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Lowri Nicholls

District NHS Foundation Trust

Where did you do your industrial placement?
I worked as a Trainee Information Analyst at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

How did that placement come about?
I responded to an advert circulated by the University of Leeds’ Mathematics Department. I sent the Trust my CV accompanied with a cover letter and was subsequently asked to come to an interview.  I received a phone call a few days after my interview offering me the position.

What was the best thing about the placement?

Prior to my placement, I had not had any work experience that had lasted for more than three weeks.  I really enjoyed the opportunity that my year long placement gave me to get involved in large projects and gain a comprehensive understanding of the organisation.

Did you find anything particularly challenging during your year in industry?
Naturally, starting work at an organisation as large as an NHS Foundation Trust was challenging and I think that I found the first few weeks of my placement the hardest. There was a great deal of hospital and medical terminology, as well as acronyms, which I needed to quickly get my head around.  I also think that I found the placement challenging at the beginning as my role involved often using Microsoft Access and Excel and at the beginning of my placement I wasn’t particularly fast using these packages.  Over the course of the placement, I got used to the acronyms and as well as using Access and Excel.

What skills did you gain?
I gained and developed a great deal of professional and technical skills during my placement. I worked in a team, I communicated with colleagues by phone, email and in person.  I worked to deadlines, and learnt how to use Microsoft Access and Microsoft Excel to a high level.

Do you feel that this placement has helped your employability and future career aspects?
I definitely think that my employability has increased as a result of my placement and I have gained experiences that could be drawn upon in a competency based interview.