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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Placement brings Social Sciences student University award

Published: 28 September 2012 Origin:  Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology

Kenny McCarthy, a Year 3 BSc Applied Social Sciences (Anthropology) student, has received a University award for his work on a four week Social Sciences organised summer placement with Community Action Hampshire.

Community Action Hampshire are a local development charity providing information, advice and practical assistance to Hampshire’s charities, community groups and social enterprises.

Kenny worked as a researcher, mapping the food banks in Hampshire and collecting data on how the levels and types of client needs are changing. The research has already attracted a lot of interest including on Twitter.

Kenny’s placement was one of several funded opportunities organised by Social Sciences as part of a range of employability activities that are designed to give students experience that will be beneficial for their future careers.

“I was really surprised to win the Award” Kenny commented. “The biggest challenge of the placement was stepping out of my comfort zone, conducting interviews and communicating with a diverse range of people. Having complete autonomy challenged me to push myself. I hope I produced a helpful resource for the voluntary sector in Hampshire. I want to take this success into future roles and build upon my experiences”.

The Career Destinations Excel Placement Award for Self Management was presented to Kenny at an Awards Ceremony. Kirsty Rowlinson, Head of Services at Community Action Hampshire who nominated Kenny, said, “What most impressed me was the way Kenny quickly grasped the point of this research, clarified his remit, created relationships, took direction, and just got on with it. I was slightly wary of taking a student on because staff at CAH work quite autonomously and we are unaccustomed to ‘hand holding’ but Kenny quickly allayed all my fears and I would be very happy to employ him if jobs were available. It was a pleasure to have him at CAH”.

Carol Davis , Social Sciences Employability Co-ordinator who arranged the placement with Community Action Hampshire, said “I am delighted that Kenny has received this Award. There were over 40 nominations so this is a real achievement. The summer placements for Social Sciences students, organised under the umbrella of the University’s Excel Southampton Placement Programme, were a huge success and I am hoping to be able to extend the number and range of placement and other work experience opportunities over the coming year”.

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