Devraj is a second-year English and History BA student. He completed a 10-week group placement with the Faculty of Arts marketing team at the university.
Where was your placement and what were your tasks?
"My placement was wholly online. It was working with three other students for the faculty marketing team at the uni.
Our task was to run a focus group with School of English students to find out their thoughts on the school's five key areas of English, then come up with a content solution."
How did you find out about your placement? What made you want to do one?
"I got an email advertising all the placements available. I saw the marketing one and thought that it sounded good. Marketing is something I’ve always liked doing. I’d done a marketing placement back in Year 12, with South Staffs Water, about promoting water sustainability to young people, and that was a really good experience. I thought it’d be nice to try and do something here, too."
What was the most enjoyable part of your placement?
"It was very gratifying doing the focus group, just getting that done and having that valuable discussion. Obviously you’re worrying beforehand if people will turn up, will they be engaged, how will I press the conversation forward, things like that. In the first 20 minutes, I remember I thought, ‘I’m going to completely run out of stuff to say’, but then, the next thing I knew, 40 minutes had passed quite quickly!
Also the team was really good. They were all quite vocal and got involved with the presenting of our ideas. I also organised myself to make sure I was contributing, and took on the next part of the work, with writing the video brief, while the rest of the team were still working on another task. We all wanted to do the best we could in the time we had."
What transferable skills did you gain?
"It’s helped me with using Microsoft Teams a bit more, which is needed. The growing use for Teams, and having meetings online, is a good transferable skill for the working world. Then there was sticking to meeting deadlines and working under pressure to meet deadlines. It also enhanced my presenting and research skills."
Did you learn anything new or unexpected about yourself?
"It was nice for me to know that I could do something like this placement alongside my uni work and it won’t be too much for me to cope with, especially as it got closer to exam time. It showed me that I can cope with pressure and still meet deadlines."
Have your future career aspirations changed because of your placement?
"It has definitely made me want to look into marketing more. It’s made it more accessible, something I think I can be good at and make a good impact in."