We are here to support you throughout the whole process, whether it's your academics or whether it's in my capacity, we'll be there for you. But the key message here is that the support is there for you, but it's important that you also take ownership and responsibility in shaping your future by making sure that you do engage in work placements so that it helps you to develop your employability and professional skills.