Last week SEED students were invited to present about their experiences at the SEED Showcase event. The evening was an opportunity for placement supervisors, employers, parents and fellow students to see the kind of things a SEED placement entails. There were many familiar faces because I had previously interviewed many SEED students for my research on my own placement. We each had only seven minutes to impress our panel of judges, which included Peter Finnan from Opsview, and Kara Swift and Emily Shaw, both representatives from RUSU. In our presentation we needed to get across what our placement was, why we applied to do a placement, what we did from day to day, how we made a lasting impact, and how all these experiences might be valuable to us in the future, before taking any questions from the judges.After 10 presentations the judges went away to decide on the awards. I can proudly say that I was awarded first place for my presentation, which I was thrilled to get. It was a brilliant achievement for me and I felt that I was really able to get across my enthusiasm and passion to the panel. The judges remarked that there was an exceptionally high standard of presentations. Harriet Taylor came second as the judges were really impressed by her advertising and marketing strategy for the Knowledge Transfer Centre. James Buller was awarded third place as the judges liked how he took full advantage of the opportunities for development and turned his rather mundane placement (which involved carrying out an audit of all electrical appliances within the university) into a very positive experience.
Before the Showcase evening every student was asked to submit a Case Study that would be passed onto the judges. Here are a few extracts from my Case Study report which encouraged us to reflect on our contribution to our placement.
“I certainly feel that I have made a lasting impact on the Digitally Ready project. The findings of my research will be given with recommendations to senior university staff and Faculty Directors for Teaching and Learning for consideration. I hope that they will make changes to increase the role of Placement Tutors and Supervisors. I have produced a final report which will outline examples of best practice which will be used in the future to improve the placement opportunities for students at the University of Reading. My research is part of a wider sustainability plan which and will be taken on throughout the rest of project which continues into 2013. It was really important for me to talk to the Vice Chancellor about the project and see how he has an active interest in the issues we are raising.”
“I have learnt so much from my SEED placement. The predominant skills that I have learnt are research skills. I now know how to conduct an interview, take recordings and write detailed notes with many different types of people. I have learnt how to draw out the relevant information and write-up my findings in a report format. I have also learnt how to blog, and use photos and video clips to make my presenting more interesting, but more importantly I have gained a deeper understanding of the power of a positive online presence and how it can be used strategically.”