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ASET: The Work Based and Placement Learning Association

Work Placement Essay Competition Success

BSc Politics and International Relations Q-Step student, Grace Mitchell-Kilpatrick recently found out she was awarded Highly Commended and a £100 prize by a panel of ASET judges in the “Placement/Work experience undertaken in the UK or Ireland” category for the 2017 ASET Student Essay Competition. Read on for her full story.

"I am a BSc Politics and International Relations student, coming to the end of my third year at Exeter. I have loved the variety of debates, ideas and issues I have been exposed to as a result of the vast and diverse modules on offer. As a student enrolled on the Q-step qualification I have also had the opportunity to enrol in modules which utilise data in different ways. I took ‘Data Analysis in the Workplace’ in my second year which was exciting and interesting.

During my placement in the Welsh Government and the Office for National Statistics, I was able to use my academic knowledge in innovative ways. I worked alongside the Chief Digital Officer, as well as with a number of departments within the organisation. I was given responsibility to produce research papers and reports which honed my ability to assimilate data into understandable and accessible formats. This is a unique and highly sought-after skill in the job market. The experience provided invaluable personal development which is arguably more significant. Being in an unfamiliar environment, out of my comfort zone, with new and diverse people was refreshing but challenging. I gained a drive to meet deadlines, a new found understanding of commercial awareness and an eagerness to work as part of a team. Most importantly I have become questioning and enthusiastic at the prospect of my career, whatever that may be as I now feel better equipped to face the challenge of the workplace.

After my experience, I was contacted by ASET, The Work Based and Placement Learning Association, with request to share my experience to inspire prospective students considering a work placement. I am delighted and grateful to have received a monetary prize and a Highly Commended status for my essay."

Date: 16 April 2018