Case Studies

Lizzie Gilbert - Summer Placement

Company Name: E3 Consulting

Location: Southampton

E3 - Lizzie    Lizzie joined E3 Consulting in the summer of 2012 for 2 weeks of work experience, before returning to Reading University to complete her Law Degree.
Learning new key skills

My work experience placement was different to that of my previous learning experiences. It differed from those encountered during my academic education where I have just had to regurgitate facts, and previous work experience placements, where the work I did tended to be passive, such as shadowing a partner at a law firm. The learning experience during my placement was a proactive one which allowed me to learn new key skills which I will be able to go on and utilise in the future. I was continually encountering new issues, learning new skills and was encouraged to ask questions and reflect on my learning points, thus I would view it to be a purposeful experience.
Commercial awareness

One of the key points I learnt during my placement was the importance of commercial awareness and being aware of activity in the market place. In this respect the placement showed me how to look at tasks from different perspectives and question what a firm is doing commercially, i.e. is it being proactive marketing wise. I increased my commerciality and market awareness through various tasks, such as competitor research tasks and reading local business magazines. Skills which I believe will be invaluable to me in the future.
Additionally the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the client and ensuring that their needs are met was stressed to me during the placement. I understood how for a business to succeed it is essential that a good rapport is maintained with the client and that they feel that they have received an appropriate level of service.
Capital allowances

The placement gave me a better understanding of the issues encountered when a business applies for tax relief. I was surprised to discover what was eligible to be covered by Capital Allowances, for example whilst conducting a survey at a hotel in Newbury I learnt that the play area outside the hotel was covered by Capital Allowances, which I did not expect to be the case. Thus this has given me a better idea as to why so many new Capital Allowance companies are being established, with Capital Allowances being a valuable tax relief.
Furthermore the significance of being detail orientated has been accentuated to me during the experience. During a survey I saw the need to be detail orientated, ensuring that all aspects of the building are captured and that the model numbers are noted down correctly. Similarly I saw this when inputting data into excel charts, as it was essential that all the figures were entered correctly and that all calculations were correct.
Variety of work

During the placement I have learnt key skills that I need to develop, which the psychometric test I undertook was particularly helpful in highlighting to me. The placement gave me a better idea of the type of work I am interested in going into once graduating from university. I enjoyed the variety of work encountered whilst undertaking my placement and thus will seek to obtain a job which has such variety too.

Thus as a result I feel I have left the work experience placement with a better idea of what direction I want to take upon graduating, which I have failed to achieve to gain in any of my previous work experience placements. The experience and skills that I have developed as a result of the placement I hope will increase my employability and make me more attractive to future employers.
Overall I found the placement to be a stimulating and insightful one, allowing me to develop skills in a proactive learning environment, which I hope to be able to go on and develop further.



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