During my placement year, I went to Japan to work as a Teaching Assistant in a university located near Tokyo. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity to gain paid work experience in Japan whilst studying. I was able to learn Japanese to a conversational level which has allowed me to form friendships and improve my confidence.
Living away from home in a foreign country was a scary thought at first, but with regular check-up calls and emails from family, friends and the Aston Placement team, I was able to adjust. One of my course lecturers came to visit me to find out how I was getting on and whether I had any concerns, knowing that there was a team dedicated to supporting me and my time in Japan was comforting.
My placement year has been a key aspect in being able to get a job. The opportunity to return to Japan and work will always be an option due to my experience, and I have applied for several teaching positions. Working as a teaching assistant in Japan has taught me that I am not limited in what I am able to do, I have learnt how to be independent, versatile and positive, characteristics which I feel will help me in my future.
In my current role, as an Online Marketing Executive for StudentsOnPlacement, I liaise with students, employers, colleges and universities - promoting the key roles work experience of all kinds, including apprenticeships, summer schemes and industrial placements, have on future employability. I’m able to get creative with newsletters, blogs and social media. I manage our website and promote current opportunities for employers, and since our launch in October 2012 the number of employers who support our mission to educate students is continuing to grow!