April 1, 2021, by abrierley
My Placement at FMB Radio as a Content Researcher
by Harriet Gomme 3rd yr BA Politics and international Relations
In semester 1 of my third year as a Politics and International Relations student, I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to undertake a placement as a content researcher at FMB Radio, Nottingham. The role involved writing three articles a week on current affairs issues, both national and local as well as completing specialist articles and written work that my placement supervisor set for me. The articles were published on the FMB radio and Mojatu Foundation website and many were published in the organisation’s monthly magazine. I worked alongside one other student and we kept in regular contact about how we were finding the placement and what we were writing about – this was really helpful if I was ever stuck for ideas! My placement supervisors name was Pa and I communicated with him and another member of the team, Anna. Despite everything being remote and online, they both made me feel welcome and part of the team which made me feel more comfortable and confident in my role.
One of the best things about my placement was the independence and trust I was given to produce my own content and write based on my own findings. This laid-back approach from the staff at FMB Radio was further reflected in the interview and application process that I went through with the organisation. I would highly recommend FMB Radio for a first-time placement, as the interview process was much more of an informal conversation and the placement experience itself was extremely relaxed. What’s more, I also tested positive for COVID-19 during the period my placement was meant to take place. This did not hinder my ability to work, although the staff at FMB Radio were extremely understanding of my situation. Throughout the COVID era and in the hopeful near post-COVID world, my advice to anyone going through the application process for a placement would be to apply in an area or field that you enjoy and that you take a genuine interest in. I love writing and so taking time out of my studies to complete my placement work didn’t feel like extra work at all!
Of course, under the current restrictions one of the main challenges during my placement was working remotely. Although I still felt like part of a team and was made to feel really welcome and told that if restrictions eased, I would be able to go into the office, the dominance of COVID sometimes made it hard to find new ideas to write about as the news was filled with everything pandemic related. However, I overcame this by delving deeper into various news outlets and was able to write on some interesting and often personal stories which made the placement even more insightful and gave me a better learning experience.
Finally, my hints and tips for applying to a placement would come down to three main areas. Firstly, when applying show how interested you are in the company and what they stand for. Secondly, don’t be afraid to apply even if you have limited experience. My CV was looking pretty limited until this opportunity came up and many of the organisations on the placement programme are ideal for people who have never completed a placement before. Lastly, be confident. I haven’t always been the most self-confident person, but even working remotely has improved my confidence skills, merely by having interviews over zoom. The best way to improve is through experience and the placement programme has been great in giving me the opportunity to have an insight into the working world.
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