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Friday 28 July 2017

Eve brings fresh ideas to the National Trust

Each year 8,500 Sheffield Hallam University students undertake nearly 30,000 placements with employers, with some students undertaking several placements in one year. It is this business ready attitude which is helping make us the world's leading applied university.

The benefit of work placements for student employability is well documented. For employers who offer work placements, the injection of fresh ideas, new perspectives and a digital native to the team can provide an additional resource, adding significant value to the business.

Events Management student, Eve Hatton, has just completed her placement year. She worked across four National Trust properties in Gloucestershire: Dyrham Park, Ebworth Estate, Newark Park and Lodge Park.

What was your role at the National Trust?

I was an events and engagement intern which involved assisting with the planning and running of different events including the Kite Festival, weddings and the Christmas markets. I worked on specific campaigns such as the National Trust's '50 things to do before you're 11'. I also worked in the marketing team where I had the opportunity to manage social media.

What do you feel you gained from your placement?

My placement taught me so much including industry specific skills such as event planning, customer service and marketing skills as well as valuable employability skills including communication, time management, leadership and how to work under pressure. But, most of all, I feel I gained so much in confidence over my 12 months placement.

Do you feel your placement has improved your employability?

Definitely! I think carrying out a placement year not only teaches you valuable skills, but it demonstrates your passion for the industry. These days it's not always enough to have a degree in your chosen subject - particularly in my industry, events, it is all about the practical experience. At all of the interviews I've had so far, I've been asked about my placement and all the interviewers have been impressed that it is something that I have done even before I've even graduated.

What unique insights do you feel you brought to the role?

As I went straight into my placement out of University, I was able to bring up to date theoretical knowledge to the role. This helped with important tasks like completing risk assessments. I also feel I brought passion to the role which helped to motivate the team and also brought a fresh perspective, with new ideas and creativity helping them to adapt existing activities such as The National Trust house trails, to help make them new and exciting.

Why do you think potential employers should consider offering students placements?

I think students can be really valuable assets to companies, with their fresh ideas, a passion for the industry and their up-to-date skills and knowledge. A lot of students on my course gained a graduate role with the same company they did placement with, so it allows the company to assess the value of future employees.

If you're an employer and would like to find out more about offering a placement, please get in touch at alumni@shu.ac.uk


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