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Mahima Mohammed

Name: Mahima Mohammed

Course Studying: Information Technology Management for Business (ITMB)

Placement year: 3rd year.

Placement: IT Services Department, Northumbria University


What were your thoughts before you started?

I was nervous before my first day; you don't know who you're going to meet and you're not sure if you'll bond with them.  You also wonder if what you've learned at University is going to help in the placement - is anything going to be too hard to manage?  Will I have the right people around me as support?


What where the points from your time here?

When I started I was initially introduced to my immediate mentor, who showed me around and took me for a coffee - I knew from that point on I'd be comfortable!!  I had an induction to the department and was given some initial tasks to get an overview of what IT Services do. I then met with each team to get an insight into their area of focus and current projects.  

After the first month, I started attending departmental project meetings and was assigned work from various teams.  I focused on the 'Design' and 'Delivery Management' areas; chasing outstanding items, updating plans and pulling together actions for Project Boards.  I also oversaw administration of the departmental Project Management tool, updating deadlines and milestones after project meetings.


What have you taken away?

The main thing was learning to work with people of all positions in a department, right up to Director level; learning that collaboration and team work is really important and that you can appreciate other's ideas and comments.

I've gained real-life experience and have applied what I've learned from my placement to my course work; I completed tasks around coding for the Student Portal which has proven helpful when one of my first assignments back at University was in that area.  Also, the IT department manage projects through a gate/'Waterfall' process and this is something I'm using for my final year project, so this has put me ahead of the game!

When I returned from my placement, my tutor asked me if the skills and content taught at University where used on my placement.  I can definitely say yes as I feel I applied so much of what I've been taught at University.


What would you say to anyone thinking of taking on a placement?

I think, if you can, definitely do a placement.  It gives you real-life experience and you'll meet new people and create connections you'll never have the chance to do when studying.  In terms of knowledge, it puts everything in perspective and context - things I learned at work make sense when I'm going through them in my course now.


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