For the last academic year I have been working in Information Services Creative Media Team as part of the AberForward Internship Scheme. My time has come to an end here and this will be my last blog for the university, so I thought I would tell you a little bit about my time as an Aberforward and how Aberystwyth can not only give you a great educational experience but can offer you fantastic opportunities to improve your career prospects too.
Last July I saw the efforts of the past three years in university conclude when I graduated from Aberystwyth University with a BA (hons) in Drama and Theatre Studies. The all-nighters were over, the many days and hours of working with my fellow degree mates no more, and the student parties were what feels like a a lifetime ago. All that remained were some incredible memories and fantastic friends. Like many graduates I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do long term, only that I wanted to gain some experience in a workplace and save enough money to go travelling.
Doing an AberForward Placement helped me do exactly that. I was fortunate enough to be picked for both the summer placement then the academic year long placements. Unfortunately the academic year placements aren’t running this year but there will still be plenty of short term places you could sink your teeth into.
In my first placement (summer scheme) I began my experience as a Marketing and Communications Assistant in Aberystwyth Arts Centre. Three other graduates were also in the offices and we were immediately welcomed by friendly and approachable faces.
Within this placement I began to understand the different elements that contributed to an effective working team as well as experience in liaising with companies, collating material for the winter brochure and publishing content on social media, email flyers and the Arts Centre Website. One of the best events we got to be part of was handing out flyers at Aberystwyth and Borth Carnival. Everyone dressed up for these, there were the muppets, jellyfish and the characters of Cinderella. We were dressed as safari keepers along with Terry the Dinosaur to promote the Art Centre’s community Dinosaurs and Acrobats Day. We got to meet some fantastic people and see some even greater costumes! Alongside this, the careers team organised workshops on writing CVs, presenting and other valuable information on how to prepare for applying to a job, this helped my confidence massively when applying for the year long placement.
This placement had a huge impact on my career after university, it helped me gain more skills and life experience in various elements that are contained in a professional workplace. This greatly supported my application for the yearlong placement as I contained many of the essential desirable skills needed to meet the criteria for this placement, so I could bring the team the needed skills while helping out with other important jobs.
Being part of the year-long placement has not only improved and added to the experience I already had, but has given me some really fun opportunities. I’ve been able to be part of a friendly and supportive team who have given me invaluable advice on my various questions about careers, courses to go on and so much more. The AberForward and CDSAP training courses have improved basic knowledge on many areas including, minute taking, excel, delivering engaging lessons and manual handling.
One of my favourite experiences was one of the first photo shoots I helped to organise and recruit for. Myself and two of my colleagues got to take a group of students to Ynyslas to get some beach and cheer-leading shots, some of which feature in this years university prospectus. Here are some of the photos from the photoshoots I got to help organise.
My advice to anyone thinking of going to university and not knowing what they want to do afterwards if to definitely apply to one of these placements. Aberystwyth University has provided me with an exceptional education and the opportunity to gain experience in a professional workplace. Without this, I wouldn’t have been able to meet such wonderful people in the workplace and gain the training and skills needed to go onto the next step in my career, which is to teach English in China after I have traveled around Australia and Bali.
If you want to find out more about the AberForward Schemes that run look here: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/careers/work-experience/aberforward/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org