Who was your placement with and what was your job
My placement was with the
United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, the world’s leading hydrography, cartography,
and nautical navigation organisation. My job title was software engineer intern.
What attracted you to this placement
I was first made aware of
the UKHO’s placement opportunities at a careers fair hosted by the University.
I had previously known of the UKHO due to it being a local large globally known
organisation and I had known others who had worked there in the past. The UKHO
also offered placement opportunities relevant to my course and interests as
well as great learning opportunities.
How did you go about securing your placement and
what was the process for this?
applications opened, I submitted my CV and covering letter through an email.
The next day I was invited to an interview at the UKHO. The interview consisted
of two parts, firstly a 20-minute interview
with two interviewers, in which they asked me questions about my programming,
teamworking and technical experience. After that,
there was a 20-minute written test asking me how to solve several programming
related challenges. After my interview, I
waited a few days before being informed that I had been accepted for the
Can you describe the various roles and
responsibilities of your placement?
At the start of my placement, I was made responsible for the
automated testing process and system of an online management service that was
in development. I was made a key part of the development team and was involved
in all discussions and meetings about the project. Later I also moved onto
developing parts of the application and fixing bugs.
How did the Careers & Employability department
(Placements Team) support you before your placement?
When I started looking for
a placement I felt I was completely unprepared for the world of work. I visited
the placements team weekly to help improve my CV and covering letter. I went to
them for advice whenever I was struggling and I also had support in preparing
for interviews. All of this was key to helping me get my placement position, I
don’t think I could have done so without them.
How did the academic staff support you during your
During my placement, the academic staff supported me with
any questions about the placement process I had. They were very helpful and
quick to reply.
How did your previous studies enable you to be
successful during your placement?
My studies at the
University into programming and databases gave me a great benefit to my
placement. As a software engineer intern,
I worked daily with programming in the C# language, the very language that we
learned at university. I also had to make the system work between the programme
and a database backend, which my studies in databases and web technology helped
How will your placement help you with the final year
of your degree?
During my final year I
will have to work on a final year project, to create a system from scratch and
develop it to completion. The UKHO have been supporting me in this by deciding
to act as a client for the project and they have provided me with direction and
requirements to what they are looking for. I will then use the skills I have
learned over the placement year to develop this system for both them and the
In terms of your career development so far, what
have been the benefits of undertaking this placement?
Undertaking my placement
has made me come to understand what the working world is like and how the
skills I have learned at university can be put to use in real-world scenarios. I hope these skills
assist me in future jobs, the application experience alone has made me much more confident at future job
What would you say to a prospective
student thinking about undertaking a placement year?
Go for it. A
placement year is a fantastic learning opportunity that has the potential to
set up your future. My time as a software engineer intern has helped to develop
my programming, communication and working skills as well as helping me to grow
as a person. I learned so much that university can’t teach you over the course
of my placement year and I got paid to do
so, which is a bonus.
Was the fact that Plymouth
offered a placement year a motivational factor in your decision to choose
Plymouth? If so, why?
I’m afraid not.
When I first started I wasn’t sure on the idea of the placement year and chose
Plymouth based upon the rest of the