My name is Florence Kettle, I am a student at the University of Bristol studying Psychology in Education. In the second year of my course, I received the opportunity to complete an industrial placement as part of my degree. My placement took place at VIMA group, which is a digital transformation company that operates in the defence industry with offices located in Bristol and Portsmouth.
I worked within the Learning and Development (L&D) capability where I spent my time contributing to various projects including researching local courses in cyber, supporting with mapping out the cyber curriculum, sharing recruitment ideas, and much more! The support I received throughout my placement was excellent. I was in regular contact with my assigned supervisor, who spent time giving me feedback, guidance, and the opportunity to discuss my projects thoroughly. My supervisor also allowed me to work independently and placed trust in me when working on projects, this trust made me feel like a valued member of the company.
As soon as I started my placement at VIMA, the core values of the company were apparent. I was delighted by the warm welcome from friendly colleagues. VIMA also encouraged the importance of a healthy work-life balance, having an inclusive and ethnically diverse workforce and the opportunity to experience hybrid working. They also have many committees which employees can join such as wellbeing, diversity, and women’s committee. This sense of belonging and inclusivity is vital for a productive and happy workforce.
Prior to starting at VIMA, I had many preconceived ideas about what it would be like to work in a corporate environment. For example, I expected there to be a sense of hierarchy and tense surroundings. However, from day one I was impressed by the positive work environment and supportive team culture. Working at VIMA was incredibly rewarding because it gave me the chance to work with talented professionals and build relationships with employees to grow my connections within this field of work.
Furthermore, I learnt valuable skills that have been instrumental in my personal and professional growth. Firstly, I developed many different skills by using software such as SharePoint, Excel and PowerPoint. I also was able to develop soft skills such as communicating effectively with other employees and developing my organisational skills. I also learnt to be adaptable and strategic in my approach to working. All of which will benefit me in my future career and will put me at an advantage.
Overall, I had a positive experience during my time at VIMA. I gained valuable practical experience, was able to create connections, and developed professional and personal skills that will be beneficial for my future. It also confirmed my passion to work within a company like VIMA after I graduate from university.
“We are delighted to be able to collaborate with the University of Bristol to provide these opportunities and were fortunate to have an amazing student such as Florence Kettle.“ – Gayle Wallace, Deputy Head of Learning & Development (L&D)