Isaac | Physics

Placed at: The Data Experience

I am currently studying a Bachelor of Science (Professional), majoring in Physics. I decided to do a professional placement to gain industry experience while studying. As a graduate, when applying for a job there will be multiple other people applying for the same job with the same level of qualifications. Placement is a way to get a year ahead above other potential future candidates.

I chose The Data Experience for my placement because I understood from the interviews that the working environment would be flexible and very welcoming, which greatly appealed to me. Also, there is a 12 week ‘bootcamp’ which consists of training the placement students for everything we need to know for the job, so you don’t have to worry about your knowledge gaps.

Before I began the placement I expected to learn a lot about how an organisation works and the dynamics of the day-to-day life at work.

I was very nervous on my first day of placement, but our managers Michele and Will did an excellent job of letting us settle in to the new environment. We had a very casual day where we got to know the team and learn more about The Data Experience. I ended up having a lot of fun that day.

From my placement I have learnt how to work in a new team that is quite dynamic. Real world problems can require skills from multiple areas, in a team everyone adds to the area were they contribute the most. I also have had the opportunity to adapt the placement to suit my learning. This has given me the time I need to learn a programming language called Python. This program is very common in Physics, it is used to control all the hardware in experiments, and run simulations to test theories.

The skill I have improved the most over the course of my placement has to be my ability to manage my time within a team. This placement relies heavily on being able to fit your schedule to other peoples to complete a project as quickly as possible. Also, this placement has taught me many things which resulted in developing my interpersonal management skills, and building on my problem solving and technical skills. By far the most important thing I have learnt is that behind every project is a person, making people skills vital to the success of a project.

The work I am doing improves how the client handles and visualises its data, which speeds up and improves its reporting and analytics, which results in better data driven decisions. This leads back to a better overall experience for the client’s customers.

It makes me happy that I can work to improve the experience of others and get valuable work experience at the same time.

The most enjoyable part of my placement has been making friends with all my colleagues, and then working with them to complete a diverse set of projects.

This placement has given me a very clear definition on what to expect from full time work. It also has given me a clear idea on what type of work I enjoy - working with technology and as part of a team. This will help me to decide on what I will want my career to look like in the future.

Once my placement is completed I plan on continuing my studies through to a doctorate.

Other students should complete a placement because it will give them valuable and irreplaceable experience working in the field that relates to your course of study, and it will really give them an idea if this is really the career path for them.