Lauren Moore, BSc (Hons) Geography
Name: Lauren Moore
Where did you go for your work placement and what were the reasons behind your choice?
I completed my work placement at the specialist water consultancy Envireau Water, who were very accommodating and enthusiastic about encouraging professional development in young people. This was an aspect that attracted me to the company, as I saw their young professional networking event on twitter. Academically, throughout my geography degree I have leaned towards the more physical aspects. I have thoroughly enjoyed two specific modules, Water: resource, hazard and commodity and Environmental Management, that has influenced my ambition to seek permanent employment in the consultancy sector post-graduation. Therefore, I acted on the opportunity to acquire work experience that would enhance my CV and future career prospects.
What did you get involved with while you were there?
During my placement, despite being only a week in length, I was involved in a variety of activities. These included:
- A Quarrying project, which involved field technical activities such as ground and surface water sampling in the adjacent SSSI and performing borehole dip rounds within the quarry. Meeting the quarry team, working in full PPE.
- The data collated during the fieldwork was then interpreted in the office using excel to produce data sets in comparison to previous months monitoring and compiled into graphs.
- An equipment audit was conducted to ensure the on-site data was an accurate as possible, using more robust equipment such as the smart troll, disparities were exposed in the PH level recordings of older equipment. A document was then produced for each equipment detailing its purpose, condition, and security.
- Attended the monthly British Geological Society talk with my mentor on big data, a topic covered briefly in my degree that was beneficial in revisiting.
- During my placement Envireau Water held a ‘whos in my backyard’ networking event that invited likeminded professionals in the East Midlands. The event was attended by 20 professionals who I was able to mix with and build on my communication skills. In addition, I was able to ask questions regarding the industry and discuss further education.
- Additionally, I explored the use of software that I haven’t used before such as ArcGIS and CorelDraw.
How has your work placement helped with your studies?
My work placement has aided my studies as I have been looking into the hydrologic cycle in Environment, Landscape & Place which I have recently conducted fieldwork in Morocco. The module investigated aspects of environmental management within an arid environment and specifically water scarcity. Therefore, as the work conducted within my placement focused on the hydrologic cycle, I feel I have enhanced my understanding that could benefit me in my future assignments. In addition, the fieldwork was also a talking point at the networking event as water scarcity was a topic many professionals aspired to discuss, which I felt I could contribute; specifically, desalination and waste water treatment.
What was your favourite part of your work placement experience?
My favourite aspects of my work placement, was being included in a team, being given my own workspace which immediately made me feel valued. In addition to being able to throw myself into work that I have only studied hypothetically previously. An example of this was in my environmental management modules, stakeholders were emphasised as an integral aspect in consultancy. My experience within the quarry which was a sensitive site and the support of my mentor allowed me to act appropriately to the stakeholder and remain unbiased. Another task that I enjoyed was the use of excel which was a skill that I wanted to enhance. I now feel confident in my ability to use excel to a sufficient level required in future employment.
What would you say to anyone interested in doing a work placement as part of their course?
The opportunity to conduct a work placement within your degree is invaluable. The skills acquired during your degree can be transferred into a work environment and enhanced. I would encourage anyone to carry out any extra curricular activities that can enhance your competencies. I have not only conducted this work placement but over 100 hours of voluntary work. Despite expanding my academic capabilities at Envireau Water, my volunteer work has enhanced my communication skills that subsequently aided my confidence in securing my work placement. In addition, I contacted numerous consultancies to conduct my work placement and was knocked back on several occasions. Therefore, it is integral that you persevere, as picking up the phone and contacting the chairman of Envireau Water, portrayed my interest in the company and my initiative.
Lauren also visited Iceland as part of a University wide trip, read more here.