Wales Community Rehabilitation Company (CRC) - 70 hours placement
Why did you choose this organisation to do your placement and how did you find the opportunity?
I thought it would be valuable experience to be involved in a rehabilitation company that could help develop and deliver initiatives to reduce or prevent crime as well as protecting the public. It would be interesting to have one on one conversations with offenders to understand why they have committed a crime.
I believed that it would be great to have experience in any relevant jobs before graduating. Having no experience may hinder my chance of getting a job in the future.
I found this opportunity through the USW Placement Team. There are a lot of different organisations where criminology students can get experience before completing their degree.
What did you find most valuable about the work you undertook?
I think that it has changed my perspective of offenders who have committed offences especially petty offences. The reason behind their actions are often closely related to their struggles at home or life. I think that’s the most valuable aspect to me – to have witnessed first-hand that most offenders have made a wrong decision that led them to carry out a criminal act.
It has boosted my confidence in speaking with people I have never met before and to step out of my comfort zone. It showed me that sometimes you just have to go for it to gain the experience and knowledge without planning or knowing what it’s like beforehand.
What new skills and knowledge did you gain?
I now understood the many terms that probation officers use on a daily basis. I learnt to quickly skim through a report of previous meetings with offenders to understand which information is important and which is less important. I have improved my communication skills - when shadowing different probation officers I got to observe how they work and I had the chance to have professional conversations with offenders.
How will this placement help with your career?
I have not decided if I want to work as a probation officer or not, but it is one of my choices. If I don’t, I think this placement helped me to gain experience in a private-sector organisation that works closely with the police and many other relevant organisations such as housing agencies. If I do decide to be a probation officer then this placement has helped me understand what responsibilities they have and how they overcome challanges in their daily workload.
Please comment on the support you received from the University and/or your placement organisation?
They were all very supportive from the second I submitted the application form to CRC. I told my Placement Partner I had to apply for DBS as an International Student. They put me in touch with the relavent USW department who helped me to obtain one from my country’s local police. Wales CRC were very understanding of the extra delay in obtaining my check and kept in touch with me until it was processed and I was able to start.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
For those international students who have may be interested in working in the UK but have no any relevant experience at all, it is highly recommended that you gain experience during your studies. This will help your communication skills and push you out of your comfort zone. It may all seem weird at first but once you have adjusted yourself, it all will be fine and feel normal.
In the future I would like to gain experience with a substance misuse agency as I think it would be interesting to have a different perspective.