Lydia Parsons - Geography - What our students say - University of Derby

Lydia Parsons

Fact file

Name: ‌Lydia ParsonsLydia Parsons - BSc (Hons) Geography

Undergraduate degree:

BSc (Hons) Geography





Where did you go for your work placement and what were the reasons behind your choice?

I went to Middleton Hall in Tamworth, Staffordshire. I decided on here because I visited the Hall many years ago, and I knew that they ran mainly on the kindness and work of volunteers. I wanted to carry out a work placement where I knew I could benefit from my time there, and where they would benefit from having me.

What did you get involved with while you were there?

I was involved in a variety of tasks whilst on placement there. It was very hands on and you had to be willing to carry out anything you possibly could!

I worked on a project mapping and identifying trees in their orchard in order to create a catalogue of trees and their information. This was so that fruit could be sold on market days to help with a source of income. Other tasks included administration, gardening, soil testing, collecting historical maps for use in an exhibition, event preparation – and much more!

How has your work placement helped with your studies?

My work placement has helped develop a number of transferable skills such as (written/verbal) communication and teamwork. It has also helped me become more independent in my work and develop my decision making skills – both of which where definite weaknesses before carrying out the placement. It’s also given me the ability to have confidence in myself, rather than having to rely on others all the time!

What was your favourite part of your work placement experience?

I honestly enjoyed every aspect! The people I got to work with were lovely – seeing their determination to work for a place they loved made me realise that’s what I would strive for in a career once I have left university. I enjoyed the diversity of it, no two days were the same – you had to be prepared for anything, and always willing to say yes! I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and learning new skills, and definitely meeting new people.

What would you say to anyone interested in doing a work placement as part of their course?

Definitely do it! You have the opportunity to develop so many skills that simply can’t be taught in the classroom. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and gain insight to what life could be like after university. I’ve had other paid and voluntary jobs before, and no two of them have been the same, they have all brought something new.

My time at Middleton Hall has been very important to me, my development as a prospective employee and as a final year student. As a graduate, I believe having work experience alongside a degree will definitely put you in good stead for getting an interview, and even assist in getting the role!

Gaining work experience and also fulfilling an aspect of your module expectations for your course is a great opportunity that people should definitely consider!