"The most life changing and confidence boosting experience....."
Kate Belakova, originally from Riga, Latvia, is a BSc Computing student at Edinburgh Napier University. Kate has taken part in three different work placements, including summer roles and a 12 month opportunity. In this article, Kate tells us about her motivations and experiences working in industry.
"On my work placements, the duties, company culture and locations were very distinct from each other, yet I gained both personal and professional growth after each experience. Work placements look great on your CV and my experience has dramatically increased my employability. Now, I won’t be considered as just a graduate, but also as a graduate developer with more than a year’s relevant experience. This is so important in this competitive and ever evolving industry"
"The support I received from the University was very valuable. At the beginning of the year, I arranged a meeting with a CV advisor, took part in a mock interview and received warm congratulations when I was offered a placement. A well-structured CV was the main factor for why I was selected for interview, so it’s worth taking some time to seek out the right advice and highlight your best skills.
Kate told us all about her work placement experiences.
"The most life changing and confidence boosting experience was my 12 month work placement. I worked as a full stack developer at BlackRock in Edinburgh. It was my first time developing applications that will be used by real clients. In the beginning, it was an unusual transition from being a student to working 9 to 5 in a professional environment. I had to manage more tasks and stick to the schedule. I was very lucky to be working with a supportive team that felt like a small family by the end of the placement."
"I developed a great deal of technical and transferable skills such as best practices, new technologies, testing, designing, writing documentation and managing client relationships. On top of that, I improved important soft skills that will help me in my future career and personal life."
Kate's advice to you!, "So, for those of you who are thinking of whether going for a placement or not I say – Yes! In addition to gaining real work experience, this placement year can help you realise what exactly you like doing in your field. It helps to understand what kind of working environment suits you more (whether it’s a start-up or a big corporate company with a defined hierarchy) and generally what kind of worker you are. It’s surely a very rewarding decision and you won’t regret it."