Tia Welsh – My STEP experience
Tia Welsh, student in the STEP class of 2018, completed her placement last year at Visit Isle of Man. She had a very successful project completing some excellent work and finished runner up in the programme.
Tia is now in her final year at York St John University studying Creative Writing and working hard to complete her dissertation. As she looks to the future and starts to think about life post-graduation, we caught up with her about how her STEP placement has helped her with university and job applications.
Tia, how did you find out about STEP and why did you decide to take part?
My dad first introduced me to the scheme after hearing family friends had participated in it and from work, since he works in the same Department.
Where did you complete your placement and what was your project about?
I completed my 8-week placement at Visit Isle of Man in the Department for Enterprise. They set me the challenge of improving the Visit Isle of Man consumer website in the hope of increasing traffic to it. To do this I wrote content for all the pages, blogs and headings. Additionally, I was able to use skills I have learnt so far in my Creative Writing degree to create TV advert scripts for future marketing strategies which was beyond the project brief. A new web-layout design was also produced and pitched for future implementation. Visit Isle of Man is still using my content today which is great to see.
Overall how would you describe the experience?
An enjoyable, yet challenging opportunity that enabled me to use my undergraduate degree in the workplace and build my social and communication skills required for future employment.
How did you settle into your placement?
The Visit Isle of Man Team were all very welcoming and supportive of my role in the team, given it was only for a small time period. Being in such a supportive environment made it very easy to get on with work but also enjoy the experience. The help and guidance I received from my host manager was very beneficial throughout. My tasks were clear and managed both effectively and efficiently by my manager who mentored and monitored my progress. Overall, the team provided plenty of opportunity, both inside and outside the office, to make the most of my STEP experience.
What were the highlights?
Being able to complete outside visits made it a more interesting and engaging experience. Organising and pitching meetings offered a new experience for me to use in final year and future employment.
What have you taken away from the experience?
The whole experience helped me build my organisational, social and communication skills, particularly with the regular meetings, whilst contributing to my CV experience. I also improved my time management and resilience in the work place, whilst developing my writing skills and ability. I was also pleased to be able to use my undergraduate degree skills during this placement, which opened new opportunities for me as an amateur writer. Finally, my presentation skills massively improved which also helped me in final year where I had to present a lot. Now this doesn’t faze me as much as it used to as I’ve had practice and listened to advice from my host manager.
Would you recommend the STEP Programme to other Manx students?
Definitely! The STEP Scheme manager recently invited me back to attend the induction for the 2019 programme, where I spoke in front of students about my experience to encourage them to make the most of their project. It is an amazing opportunity to not only use your undergraduate degree but to develop new skills. You are introduced to so many new connections which is very beneficial for future employment post-university, and also make friends along the way.
Do you think your placement will help you in your final year at university?
My experience has already contributed towards my time management and communication skills at university, especially when organising meetings with my dissertation supervisor. As President of the Snowsports Club at York St John University, I have been able to apply the things I learnt in relation to digital marketing at Visit Isle of Man to the club, contributing towards our presence on social media, as well as promoting our club’s events, trips and opportunities for other students. The placement has also prepared me for life after university.
If you would like to apply to become part of the 2019 STEP programme, or have a project in mind and would like to become a host business, please visit www.iomdfenterprise.im/step or contact our STEP Scheme Manager on 682383 or at Stepscheme.DFE@gov.im