What a hands-on month…

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October has really been a hands-on month. It is around this time that students begin to gear themselves up for placement applications. Doing a placement is strongly recommended by academic staff and final year students who have just returned from a placement. They say it really aids your learning, as you will have gained invaluable experience, which improves your ability to understand and manage the workload.

Applying for placements has been rather daunting as there is just such an overwhelming number of companies that offer students a chance to work with them on real world problem briefs. No making cups of tea in these roles. We are assisted with this via the careers module that is compulsory for anyone on the industrial placement variation of the course. During our lectures we are enlightened with hits and tips to tackling the rigorous processes firms use to analyse potential candidates. As of yet I have not successfully gained a placement, however I am undeterred and remain ambitious on my hunt.

The run up to reading week is always hectic with a few key deadlines falling around the end of October. At the moment the main focus of my attention is on the Business Team Project, where we are given the task of solving the University’s policy of reducing carbon omissions by 3% annually. Tuff right? The team and I analysed environmental data we obtained about the University and compared this to other similar institutions in order to spot where Manchester could improve. We had many ideas, but in the end settled for our solution, which involves a greener approach to student transport. We aim to create a green points scheme that rewards the use of hybrid buses. It is all still very vague at the moment, but feedback from our lecturer is promising.

With the workload surpassed, I was glad to be going home for reading week. Visiting home isn’t something I do very often, as being a student who works part-time, my time isn’t so flexible, however I basically demanded the time off from work. It’s getting quiet around this time of year anyway, so they didn’t really mind my absence. As I had just completed a ton of work before leaving coupled with the fact I don’t go home often enough, I took an executive decision to avoid academic material, focusing more on me-time. Of course I fully intend to be in 5th gear upon returning to Uni.

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