Sujata Burman on her academic placements

As I was approaching my last two years of university, I knew that I would be required to start entertaining the idea of a career path for myself. With this in mind, I jumped at the chance to incorporate real world experience with one of my modules in second year. I thought the idea of a compulsory placement was brilliant as I wanted to do some work experience but never found the time and thought the process was fairly intimidating. The module made finding and undertaking work experience very easy and enjoyable; I had my placement in second year at The Fly magazine. I have always had an interest in journalism having gained opportunities before at Spark newspaper and online, however I knew the placement would give me hands on experience and an insight into whether this was right career path for me.  I had a fantastic week at The Fly; I was involved in the process of magazine publishing whilst being able to write featured articles. There was an extremely relaxed atmosphere and I was able to ask in depth questions about the industry including the pros and cons. Not only did I have an insightful week, I was able to explore my placement in many ways through my report. I enjoyed the format of writing about my placement as I had a real input and could share my experiences.

It is this positive experience that led me to choose to do an academic placement in the following year with my packaging literature module. I automatically knew it would be beneficial for me as this time I wanted to explore my interest in publishing. I was very excited when I managed to get experience with Little Brown Book group, a branch of Hachette publishing group. Both of my placements gave me a clear picture of the working world and the media industry. I have understood the routes I need to go down to get to my chosen career. Alongside this, I have evidence of skills in so many different areas of work and the ability to write a professional report, all which I have obtained before leaving university!


About Cindy

Associate Professor in the Department of English Literature at the University of Reading. Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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