Placement life: Esme
My role as a Student Placement within the Sustainability team at Leeds Beckett started back in September. As my first ‘grown up job’ I was apprehensive but excited to throw myself into a new challenge.
I had worked at Costa Coffee part time for over 5 years prior to my new role and although the free coffee was great, the idea of going into something completely different was very appealing… and it hasn’t disappointed!
Placement life is great, I’m embracing every moment of the working world, living and working in the centre of Leeds. The fact that you can go to work 9-5 and automatically switch off as soon as you leave the office door is a novel feeling, especially after years of having assignments and revision constantly lurking in my mind. I often find myself sampling the delights of such an up-and-coming city after work, rather than heading to the library to work a night shift.
Being a Business Management student at Leeds Beckett, my course can be related to pretty much anything, allowing me to simply pursue my interests instead of being directed down a dark and dingy tunnel to a dreary career. My interest in responsible management lead me to the doors of the Sustainability team, part of Estate Services, where I am not only developing skills that will enhance my employability in the future, I am also doing something useful that will contribute positively to society. It’s a win-win for me!
The Sustainability team are great, they made me feel welcome from day one. It’s great to work with people who are so enthusiastic about what they do; I feel I am constantly learning from their experiences as well as my own. Jason, my line manager, is a keen cyclist who has opened my eyes to the two wheeled world (he even got me on a tandem).
If I were to describe an average day during my placement I couldn’t, my days are varied working on a number of projects, whether that be Green Impact (an award winner behaviour change programme run by the NUS), waste and recycling or a new active travel initiative. I have also recently taken on a communications role not only for the Sustainability team but for the wider Estate Services. I get to work directly with the whole Estates team which gives me a great insight into all the things that go on behind the scenes at the University.
As a student you can walk around with blinkers on, unaware of the efforts that go into making Leeds Beckett a great place to be. Having now worked on the other side I can really appreciate the size and scope the University has to offer.
There have been so many highlights already during the 4 months that I have been working with the Sustainability team, it would be hard to pick just one but to mention a few; I have had the opportunity to spend a total of four days at the London NUS head office being trained around Green Impact along with other Project Management training, I get to work directly with students, I get to work in our bike workshops, the team recently went on a team building day where we planted a number of trees which was great fun and I have also recently been organising an awards ceremony for our Green Impact teams which has been very exciting. So as you can tell I keep pretty busy doing a whole range of things. I’m looking forward to many more adventures in my remaining months!
When I speak to my friends that stayed on at university to go straight into their final year, I know I have made the right decision. I can go into final year with a mature outlook and the ability to plan my time and resources far better.
For those of you who are reading that are yet to start a placement, take every opportunity with both hands and make the most of your placement, in and out of the office.