Promotions Assistant: The end of my placement year

After undergoing a placement year at the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries at the University of Portsmouth, our Promotions Assistant Jaelithe Swan looks back on her time with us.

Industrial placements are taken by students between their second and third years of study and involve working with a company to gain industry experience before graduating. I was lucky enough to be selected for a placement within my University.  As well as having the opportunity work with varying individuals on a range of projects, I’ve achieved things this year I didn’t know I could, such as organising large scale events, and gained confidence in the workplace.

My work this year has involved a lot social media including our CCI Blog, Facebook Page, Twitter Account and Instagram.  I regularly update our blog with interviews, news stories and events, and share these via our social media pages.  Before this year, I’d never even used Twitter. Check out my first tweet:

As well as my social media work, I’ve helped with various exhibitions. My role ranged from organising the work to installing and promoting the shows. Earlier this year, I was involved in CCI’s impressive construction of 4 exhibitions in one week – namely Messiah and Portsmouth: Then and Now, A Summer of Love, Game Level, and the RSPB Poster Challenge.

My placement has also given me the opportunity to work with a range of events. My first taste of this was with Journey’s Festival International in October, where I helped promote the Container Project hosted in Eldon Building and appeared on CCI TV to discuss the Festival and its place in the University. Check out my interview here!

Other events included the launch of local radio station Express FM, which this year relocated to Eldon Building, as well as 2 Industry and Alumni Breakfast events with the Cluster for Sustainable Cities which looked at the Urban Future of Portsmouth.

The biggest event in my calendar however was the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries Graduate Show 2017 in June. This involved planning meetings as early as October and the coordination of school and courses across CCI.

The Show was a resounding success – you can check out my write up of the here – and worth the months of planning and meetings. Seeing students and staff across courses to come together in celebration of the achievements of CCI’s most recent graduates was a joyous experience. You can hear me and Denise (our Promotions Manager and the Event Manager for the Graduate Show) discuss this on an interview live from the show with Express FM here.

Working with the other placement students in CCI, I was able to contribute to the Innovolvement group – an Enterprise and Innovation initiative which encourages cross course collaboration and raises awareness of various issues within our community. In this role, I lead Team Go which hosted discussions on the impact of team sports on mental health.

Through group discussions and a talk from our guest speaker, we encouraged attendees to tackle the problem of a lack of exercise among students and explored ways to support this. Although I initially had to postpone the event, it was learning experience. We saw participation from students across the University and received positive feedback – overall the experience increased my confidence in arranging events and my ability to deal with problems and make difficult decisions where necessary.

In this role I’ve had the opportunity to improve my writing portfolio by contributing to Creative Space (you can check out some of my pieces here and here), through event releases, post-event reviews, interviews and opinion pieces. I’ve also improved my computer skills after working with Photoshop, InDesign, Premier and WordPress across the year.

This September I will be returning to University to complete my final year in BA (Hons) Creative and Media Writing. Taking a year out from studying has not only improved my portfolio and experience, but given me more time to think about dissertation project. Looking back one where I was at the beginning of the year, it’s hard to believe how far I’ve come. To see what I expected from this placement year, check out CCI Welcomes Placement Students – which I wrote for Creative Space back in my first month here!

I can’t wait to dive into my final year, but the experience I’ve gained on placement has been invaluable! I can’t imagine what I’d be going right now without my work in the Faculty, and want to thank everyone for welcoming me and helping me progress and take on new challenges in the last year.


Article by Jaelithe Swan