Adam Brown on Placement

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Ottawa, Ontario. I like skateboarding, martial arts, and reading. Right now, I'm reading A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin.

Where are you doing your placement?
I'm doing my placement with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ottawa. It's a charity organization that works with youth who need a positive role model in their lives.  

The organization works with volunteers who meet with kids in various settings to be there for them during important times. I work at an education center that was probably an old elementary school. It's next to the Nepean Sportsplex. The actual room where I work looks like an old teacher's lounge.

What is your position in the company?
I'm an intern writer.

Whom do you report to at your placement? How are your other co-workers?
I report to the executive director. Everyone at my placement is pretty laid-back. They let me work at my own pace, without much pressure; it's pretty chill. Most of my co-works dress casually, but those who are higher up wear business attire.

Does your placement use a style guide? 
No, there isn't a style guide.

What types of work are you doing at your placement?
I write a lot of draft letters, program descriptions, and social media posts. I conduct interviews with people in the organization, like the event coordinator, and matches, which is what we call a volunteer and their kid.  

What is a typical day like during placement?
I'll get there and check my e-mail to see if they’ve sent me something for me to do. If there's nothing, I would work on something from the previous day or go to the secretary and ask if there’s anything needed of me.

Do you receive feedback on your work? 
They let me know if I didn't include a detail or phrase something a certain way. They also let me know if they were pleased with something I wrote. If I have any questions, I speak to the executive director, fundraiser coordinator, or event coordinator.

 Are there any skills from the program that you use at your placement?
The only thing I've done direct from the program is write a press release, but the things I've learned have definitely helped me become someone who would succeed in the workplace.

Did you find it challenging to transition from the classroom to the workplace?
I found that a lot of the stuff we did in class was theory. I would have liked more hands-on work (writing) to prepare us for placement.

Has anything about your placement surprised you? 
I was surprised by the amount of work I was given and how much they needed a writer.

What do you enjoy about your placement?
I enjoy being able to work at my own pace and express myself professionally.
I feel good about the work I do at placement because it's a charity organization, and I'm helping Big Brothers Big Sisters reach out to the kids who benefit from their programs.

Has there been any memorable moments?
I wrote a letter to the Prime Minister, which made me feel important.

What were your feelings about your placement before leaving the classroom?
I was pretty nervous about the whole thing because I didn't know what to expect. I thought that I'd be lost, but I became much more relaxed after getting to know the people and the work they needed from me.

How do your experiences at placement relate to the field of work you are interested in? 
I don't have a clear idea of what I'll be doing after graduating from this program, but I believe my experiences from the placement will be useful.

 Do you have any advice for future students about placement?
Don't stress or worry about the placement, and enjoy the experience.

That wraps up our interview. Thank you, Adam, for your time!