My placement provided invaluable experience in an elite sporting environment

  • Date

    Wed 4 Mar 20

Ellie Williams

For International Women’s Day 2020, we want to celebrate the achievements of women who have been on a year’s placement as part of their undergraduate degree at Essex. We’ve asked some of these students to share their experiences and hopes for the future.

Here, Ellie Williams, who is studying Sport and Exercise Science, talks about her placement with Crystal Palace Football Club working as a Performance Analysis Intern.

What got you interested in doing a placement year?
I wanted to witness a true insight into a particular industry I was interested in, and to allow myself to undertake an extensive period of real-life work experience, which would equip me with a range of relevant skills and experiences for the future.

How did you feel when you first started your placement?
I was quite nervous at first and worried I wouldn’t be able to do what was asked of me and also that I would be working with such experienced individuals.

What was your favourite part of your placement?
Besides the great experience and being able to learn new skills and enhance current ones, the networking was great. I met so many different individuals that I would probably not have met if I hadn’t done the placement. I was able to travel around the country with the teams.

What do you feel you gained from your placement?
It increased my understanding and awareness of the world of work, which was invaluable industry experience working in an elite sporting environment. It enhanced my employability skills by accelerating my personal maturity, self-awareness and ability to articulate skills and achievements.

I also learned how to use and provide analysis of the game through SportsCode, where I provided feedback to coaches and players within the appropriate content.

How do you think your placement experience might change your future?
It opened my mind to the industry as a whole and the different roles involved and has given me so much confidence - not only myself, but also my skills and abilities.

What’s next for you after graduation?
I’ll being looking to go straight into work, which I would not have originally done if it wasn’t for my placement. The ability to network and gain such good experience has not only pushed me to want to work in a similar job field, but I also have the experience to differentiate myself from others.

What advice would you give to a woman searching for their placement now?
I’d definitely say to follow your passion and don’t give up/feel unworthy, which is how I felt because the industry was predominately male-dominated. Also, network as much as you can and really try to get your foot in the door any way you can, and when given the opportunity make the most of it.