EP caught up with Ellena Blackburn and Jasmine Kapoor who have been on a virtual placement in the Organisational Development team at Folkestone and Hythe District Council
Both Ellena and Jasmine are about to enter their final year at Kent and having been engaged with the EP scheme for two years, jumped at the opportunity to explore an area of work that they were interested in – HR – so that they felt more ready to start looking for graduate work in their final year. Both students were able to contribute to the planning of a new qualification in team leadership which is set to be rolled out to staff at the council in spring 2023. They spent a lot of time getting to know other team members, the impact that their roles have within the council and find out more about their background and experience – something which they found to be very reassuring when thinking about their own potential career paths.
Jenny Wright has been organising these opportunities within HR at the Council for the past few years, and has always found it enjoyable working with the students:
“We offered the students a variety of tasks to work on and everything they have produced will be extremely helpful for us and have saved the team a lot of time. We certainly value inputs from all angles into the work that we do and are always looking for feedback and ways to improve. We are also proud as an organisation to promote the work that we do, dispel myths about local government and show that this is a good place to work.”
To begin with, the students envisaged that a virtual placement might present a challenge, but this concern was quickly extinguished when they found a constant flow of communication between themselves and Jenny, and the rest of the team. When summarising the impact that the placement has had on her skills and experience, Ellena highlighted that
“this placement has helped develop my presentation skills, as I was asked to showcase my work to the entire OD team. I was able to develop my organisational skills by planning the modules and also the dates for when the sessions would take place. The most vital part of this experience would be solidifying my understanding of HR, an area I was highly interested in entering once graduating.”
The experience of both students certainly demonstrates how worthwhile an opportunity can be for those who are looking for that bit of flexibility that a virtual placement provides!
When asked whether they would encourage future students to get involved in the scheme, it was a resounding yes:
“Do not second question it, build up the EP points and throw yourself into it. There is nothing to lose and only opportunities to gain!”
You heard it first hand – join EP today, and land yourself one of our hundreds of amazing opportunities, like this one at F&HDC!