What did you learn? I learnt how to file…

Jan 18, 2011

I caught up with Adela at the end of her 2 week work experience placement and asked her what she had been doing and what she had learnt.

She said she’d learnt how their filing system worked, how to enter data into their database and how everyone in the department liked their coffee. No one sat down and talked about the business with her, no one took time to discuss their jobs, the work they were doing or interacted with her in any way. She wasn’t involved in anything that would give her an insight into the industry:- no reading, no book reports or slush pile, even though these were intimated when securing the placement.

Adela said if she had to rate this experience for others, she’d give it 2/10. Basically, everything she was doing was relevant to any office, anywhere. Nothing was unique to publishing, and she felt slightly taken advantage of that this had been advertised as publishing work experience.

We too feel slightly dismayed that the company concerned didn’t interact with Adela; if any company needs professional advice as to how to make short term placements work, for both the graduate and the company, we’d be happy only to help.

Given that we at bookcareers.com are in a priviledged position and know which company this is, what do you think we should do, if anything, with this information? Particularly as we’d like to avoid others having a similar experience. Do you have any suggestions for us?