R2S (Return To Scene)
Graduate Laura Fairley has some good advice for job-hunters after her placement at a forensic software company that plunged her into the real world of business.
What project were you involved in?
I had a dual role: Media Builder and Forensic Administration Assistant. This included multimedia build of R2S projects, supplementary graphics, plans, diagrams etc.
As a R2S Forensic Administrative Assistant, I assisted the Forensic Director, and dealt with administration of documentation and casework.
My title was actually changed to R2S Forensic Examiner, as I was given a more active role within the Forensic Division. My work still included Media Building when there were deadlines to be met, but the forensic work took precedence.
As a Forensic Examiner, I had to get involved with a host of things, from liaising with clients to attending conferences and presentations, even training a new summer placement student.
What impact has the placement had on you, personally and professionally?
There have been many benefits. Through helping out with presentations at conferences, it has greatly increased my confidence, not only in my own ability, but with public speaking. Attending conferences has also allowed me to network with individuals in a similar field that I may not otherwise have made contact with. The placement has greatly expanded my skill set, including the use of different software packages.
How useful was the training offered as part of your placement?
I feel that the residential training course was more tailored to individuals that had previously studied marketing or business. However, this meant that I gained a lot of useful information and analysis strategies that I wouldn’t have learnt without the course.
It allowed me to network with graduates from different industries and it was nice to share our experiences and stories with each other.
How did you use your skills, knowledge and competencies from your time at university?
One of my main skill sets that has been beneficial is forensic analysis. This has allowed me to adapt quickly to analysing an area of Forensic Science that I wasn’t familiar with. My knowledge of the multiple forensic disciplines has allowed me to analyse case studies as a whole, rather than focussing on one area. It has also allowed me to feel confident when speaking with clients that come from different forensic backgrounds and has meant that I am not out of my depth at conferences, presentations and general discussions.
Any advice for future graduates?
Be proactive. Yesterday you said you would start tomorrow....
Follow up your application, even if it is just to receive feedback, how else will you know when you are saying something that may put employers off?
Utilise your contacts and ask for help and advice, remember that they haven’t always been in the position that they are in today, they were once in yours.
If you really want a certain job, go for it, don’t settle for less, but remember to be realistic and realise that everyone needs to start somewhere!