Katherine and Lili discuss their Week of Work

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)

Katherine and Lili

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)

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Beth Donaldson talks about her Week of Work experience

When I started my Week of Work placement with Evelien Bracke, it cannot be said that I approached the week without trepidation. I had never worked in any form of administration before, and so had no idea what tasks I would be undertaking. However, with hindsight there was no need for the nerves at all, as help was available every step of the way. With help from Evelien as well as the other students working at the same time as me, I was able to quickly iron out any issues that I had and overcome problems that I faced. Throughout the week I was able to develop the skills of working in a professional environment, I learnt how to communicate with staff members and the best way to present information to the public online.

I took a particular interest in the work that I completed on the two websites, Cymru Wales Classics Hub and in particular the departments blog. Previous to this week I had never worked on the production or editing of websites and blogs and so approached this task with slight nervousness. However, I felt that I very quickly managed to grasp the concept: my confidence when working on these two websites greatly increased and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the task.

Completing a Week of Work in the Department allowed me to experience the other side of a university, and there is much more going on than I was previously aware of! This week has given me invaluable experience in both working in and contributing to a professional working environment. I felt that through the variety of tasks that I carried out I was able to develop a number of skills that will aid me in my future work prospects.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Week of Work. I found it extremely useful in both developing existing skills that I had and also in creating and nurturing new ones. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Beth Donaldson, History and Politics 

Mark Isaac talks about his Week of Work experience

Having never undertaken any administration work previously, the Week of Work placement that I completed with Evelien Bracke presented an unfamiliar set of challenges. Thanks to the excellent support and guidance provided by Evelien, I was able to successfully overcome these challenges and develop my personal skills by learning how to efficiently correspond with university staff, handle and interpret data, and edit internet resources available to the public.

I particularly enjoyed working on the Cymru Wales Classics Hub and South West Wales Classical Association websites. I had no prior experience with online editing, but by working on the two sites my confidence and ability in developing website resources has increased exponentially. Given the importance of technology in this day and age, I feel this will be incredibly beneficial to my career as a whole in the future, and that the Week of Work has greatly increased my individual employability.

Working within the Classics, Ancient History and Egyptology department has given me an insight into the day-to-day running of the university that I was previously unaware of. It has given me a valuable understanding of a working environment and allowed me the chance to evaluate which career path I will follow. By working on Open Day resources, I felt that I was positively aiding the department and that my work was having an impact upon the bigger picture of things.

Overall I have thoroughly enjoyed my week at the department, and it flew by! I would highly recommend the Week of Work to any student who is interested in developing their personal skills and CV for the future.

Mark Isaac, Ancient History

Mark Isaac and Jack Hay during Week of Work
Mark Isaac and Jack Hay during Week of Work

Week of Work Placements – Rachel Redd, Osian Richards and Mari Clark

Mari Clark, Rachel Redd, and Osian Richards discuss their Week of Work experience in our Department.

I participated in the Swansea University Week of Work with Evelien Bracke and loved every minute. It was challenging but I received great support and managed to succeed at tasks I never thought I would be able to do.

The majority of my week was spent working on the new Classics, Ancient History, and ERachel Redd, Osian Richards, Macri Clarkgyptology web page. This was excellent because I have never been taught these skills and it allowed me to expand my knowledge. This task was interspersed with a number of other smaller ones which the other students and I worked on together.

I feel that this week allowed me to grow as both an individual and an academic. Much of the work was focused on making sure everything was completed to an incredibly high standard since it would be used to inform academics and attract students.

My life’s dream is to one day become a lecturer so this week highlighted to me one aspect of the work that i had not previously considered. However it did not put me off, but made me even more eager to push towards my goal.

Mari Clark, Classics

 

The week I spent in the Classics department during the Week of Work placement was one of the most exciting weeks of my semester. The work experience I gained helped me understand the difficulties of my possible career paths. It felt really worthwhile to work on the many projects Evelien had for us. Working on the Summer School program was difficult and involved a lot of cooperation with the other students in the program. However, when we finished we all felt a sense of accomplishment about figuring out how to make it work. Later in the week, I got the opportunity to work with Evelien on a folder to compile her data on the Literacy through Classics program. It was exciting and inspirational to break down the data and work with the feedback given by primary school students. I was inspired by how excited young students were about learning about Classics considering how little I was able to learn about it when I was their age. I found this week to be not only a blast but entirely inspirational.

Rachel Redd, Classical Civilisations and Medieval Studies

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my Week of Work placement. At first I was slightly anxious, as I have never experienced any admin work before. However, as the week progressed, I became more confident working with data, emailing people, and working with websites. My tasks included updating a flyer that advertises the Department on social media websites. It was very enjoyable and a creative experience. It was a good feeling to find out that my work on the flyer had been approved, and that it will be used during the Open Day.

The second task involved using data, and extracting the relevant and important information for the Summer School Project. And finally, I had the task of uploading teaching resources on the Literacy through Classics Website, involving editing a website, which was an entirely new experience. After some practice I got the hang of it, and thus I gained a new skill. Therefore, at the end of the week I have gained many skills which I believe will be very useful for me in the future. I highly recommend volunteering for this placement.

Osian Richards, Egyptology and Classical Civilisations

 

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