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Published: 11 June 2012

Staff Perspective: Dr Laura Chappell

Dr Laura Chappell, Senior Placement Coordinator, offers her perspective on the Professional Training placement.

Work Placement

With a rising graduate unemployment rate it is important to be able to differentiate yourself from the field. In this respect doing a work (or indeed study) placement offers you the chance to set yourself apart by enhancing and developing your transferable skills whilst at the same time allowing you pursue a placement in your chosen field. This allows students to explore a certain career and to ascertain whether this would be a suitable path to take after graduation. Skill development can come in many different forms including improved oral and written communication, IT and inter-personal skills as well as problem-solving and learning how to use your initiative. Students return from a placement year with skills which also assist them in the final year of their degree including inter alia improved organisation and presentation skills as well as the ability to connect their degree programme with practical experience gained in the workplace.

Staff Perspective – Study Exchange

The study exchange provides an excellent opportunity for students to gain experience of living in another country combined with the ability to extend their knowledge of their degree discipline. Living and studying abroad will bring up many diverging challenges to those faced in the UK including inter alia a different language and culture as well as new subjects and assessments. It therefore gives students a chance to develop key skills including adaptability, independence, problem-solving, communication and people skills. Cultural sensitivity is particularly important considering the increasingly interconnected world in which we live and learning a language can prove extremely useful.

You will also have a chance to explore different subject areas with experts in those fields. Moreover some of these countries are interesting from a political perspective. This includes the Polish democratic transition and accession to the EU, the division of Cyprus or the Danish ‘no’ vote in the referendum on the Maastricht Treaty all of which could constitute potential dissertation topics. Finally a year abroad is beneficial in terms of employability and will get you noticed.

Dr Laura Chappell
Senior Placement Coordinator
School of Politics

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