Sally | Tourism
Placed at: Swinburne Abroad
If you’re like me and had never worked in a professional environment prior to placement, working in an office seemed so daunting. But within a few weeks, like any new thing, you’ll wonder what you were even worried about.
My placement at Swinburne Abroad was 12 months and I was basically ‘the face’ of the office. I was the first person students would see when they came in, and it was my job to help with any enquiries they had, as well as via phone and email. I learnt how to communicate in a professional environment, and also refined my cross-cultural communication interacting with international exchange students. Even small things like mail, phones, printers and scanners, were good lessons that I hadn’t experienced before.
My role grew as my placement progressed, and by the end of the year I was involved in all aspects of the work Swinburne Abroad does. I managed their social media accounts, independently ran events and information sessions, and was an expert on the exchange program and processes for applications.
Undertaking a placement is beneficial in many ways: to your studies and your career.
If nothing else, it is a great break from studying, and definitely a fantastic way to ease into full-time work.
I think the best thing about working on placement is that you are not expected to know the answer to anything, or be instantly good at what you are doing. You still have the protection of being a student, which mentally helps you to get through the steep learning curve of a new job. It was also nice having a taste of full-time work (and a full-time wage) but with an end date. I loved my entire placement, but I did know that I still had another year of being a student, which encouraged me to seize more opportunities, such as going on exchange and travelling as much as possible, before entering the full-time workforce.
My placement opened my eyes to a potential career path I had never considered before. International education is a huge industry and something that incorporates my tourism studies and love of travel. In addition, the skills and experience I learnt throughout the year was priceless and will no doubt assist me in securing a job when I finish my degree; maybe even at Swinburne Abroad!