Newcastle Work Experience Project

stephanie

Stephanie Butler, PhD in English Literature

Why I got involved

I was looking for a job initially and this project really interested me. My research is also about Medical Humanities so this gives me an opportunity to learn about medical education.

Main role and activities

I am a research assistant for the School of Medical Education. This involves conducting quantitative analysis using surveys and focus groups with medical students about their experiences using an online learning platform.

Most enjoyable aspect

The placement is going really well and I am enjoying working with people in the School of Medical Education. It’s really interesting as we come from different academic backgrounds and look at data in different ways. The experience has taught me about networking and working together with different people to create a cohesive project.

How I've benefited

I have had the opportunity to learn about lots of new things. I knew nothing about medical education until I started this project. I have also learned about my strengths and weaknesses. Quantitative data is not something I’m particularly good at, but I need to do it! It’s also been valuable to learn about my strengths and get the chance to meet various people and connect with them – something that will hopefully be useful for my future career.

The challenges

I think the main challenge is working in a different discipline. Some aspects of the role may not be familiar to you, so you need to understand fully what you are expected to do. I also needed to refresh my knowledge of certain software, in particular SPSS (statistical package) – it’s been 10 years since I last used it!

Advice for other applicants

Don’t let rejection get to you, and don’t take on too much! It’s a difficult thing to balance your studies with your work, but as a student your priority is to complete your degree. Always be aware of the need to schedule your work around your studies, as otherwise it may start impacting on your academic performance.

 

Find out how you could apply for Newcastle Work Experience.