July 26, 2022, by Rebekah

My Term Time Placement at the Environment Agency

by Adino Tirtakusuma postgraduate Law student 

I first applied to the Faculty one day a week placement programme to the role of Regulated Industry Project Support Intern with the Environment Agency as I wanted to leverage my legal background and gain a practical insight into how businesses are regulated. At a high level, my role was to assist my supervisor in regulating one of the regulated sites.

After I applied, I was invited to a casual interview with two individuals from the organisation. The interview was fun and seamless, and I was mostly asked questions surrounding my interest in the role and organisation. At this stage, my only advice would be to research the role and organisation well! It is important to understand exactly the role of the placement organisation, or even the specific section/team. Although there was not much information on the specifics of the role, the interviewers were moved when I was able to determine the specific project and issues the organisation was dealing with, which I found by browsing through the Environment Agency Twitter account.

I find the placement to be highly enjoyable, as I was given significant freedom to exercise my initiative and decide on what I want to be exposed to. This means that I was able to match the role and tasks with my interest and professional goals. I decided to pick a project where I analyse and visualize data using Excel. Again, my supervisors were incredibly supportive and were happy to let me pick other projects if I wanted to. I also find the placement to be highly beneficial. Before the Placement, I was interested in data-centred career but lacked the necessary experience in using Excel. The Placement improved my proficiency in using Excel and made me more confident when applying to business and data-centred roles. All in all, I would highly recommend the placement to other students for the opportunity it presents to further develop your skills and strengths.

The biggest challenge throughout the Placement boils down to managing your time and energy. Rather than a negative thing, however, I see this as an opportunity. Indeed, I think the biggest reason as to why you should do a Placement is to train your capability in managing time and managing multiple workstreams. Throughout the Placement, I adapted by using time-blocks in my Calendar to plan out and separate the time allocated to studies and work. I also used the Pomodoro technique to be disciplined in doing work. Finally, it is also helpful that my supervisors were understanding of my workload and stress, especially when nearing the university assessment period. Hence, even if you are worried about the placement’s workload, I would say that this will not be a big issue.

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