Name: Magdalena Slavikova
Where did you go for your work placement and what were the reasons behind your choice?
Within my placement I got involved in the Walking for Health programme. It is England’s largest network of health walks run by thousands of volunteers that help people develop an active lifestyle. I chose this because I liked the idea of making a difference and helping people to improve their health.
What did you get involved with while you were there?
Firstly, I attended a training session where I learnt how to be a good walk assistant. It isn’t only about walking with older people, being a volunteer in Walking for Health involves a variety of tasks.
- I spent some time in an office working with their databases
- I worked with a group on setting up a new walking scheme which involved searching and assessment of the terrain for the new route
- During the walking session, my role was to lead the walkers on the route, support them, control their health condition, but mainly communicate with them. This is one of the most important things, as well as providing a pleasant social experience.
How has your work placement helped with your studies?
I gained and improved several skills such as teamwork, organisational skills and leadership, a skill that used to be one of my weaknesses. I became more self-confident and I now perceive myself more competent when I come across different barriers that occur during my study as well as in my everyday life.
What was your favourite part of your work placement experience?
I especially enjoyed the contact with the walkers. I've met many lovely people and got pleasure from helping them enhance their healthy lifestyle and providing them with a pleasant time outdoors in the fresh air.
What would you say to anyone interested in doing a work placement as part of their course?
Definitely go ahead. Placement is a perfect opportunity to enrich yourself with new knowledge - you'll see how the world works. You'll meet new people and you'll gain and improve your skills and abilities useful for both study and life. It can open the door to your future career.