DASCHA professional photo

Find out about Dascha Choudhury-Gibbons BA (Hons) English & Creative Writing student on a Science Content Management Placement at the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

5 minutes

When I first changed my course, I had not even known placement was a possibility for me. I started my English and Creative Writing course as a second-year student with no prior knowledge of what an industrial placement looked like. It is safe to say I was pleasantly surprised when I received my offer!

Being open to opportunities and the twists and turns of life is an important quality for individuals to have in general – not only when applying for placement. 

How did the Creative Careers Team support you?

If it wasn’t for their guidance and tailored support, I’m not sure how long it may have taken me to come to this decision – if at all. The Creative Careers team helped me every step of the way, and still do while on placement. My CV went through several revisions with the Creative Careers team. After it was set to go, I put my CV in their third-party app that gives it a grade.

How many roles did you apply for?

A few dozen applications were sent out, but I wasn’t as successful with them as you would imagine. The interview process for STFC carried on for a few months, so in the meantime I kept applying and had a few call-backs and interviews from other companies, but to no avail. 

How did you find the application process?

The process can be difficult but believing in yourself and remaining passionate about what you want to do, learn, and achieve is such an important factor.

On top of having a good CV, cover letter, and whatever else the company may require from you, your enthusiasm is something that will set you apart from other applicants. Know some facts about the company beforehand. Understand their values and ask yourself if they align with what you want.

What is your advice to other students applying for placements? 

Focus on what you have achieved and can bring to the table, but more importantly, let the company know what experiences and skills you wish to gain from them. As cliché as it sounds: be yourself! And be confident in it.

When I applied for STFC, I was so amazed by everything they did and stood for. Honestly, there was so much information to take in when looking through their website and achievements that I got a little tongue-tied during my final interview when answering questions! Even if you fumble a bit, your sincerity will typically shine through. I would really recommend going for it, even if you’re a shy person like me.

How is your placement going?  

I am now three months into my placement at the time of writing this and honestly believe this has changed the trajectory of my life for the better. I went from being confused and scared for my future after transferring, to utilising my skills in a way I didn’t know was possible, while also gaining real-life experience.

What are you currently working on? 

As a Science Content Management Industrial Placement student, I work closely with the Science Communications student to create content for our Scientific Computing department. Some of my main responsibilities include: managing and maintaining the department website,  creating flyers, leaflets and a number of other designs using InDesign and Canva, and creating video and written content to advertise our scientist’s work. 

While those are my main responsibilities, there are some other day-to-day activities I partake in like daily meetings, webinars, and workshops, developing digestible case studies for the work of our scientists, and assisting in gathering quotes for departmental conferences. 

What projects are you going to be working on in the future?

I will also be attending a science film-making course in November to improve my film-making skills, as well as attending CIUK conference where the Science Communications placement student and I will create videos based on what we experience there.

Figure 1 Image of Dascha (Science Content Management, left) and Rui (Science Communications, right) in the Data Centre at building R89 at STFC.

Figure 1 Image of Dascha (Science Content Management, left) and Rui (Science Communications, right) in the Data Centre

Overall what is your advice to students considering a placement?  

You can gain so many skills and connections from placement that can really kickstart your future career! Even if you are unsure about it, just like I was, I would highly encourage you to still try your hand at applying and make use of the support within the Creative Careers team if you need an extra push!