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PhilosophyPart of Humanities

Combining studies with practical experience on a University placement

Published: 14 October 2013

Two Philosophy and Mathematics students made the most of their chance to take part in the University of Southampton’s Excel placement scheme. Third years Kathryn Jones and Xanthi Waldron took part in an event to promote the system to employers and University staff. Kathryn was runner up for the self-management award on the evening and Xanthi was one of five students asked to present. Xanthi is very pleased that she did because one of the employers in attendance, RioMed approached her afterwards and offered her a job with them!

Kathryn Jones carried out a review of Humanities postgraduate taught courses and wrote an 8,000 word report recommending changes to improve the experience for future students

“I faced many challenges throughout the internship that I’ve never had to deal with before. I felt that work I was doing would actually benefit the University but also the experience that a student might have, the work I was doing would have an impact, which is a great feeling to have. I felt that my degree was a big advantage, both subjects allowed me to analyse the data I received from the surveys and produce my recommendations.

“I would recommend doing an internship, the experience you gain in those 3 months will go towards helping you make a decision of what to do with your life and the skills you learn on an internship will be useful throughout your degree.”

Xanthippe Waldron completed two placements, one in a publishing house (Ransom Publishing) and another with the University’s digital marketing team.

“In the first one, I got a taste of what the publishing industry was really like. As it was a small company, I took on lots of responsibility, from accounts to proof-reading, and also got to represent the company at industry conferences in London. During my second placement, I did a lot of market research and my skills in philosophy kicked in properly when it came to getting to the crucial point in a sentence, or compiling reports! I also built on my experience as a student ambassador by answering questions through the University's Facebook and Twitter pages, and I spent the September Open Days taking photographs for Southampton’s social media accounts.

“My maths experience helped me with the amounts of data I had to deal with, particularly in publishing The presentations I gave in philosophy seminars gave me the confidence to present at the Excel Awards evening, which resulted in a job offer - I'll be doing marketing for a software company alongside my final year of studies.”

For more information, see https://www.southampton.ac.uk/careers/employability/workexperience/

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