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News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Jessica’s Erasmus Catering placement in Seville

 
We spoke to Jessica Porch about her REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Seville.

 

Name: Jessica Porch
Course Name: Catering and Hospitality Level 3
Placement Location: Seville
 
Why did you apply for the placement?
I applied for my placement because I was interested in working abroad.
I was encouraged by my tutors and lectures at college to go as it would be and was a good experience.
I prepared myself by writing a CV and cover letter and also organised my passport, EHIC card, travel money card and budget.
 
Describe your work placement and tasks.
My work placement was joined onto an English Hotel so served English food as well and Spanish tapas food. Some tasks that I carried out were preparing starter dishes, preparing all food that needed to be cooked in advanced and also cleaning down the kitchen after service.
 
What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?
Learning about different cuisine and learning a new language.
 
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?
I think that it will help me in the future as it shows that I have no limit to what I think I can achieve.
 
Jessica in Seville
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?
The city was really beautiful and had lots of amazing attractions that we visited throughout the 3 weeks. I also liked the restaurants and shops we went in and the people were very welcoming. It was also really hot which is always nice when you are not used to it.
 
What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?
Next for me is going into a full time job away from home. And my advice would be don’t get too caught up in missing parents or loved ones as the time goes so fast that you have to enjoy all of your time there and use your days off wisely – go sight seeing or to the beach.
 
 

Thanks to Jessica for sharing her placement experience. If you would like any information about our Catering & Hospitality courses, click here.
 

News

Case Study: Claire Dean – Highways Distance Learning

 

One of our fabulous Distance Learning students Graduated from our Level 4 Professional Diploma in Highways Engineering. Highway Engineering is a distance learning package, similar to the way the Open University operates. No attendance at College is necessary, which makes it perfect for anyone anywhere, and you may enrol at any time and study at your own speed at home or work. We did a short Q&A with Claire to find out why she chose Bath College, and why she chose to study Highways.

 

Can you give us a little background about yourself?

I moved to Devon over 20 years ago with Balfour Beatty as part of a small team to undertake the design and build of two new bypasses. I started in a secretarial role but over time became interested in the technical side of road construction. I decided to take the plunge as a trainee highways technician. Balfour Beatty supported my ambition to do this and have continued to encourage me to further myself – from this first move from secretary to technician through to my academic studies. I have now been working as a Highways Technician for Balfour Beatty on the A30/A35 in Exeter for 17 years.

 

Why did you choose Highways Distance Learning?

Balfour Beatty are really supportive when it comes to upskilling and believe in having experts in the business. As a full time employee, I needed a way to work and study simultaneously. My goal was to develop in my role at the same as progressing academically. This, however, meant finding a course which I could do outside of working hours – the Highways Distance Learning course allowed me to do just that!

 

Which courses have you completed via Highways Distance Learning?

I have completed; Highways Maintenance, Highways Technology, Highways Legislation and Administration, Highways Materials and Testing and produced a project on current drainage challenge on the Balfour Beatty joint venture project on the A30/A35 in Devon and Dorset.

 

What was the most enjoyable aspect of your courses?

Similarly to my work with Balfour Beatty, I feel my strength lies in projects – I found producing in-depth, high quality coursework as part of my course one of the most enjoyable and rewarding things about academic study. Likewise, I love learning from others, whether in my role at Balfour Beatty or with my tutors. The insights and interactions I had with my tutors reminded me how much I love the highways sector.

 

What has been most valuable to you?

Everything I have learnt I can apply to my work. I feel I can contribute an expertise and understanding of highways projects which benefits my professional progression, but which can also help others in my team. Just like the Balfour Beatty values; I am a trusted expert in my field, and this is recognised by the business and my peers and colleagues. I put this down to the constant support from all my tutors and the administrative team for the feedback on my marked assignments. These comments meant a lot and gave me the confidence to continue.

 

What made you choose Bath College?

