Here at the University of Bristol our students can benefit from working with our Professional Liaison Network (PLN) to find opportunities for work experience. We found out more about student Ali’s recent experience on his work placement with Fortil UK, a consulting firm specialising in engineering.
Ali said, the main reason of taking part in the work placement was the significant opportunity to enhance and develop employment skills. My passion to explore the work environment drove me to choose this placement unit and after gaining a further understanding of the scheme by asking previous students it was clear for me that this will help me to bridge the gap between learning and working. I was very excited to start this placement and engage with professionals, it was my goal to develop my communication skills and enhance my experience.
Would you recommend other students take part in a placement?
I would very much recommend this unit to other students. I believe this is the right place to explore anyone’s working skills and enhance creativity. My own experience was significant as I did not know I was able to be a creative person, but when you put yourself in a working environment your passion drives your creativity to grow, and you start realising that you are also enhancing other skills.
What were the highlights of your placement?
My placement was at a consulting firm where my job was to help the team to design a new welcome booklet as well as many other jobs, such as learning about HR management. By the end of this placement, I was able to deliver a new welcome booklet which was approved by the team, and I was able to gain some recruiting skills like conducting interviews. It was also very exciting to communicate with professionals for the first time and be able to work with them as a team.
What have you taken away from this experience?
Interacting with professionals at this firm was very interesting because it has improved my communication skills and enhance my confident. I was introduced to the world of HR management where I was working individually. I am now more confident about HR management and this placement gave me significant experience for my future.
How did you feel about working remotely?
This placement was definitely one of the best experiences for me even though I was working remotely. I was able to complete all the tasks assigned to me, however, this experience could have been more interacting if it was face to face. Overall, I do not believe my experience was affected by working remotely, I actually think it is one advantage to write on a CV as the success of my placement shows that I was not expecting to work remotely but it went very well.
What support did you receive from the PLN?
The PLN provided all necessary information for us before the start of this placement, and they were always available on email to ask for help during the placement.
What are you looking forward to in the future?
My next step is to continue my studying as after my undergraduate I want to do a master’s degree, but I am also planning to use my current experience to apply for other internship opportunities in the summer. I am very confident that my experience at this placement will help me to in my future career.
We also spoken to Arelia from Fortil to find out how the company valued the placement scheme.
How did you and your organisation most benefit from taking part in the placement scheme?
On a personal level, the scheme helped me develop my own teaching skills. On a company level, the scheme gave us the opportunity to develop a welcome booklet (thank you Ali!) that is now used by all our consultants (old and new) and to get our name out through the University of Bristol and Ali alike.
What were the highlights?
The highlights for us included the completion of the Welcome Booklet and the day Ali conducted a professional interview using all the skills he learnt, where I was role playing as the candidate.
What piece of advice would you give to students taking part in a placement activity?
I would encourage students to participate in placements. One can never have enough immersive experiences. My advice is simple: watch and learn. And above all, be curious, ask questions and take an interest in what’s going on in departments.
You can find out more about the PLN and work experience opportunities at Bristol.