It has been an exciting few months since the creation of the Faculty of Business and Law Placements Office. Vicki, Rob and I have successfully sent off our first group of placement students, who, we are proud to report, have all settled into their jobs well and are having a great time. After a summer of building the required processes and structures, and interacting with various employers, now is a good time to have a look at the new academic year that is upon us and talk a bit about what we are looking to achieve.
I’m excited to work with Winchester School of Art, mapping current employer engagement activities and learning about all the exciting collaborations that are taking place between the students and the industry. Whilst the courses offered at the School do not yet have any placements as an integral part of the course structure, students are highly motivated to gain industry experience throughout their studies. The teaching at WSA is heavily intertwined with industry expertise; our academics have a wealth of connections and experience, which benefit our students.
I would like to see an increase in the number of internship opportunities available for WSA students – a lot is already being done with regard to this, and in the coming months I will continue this work. In addition, I am working with the programme leaders for Fine Art, Fashion and Textile Design, Fashion Marketing/Management, Graphic Arts and Games Design to identify new opportunities of engaging with the industry.
Until now, the academics have facilitated a lot of the work-based learning opportunities themselves. Whilst valuable to students, these individual arrangements mean that there has not been a connected, cohesive approach to offering internships to students. This year, my aim is to bring all the work-based learning opportunities together by recording and advertising them on our Placements Jobs Board, which will be available to students soon. Academics have the support of the Placements Office in facilitating these opportunities and we will guide students in their selection and application process for the various opportunities.
I look forward to working closely with the University’s Career Destinations team, WSA’s Employability Coordinator and all the academics to achieve even better work opportunities for the students. And, most of all, I am excited about working with the students, finding out what their requirements and thoughts on employability are, and see them grow and develop through liaison with the industry.