My Placement Year as a Student Outcomes Coordinator

A picture of a group of people working.

My name is Aaliya and I had the opportunity to spend my placement year at the University of Reading as the Student Outcomes Coordinator. I’m a 3rd-year Politics and International Relations student, and my interest in diversity and social issues is what led me to choose politics and, later on, my placement working at UoR.

My role sits in Student Success and Engagement, which focuses on the student experience at university from Welcome Week to exams.  The outcomes team looks at the diversity of our students and how we can support those who are underrepresented in higher education. We look at grade attainment from these groups and how we can embed inclusivity across UoR.

My favourite part of the job is working with our student Inclusion Consultants. They are a group of current UoR students from across the university and offer the views of underrepresented identities. They are an incredible group that provides us with new ideas and perspectives each week and helps to incite change across the university. This year we are working on creating a range of staff-facing resources that will help us support students further and encourage inclusive practices.

In my time as a placement student, I have been able to develop my professional skills and build confidence in areas I never thought I would. As an introvert, I have developed my public speaking skills and have facilitated several staff training workshops and even presented at an international conference. Being able to see these improvements, and be supported by my manager and team, has truly given me the confidence to see my full potential.

Advice for the future Student Outcomes Coordinator

  • Self-care: Helping students is incredibly rewarding however it often covers sensitive topics. Remember to take time to relax outside of work and treat yourself when possible!
  • Take it all in: Being a staff member at your uni can be weird but embrace it! I have learnt so much of what’s available and share it with other students whenever I can.
  • Be open-minded: You will hear a variety of opinions and thoughts in this role, and it’s crucial to consider all aspects before casting it aside. Be open to new ideas, and embrace the chances where you can share your own.

I would highly recommend doing a placement year! It has been a year of personal and professional growth for me, where I have seen so many aspects of the world outside being a student. Whilst finding a placement can be a difficult process, they offer a deeper understanding of your chosen field and can open your eyes to new opportunities.


Aaliya Williams, Politics and International Relations Student

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