I was specifically looking for a distance learning course and Bath College not only provided what I required but had a Highways Open Tech course in Highway Engineering. I do not come from an engineering background but I did bring practical experience from a live project environment and I was glad they recognised the value of this. I was pleased to see that there was a great range of course covering all the main topics and my areas of interest, so I knew I’d be gaining a well-rounded education there. The college was also very helpful in all aspects of my enrolment.

 

What do you plan to do with your new found knowledge?

The knowledge that I have gained has already benefited me in my current role – Balfour Beatty believe in having expert, trusted employees delivering their projects so I feel I can contribute and support the business even better than before. Whilst studying, I consolidated my knowledge of the practical skills I learn of the job with an academic understanding. I now feel equipped and confident and aim to progress to a managerial position with Balfour Beatty.

 

What piece of advice would you give to students looking to enrol on a Highways Distance Learning course?

Don’t keep thinking about it, do it! It was the best decision I made, and I know it has provided me with new skills and experiences to reach my goals and strive to progress professionally and personally. As a mature student, in full-time employment, attending college and stepping so far out of my comfort zone was a scary thought and difficult to balance but I have truly reaped the rewards. If you have an employer who supports you the way Balfour Beatty supported me, it is possible to have the best of both worlds; work and study.

 

Claire is right, don’t keep thinking about it, do it! You can enrol on one of our numerous Distance Learning courses, or Highways Distance Learning courses. We also offer Love2Learn leisure courses for those looking to learn something new in a more leisurely capacity.

 

Congratulations Claire, we hope you’ll be back to study with us again and we hope you had a fabulous Graduation Day!

 

Callum Morris in Prague

News, Student Spotlight

Case Study: Callum’s Erasmus IT placement in Prague

 

We spoke to Callum Morris about his REYeurope Erasmus+ placement in Prague.
 
Name: Callum Morris
Course: Computing & IT Level 3
Placement Location: Prague, Czech Republic
 
Why did you apply for the placement?

I applied for the placement for a few reasons. One was just because I wanted to be able to live in Prague for a short time. I’ve always really enjoyed travelling abroad and Prague seemed like a really nice place to stay. Being able to stay there for an entire 6 weeks (which was also during college time and not holiday time) was a very attractive offer.
 
The work was the other main reason I wanted to do this placement. I really wanted to work with a real IT company doing programming. It was made clear to us that we might not be doing exactly what we specifically wanted to do on our placements with our companies, but I was okay with doing anything IT related really – programming was just my preference.
 
Describe your work placement and tasks.

I had the pleasure of being able to do exactly what I wanted to do with my company. My specific role was a back-end developer for a web application. This job was absolutely perfect for me, which is why I am very thankful that I was the one chosen to do it. My main job was to write modules that would perform various tasks on the back-end. I would be given this tasks in the form of online tickets and when completed I would mark these tickets for testing and push the modules I had developed to a remote repository using GIT. Each of the modules were written using python – this was also perfect for me as python is my best language.
 

What was your biggest learning experience and achievement during your placement?

It’s difficult to choose one experience during the placement that was the biggest for me overall. I would say that the placement as a whole was the biggest learning experience for me. The work that I did, places I saw and people I met all contributed to a massive learning experience for me that has taught me a lot.
 
As for my biggest achievement, that would definitely be being offered a job by the company that I worked with. This was a huge achievement for me as it showed that they were very impressed with my work and wanted to continue working with me.
 
Do you feel that your international placement will help you professionally in the future and if so, how?

Without a shadow of a doubt this placement has and will help me in my professional future. It has helped me already, in that I now have a job in IT because of it. It is also sure to help me in the future as well though and this is for many reasons: it looks great on a CV, I have learned a huge amount about my field during the placement and it gave me a great insight into how IT companies operate.
 
What did you like best about your destination abroad and why?

Prague is a brilliant city. The public transport is amazing – you can get where ever you need to in the city with ease thanks to the high quality public transport system. Plus you cannot get lost in Prague, because there is always a tram stop nearby and locals are almost always happy to give you directions.
 
