For the past few years, the CCRI has recruited an annual placement student to join the team, providing them with the opportunity to assist on research projects and to develop new skills and contacts in the rural research sector.
Typically, CCRI’s placement students are undergraduates who have to complete a year’s placement within an appropriate organisation before going on to complete their degrees. Many of our former placement students have gone on to further their academic career in higher education institutions. For example, Lizzi Bos (2008-2009) is now a senior research assistant at Coventry University and Bekki Griffiths (2009-10) is a Senior Climate Science Training Consultant at Met Office, University of Worcester. Others such as Will Barber (2013-14), have pursued careers in areas directly related to the work they were involved with whilst in the CCRI.
Earlier this week we heard from our two most recent placement students, Jonnie Felton (2014-15) and Eleanor Hawketts (2015-16), both of whom have successfully secured jobs in research organisations in London. They both told us that the experience that they gained whilst at the CCRI was instrumental in their job successes.
“The experience I gained as a placement student at CCRI provided me with practical examples to draw upon during my job interview and, going into the job, I drew confidence from the knowledge and skills I had acquired working with the CCRI. Having to conduct telephone and face-to-face interviews for various research projects enabled me to express my suitability for the role, as I could demonstrate an understanding of the difficulties experienced by interviewers and research participants during the data collection phase of the research process and the implications this has for the data quality.”
“My placement at CCRI exposed me to a huge range of new skills and responsibilities that I would not otherwise have experienced. Throughout interviews, I was constantly making reference to different projects I was working on at CCRI, whether it be times I faced a difficult challenge or achievements I was particularly proud of. Prospective employers seemed really impressed with the autonomy I had at CCRI and ultimately I received numerous exciting job offers as a result; some graduate schemes and some permanent positions. My new job will be as a Survey Associate at GLG and my experience in working on surveys at CCRI was a major factor in my success”.
It seems that spending a year working in the CCRI also helped to enhance our placement students’ grades. All of the students, (with the exception of Eleanor, who has only just submitted her dissertation), mentioned above secured first class honours in their undergraduate studies.
Our current placement student is Eloise Fresnay. Eloise is studying for a Masters degree at AgroParisTech, Paris, which is a higher education teaching and research institute (’Grande Ecole’) in the fields of agronomic sciences and techniques, the agri-food sector, forestry, management of spaces and natural resources and land management and development. When Eloise returns to AgroParisTech to complete her final year (2017/18), she will be specializing in rural development or political sciences for environment and agriculture or sustainable animal production.