April 25, 2013, by Zoë Goodwin
Graduate Trainee joins our team
Graduate Trainee, Zoe Baker joins us in the Press Office for her final five month placement of her Graduate Trainee Programme. So over to Zoe to introduce herself…
Before I start talking about all my own personal experiences, I will briefly explain what a Graduate Trainee is. The Graduate Trainee Programme is aimed at recent Nottingham graduates who have an interest in developing a career in university administration. The trainees are employed to work across the University on a rotational basis in three to four placements across a twelve month period.
I have completed my first and second placement now and I am just starting my third and final placement here in the communications team. Whilst I was finishing off in my last role, looking ahead to this placement, I started to reflect on the experiences I have already had with communications and realised that I have actually done quite a lot of communicating in my last placements (and not just the chatting during lunch with my colleagues).
In my first placement I was in the Faculty of Arts team developing a series of videos to promote studying abroad to Arts students. I developed interviewing skills and the ability to convey a persuasive message through the creativity of video. In my second placement in Off-Campus Student Affairs, I liaised with members of the communications team quite regularly to arrange for our off-campus campaigns we ran to be publicised both internally and externally. I did this mostly during the Nottingham Advantage Award PR module I managed in which a new ‘Be a Sweet Neighbour’ campaign was developed. I even wrote a few blogs for them about my experiences working there. So I realised that I wasn’t so alien to all these communication processes of which I am about to endeavour.
The most surprising reflection about the communication experiences that I’ve had is the positive feedback I’ve received from them and my enjoyment of writing. I even had one very kind person who, after introducing myself, commented straight away on the other blogs I have written for Off-Campus and started engaging in conversation about experiences I wrote about. When I was writing them, it was strange to believe people would actually read them, so it was quite a shock when my new (and now favourite) acquaintance knew somewhat a bit about me.
I have never thought of myself as a writer (English always showed my worst grades at Schools), but especially as a creative writer. However, I think I’m really going to enjoy working in the communications team. I already have TweetDeck on the go, a press release which still needs a little editing and this blog done.
I am now looking forward to developing my knowledge of how this department operates and how best I can learn to communicate representatively on behalf of The University of Nottingham.
All the best in your placement, Zoe!
I think you may be destined to blog!
It is a shame other universities don’t do similar schemes. I’d love to do something similar closer to home i.e. London. That way I’d also feel like I was making a ‘clean break’ with my uni days not still being surrounded by some of the trappings of student life.