April 15, 2013, by offcampus

The Off Campus Graduate Trainee Experience

Today we’re welcoming back Zoe Baker to the blog to talk about her experience of working in Off Campus Student Affairs as a Graduate Trainee. Over to Zoe!

When I was asked to write this blog, my colleagues titled it ‘Zoe Baker in the hot seat’. Although this title hasn’t stuck with them, it makes me feel very important so I decided I must mention it right at the beginning! So here it is – Zoe Baker in the Hot Seat!

So who is Zoe Baker you may be asking and why is this blog about her? I am Zoe and I am a Graduate Trainee from the University of Nottingham.

Before I go on to talk more about what I do, 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 am drawing to the end of my second placement now where I have worked in the Off Campus Student Affairs department for four months. I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard much about this department and what we do – I hadn’t before I got told I would be working here. However I did recognise some of the work and projects undertaken by the department once I got here and overcame my hesitation and scepticism about starting this placement, and I have really enjoyed working here.

I have had such varied experiences working in this one department. Let’s take an average week – one day I was planning a new event for students who are living in our local communities, the next I was walking up and down Lenton Boulevard discussing the future vision for the empty shops there, the next I was sat in the police headquarters discussing how best they could engage with students, the next I was managing a group of very talented Nottingham Advantage Award PR students and I ended my week by writing up a piece of research I did about crime prevention.

Love Your Stuff image

The Love Your Stuff crime prevention campaign – one of the things Zoe has worked on.

I have loved every single one of those days and all of the others I’ve spent working here. This department is small but its impact is widely spread and is strong. It has robust partnerships with Nottingham City Council, the police, the fire department and so on. I mean, it has to have this reach when it is responsible for the welfare of all students who live off-campus.

I am proud of all the skills I have developed in this department (including the two blogs I have written!) but what I have enjoyed the most from my time in this department is managing the Nottingham Advantage Award PR module. I won’t explain what we did as there are five blogs about the campaign already but I was able to see an idea I had and really believed in being developed so successfully by the PR students and which was received with great enthusiasm on the day of our launch.

Catherine, Victoria and Marianne at the Be A Sweet Neighbour Stand

Catherine, Victoria and Marianne at the Be A Sweet Neighbour Stand

I have only mentioned several of the vast number of projects this department gets involved with so to find out more take a look at our website, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our blogs!

I am off to Communications, Marketing and Recruitment for my next placement so I will say goodbye to Off Campus Student Affairs, you will be dearly missed.

Posted in Guest blog