Robert Campbell is a BA (Hons) Public Services student who undertook his work placement at the Waste Management Depot for Caerphilly County Borough Council.
“Inspired by my two uncles, one working as a firefighter and the other as a paramedic, I enrolled onto BA (Hons) Public Service Management to follow in their footsteps (working for the emergency services). This was my career ambition up until I started work experience, at the Waste Management Depot for Caerphilly County Borough Council, where my career plans changed significantly. Though what I experienced and observed, I’m now looking to work for a Local Education Authority (LEA).
On placement, the main project I worked on, was the Pride in Your Place Awards 2017. I helped to organise the awards ceremony - everything from arranging the venue and the event itself, as well as selecting the winners. My efforts toward the event were recognised by the Council in the programme (under acknowledgements) – something I can be proud of.
The next major project I contributed to, was how the depot could increase the number of public conveniences in the Caerphilly Borough, with no additional expenditure. This can be achieved through maximising the use of council buildings. For example, allowing the public to use toilets located in libraries and swimming pools. This was another great project to be involved in. It highlighted that you can do more without extra cost and by thinking outside the box.
My mentor at the depot, a Special Projects Officer, has worked for the LEA for over 30 years and is extremely passionate about what he does. His enthusiasm was inspiring and the effort he put into making my placement worthwhile, has contributed to why I want to work for the LEA. To help start my career there, I’m planning to select final year modules, relevant to the line of work I want to do. This is just one of the reasons why doing a placement has been so beneficial.
As a mature student, I’ve already experienced the world of work, through being a Learning Support Assistant and a Coach for Sports X. What this 10 week work placement has given me, is office experience and the chance to develop the soft skills employers are looking for. The support I’ve received, from both the Depot and University, has been outstanding. Reflecting on the experience, I’m extremely grateful that I’ve been able to work in the area where I’m planning to pursue a career.”