student-placements

Why do your placement at Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole?

Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole offer 40 week placement opportunities for those studying LLB Law.

Completing your placement with Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole allows you to develop hands on experience with a diverse range of people with varying enquiries.

As an employer we take pride in developing our volunteers and paid staff and take enjoyment in watching their confidence and skills base grow. Completing your 40 week placement with us will allow you to learn different things and help the local community.

During your time with Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole we will encourage you to move forward into different roles and specialise in areas that interest you. Many of our placement students either continue to volunteer with Citizens Advice once they have finished their 40 weeks or move into paid employment with us or other Citizens Advice offices in the country.

We have had students move to Hammersmith and Fulham Citizens Advice as Debt and Financial Capability advisers, Coventry Citizens Advice as an Outreach worker and some have stayed with us as Advice Session Supervisors, specialist advisers and Quality and Compliance Officers.

Even Emma, our Advice Services Manager (ASM) started her Citizens Advice career as a volunteer on her university placement before she became a specialised debt advisor and then our ASM.

Citizens Advice is regularly overlooked as a career path after university but it can be very rewarding and a challenging direction which we hope to promote through our placement opportunities.

Placements are usually advertised between May and October and can be applied for through the recruitment@bournemouthcab.co.uk email address but please do not hesitate to contact us at any point during the year if you have questions.

A Students Perspective

Melissa Parsons Mahon, 40 Week Placement Student, LLB Law Bournemouth University

“Studying Law at Bournemouth University stood out compared to the many other Universities, as you were required to complete a mandatory placement year in the legal industry. This appealed to me as I would have a year of work experience behind me when I finished my final year at university, as well as giving me the chance to improve my skills necessary for my professional future.

I chose to come to Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole due to the abundance of positive comments I had heard from friends who had done a placement year here, as well as those who volunteered one day a week whilst at university. They would tell me that you “never know what problems you will be helping a client with” and “no two days are the same”. They were not wrong!

Halfway through the placement all students went back to University for a review, this is when I spoke to friends and fellow students about my placement as well as theirs and it seems that my placement was amongst the more hands-on and client-facing.

The depth and variety of the knowledge that I have learnt during my time as a placement student is immense. This is evident by the sheer number of clients that I have helped. I have covered a diverse and varied list of subject matter; topics including: benefits, housing, debt, employment, legal, family and relationships, consumer as well as immigration. I have completed almost 250 initial assessments and over 100 advice appointments, which go further into the issue that the client is facing. This could mean writing letters or making phone calls on behalf of the client, or assisting the client with resolving the problem they are facing.

The skills that I have learnt and improved upon are plentiful, including my writing skills due to the letters and the notes that are written up after every client contact, and my face to face people skills, such as how to gauge whether a client is vulnerable as well as how to communicate through language barriers.

Working within a not-for-profit organisation amongst like minded people, both paid staff and volunteers, I feel has a different job satisfaction compared to that of a for profit organisation. Here the focus is on the client and how we can best help them as well as empowering them with information and resources. We can go the extra mile and take extra time with vulnerable clients when appropriate and in my opinion; we are helping the most vulnerable members of society.

Little did I know when I started how beneficial my time at the Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole would be for my academic studies, my professional future, as well as socially making great friends along the way. I am grateful for the opportunities and experiences that I have had during my placement year here at Citizens Advice Bournemouth & Poole, and I look forward to the opportunities which will arise as a result of this.”