Going into the Week of Work I felt surprisingly calm. Of course I’d been a tad stressed about it, but once the day came I felt confident that I would be able to survive the week and learn some valuable skills. Evelien was really lovely and started us off on fairly simple tasks, which was nice as it gave us a chance to settle ourselves in while still doing work. Throughout the week I was given tasks such as writing reports to outside companies, Summer School research, working with two different websites, emailing various personnel, both internal and external, and designing the career development flyer. All these things increased my skills and confidence in my own abilities. The sense of satisfaction after completing each task was also incredibly gratifying, especially when Evelien approved my work.
Working on the Ancient Greek section of the Literacy through Classics website was especially gratifying as I was able to see how the website worked but also managed to put to use some of my (slightly rusty after summer) Ancient Greek skills. It was nice to know that I didn’t have to do everything by myself too, Evelien was always ready to offer advice and constructive criticism, and working with another student was great. Having both a fresh pair of eyes and a slightly different approach to things she really helped to improve the pieces I put out and gave advice on little things when I got stuck.
Coming away from this week I have a greater appreciation for all those working behind-the-scenes as it were, in academia. Surprisingly I really enjoyed my week and I believe that I have gained a professionalism and work ethic that will help me in the following year.
Katherine Chen (3rd year Classical Civilization)
The Week of Work was an opportunity to gain administrative experience at the university, doing work which was relevant to my degree in History. Before taking part in this work experience, I had no prior administrative experience, and therefore I didn’t know what to expect and I was unsure of my abilities. However, I found that I already had skills that I have developed through my academic studies and I was able to apply them into a working environment. The experience enabled me to shape my existing skills but also provided me the opportunity to develop new ones.
A large amount of the tasks I was given too complete were about the Swansea Summer School in Ancient Languages. I particularly enjoyed analysing the feedback from the previous summer school and preparing promotional material for next year such as posters and information brochures. Other tasks included website updating and helping with the organisation of next year’s summer school, such as by contacting staff to invite them to give talks and planning day trips. I also enjoyed updating information brochures on employability; it reminded me of many opportunities the university provides to help students improve their employability.
Through this experience I have really improved my IT skills. I feel much more confident using Word, Excel and Publisher and I feel like I have a better understanding of how much work goes into administrative work. I also have developed greater confidence in my professionalism in sending emails and contacting staff. I also feel like I can demonstrate better teamwork skills now through working with Evelien and Katherine.
Doing the Week of Work has improved my confidence and I was able to complete tasks that I wasn’t sure I was capable of at the beginning of the week. Evelien was a brilliant asset who carefully explained anything I was unsure of and made sure that I got the most out of the experience. It’s a great way for the student to improve their employability and the university to benefit from the work by the students.
Lili Thompson (3rd year History)