The local people in Prague are super nice and the majority of the younger locals speak really good English. I was honestly quite surprised by how kind the locals are there.
 
Prague as a city is also absolutely beautiful. There are so many huge parks around Prague that are great fun to visit and explore. The buildings there have a very interesting style; many are very old and historic, while others were very modern. It made for a very nice contrasting appearance around the city.
 

What next for you and do you have any advice for future participants?

I will be continuing my work with the company from my placement shortly, which I am very much looking forward to. I am hoping that continuing to work with them part-time will evolve into a full-time position in time or perhaps lead to a job with another company in the UK. Either way it’s likely that working with this company will jumpstart my career in IT.
 
My advice to future participants would be the following:
• Work hard in the placement and show initiative with the company you end up with, because it could end up in a job for you.
• Don’t go in with massive expectations for your placement – while the company I had was great, others were disappointed with the companies they had to work with because they expected more. You should treat the placement as a learning experience and not a dream job in a foreign country – the best parts of the placement are made by you and your friends.
• Travel around and explore the country you visit – don’t just visit some monuments or go to the same places over and over. The most fun thing to do is just walk in one direction with friends and see what happens.
• Learn some basic phases and pronunciation in the language before starting the placement – it helps more than you expect.
 
 
Thanks to Callum for sharing his placement experience. If you would like any information about our Computing and IT courses, click here.
 

Events, Hair & Beauty, News

Complementary Therapies, Spa and Media Make-up students pamper Glastonbury Festival Glampers

 

Our Complementary Therapies, Spa and Media Make-up students worked at an off-site glamping site located close to Glastonbury Festival this year. Under supervision from Bath College and Bath Priory staff, the girls delivered top class massage treatments to guests as well as getting them festival-ready with glitter make-up. They were professional and hard-working, representing the college well.

 

Throughout the year there are opportunities for students to get industry experience at high-profile events such as this one.

 

If you would like any info on any of our Hair, Beauty and Complementary Therapies courses, click here.

 

Below is the gallery from the weekend.

 

 

News

Bath College makes commitment to support students and staff with their mental health and wellbeing

 

Bath College has reaffirmed their commitment to staff and students by signing up to a brand new national mental health and wellbeing charter – created by the Association of Colleges in conjunction with mental health experts.
 
The 11-point document includes commitments to:
• Promoting equality of opportunity and challenging mental health stigma
• Providing appropriate mental health training for staff
• Providing targeted individual mental health support where appropriate
 
Colleges across England teach and train 2.2 million people each year – including 685,000 young people. Every year, 1 in 10 young people experience a mental health problem and 1 in 5 young people aged 16-24 experience a common mental illness such as anxiety or depression at any one time. Add to these facts, 75% of adults with a diagnosable mental health problem experience their first symptoms before the age of 24 means Bath College plays a vital role in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of its 8,000 students and 450 staff.
 
Bath College staff at their mental health training
Laurel Penrose, Principal & CEO of Bath College, said: “Mental Health is something we take very seriously at Bath College. We ensure that we have designated youth mental health first aiders who are trained by Mental Health First Aid England. We have now equipped a wide range of departments with the tools to support our students and staff when required.”
 
Richard Caulfield, Mental Health lead at the Association of Colleges, said: “Every single day colleges like Bath College provide a world class education and transform the lives of millions of people. This includes providing support for both staff and student wellbeing at the right time, in the right place. This charter gives colleges the chance to publicly state their commitment to the mental health agenda.”
 
Clare Stafford, CEO of the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, said: “We passionately believe that mental health support of the highest standard should be available to all young people and college staff. The launch of the Charter further enhances the Association of College’s long-standing commitment to this.
 
“As a charity, the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust is delighted to be working in collaboration with AoC and fully endorses the principles and intentions of this important new Charter.”
 

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