Over the next few weeks, we will be talking to some of our students who have recently completed placements with various companies throughout the UK and abroad, to get their thoughts and experiences on what to expect whilst out on placement.
Following on from our 1st post with Stuart Whitehead, this week we chat with Michael Wright who is currently in his 4th year studying Business Information Systems.
Name of Company: Stewart Milne Group
Duration of experience: 4 months
Q: What was your key role and responsibilities?
A: My main role was to assist the project manager with the ‘Site Services Rollout Project’, and to ensure all construction staff understood the technical jargon of the project. In mid-June this involved travelling around all construction sites throughout Scotland and North-West England. At each site it was my job to inform senior management of the changes of how sites will communicate with the head office in Aberdeen, and how the new SharePoint System will be used for site management tasks and material requisitions.
July and August consisted of planning the rest of the project, ordering new hardware and software, building and programming equipment and organising SharePoint training for over 15 different sites.
In September, I was back on the road again for three weeks, installing hardware and giving basic training to all staff who required it. During the last week in September, the project manager, SharePoint developers and I delivered training on the new SharePoint system to Site Managers and Technical drawings staff.
Q: What did an average days work consist of?
A: Their wasn’t really an average day at SMG Group, for a couple of weeks at a time I was in the office planning the project, preparing training material and giving updates to the IT director. Then there would be a 2-3 week period being out at sites.
Q: What was the key highlights of your placement?
A: I really enjoyed this placement, it was the perfect placement for a BIS/BIT student as it required my technical skills and also my business skills, specifically project management. I enjoyed the travelling and the team I worked in.
Q: What are your personal thoughts on the placement?
A: My placement, and I’m sure any good placement lets you put 2/3 years of theory you learn at University into practice. Working on this project highlighted how your skills you learn at university only get you so far, you have to have the confidence to make important decisions and be able to meet a new group of people and build that important business relationship. Projects like these require so much collaboration from different departments and it is vital to get them to work together and avoid conflict. Overall I have learnt a lot and I will take this knowledge and new skills hopefully into a graduate position next year.
Q: What would be your advice to other students thinking of doing a placement?
A: Don’t think, do a placement! Whether it’s between your second and third year, third and fourth year, summer or year long, do a placement! It not only looks good on your CV, it puts you at a huge advantage when applying for graduate positions. Start looking early for your placement, don’t leave it until after the New Year break. If anyone has any questions about my placement experience feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.