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My Twelve Months as an Industrial Placement Student

My Twelve Months as an Industrial Placement Student

f.d.m. Diversity and Inclusion Advisor Abies Iriowen in business dress against an office background

Abies has spent the last 12 months with us as an industrial placement student in our London centre and here she tells us more about the experience.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Abies Iriowen, I’m 22 years old and I have been working as a Placement Student in FDM’s London centre for the past 12 months.

What is your role?

As the Diversity and Inclusion Project Coordinator, my role involves working with different departments to create and inspire exciting careers that shape our digital future. My team has two primary objectives: to support consultants whilst they’re out on-site and to work in partnership with our clients on shared values around diversity and inclusion. We are responsible for a number of initiatives including Consultant Peer Support (CPS) who provide support for the on-boarding of consultants at major client sites, working with schools to promote careers in technology and Career Moments, an interactive session trainees participate in during their first week of training to enable them to make the most out of their time at FDM.

One of my main responsibilities is actively managing the FDM Mentoring Programme. With over 290 participants, the programme has more than doubled since I joined and I have seen first-hand how having a mentor can really impact a person’s career.

What are you studying?

I study Business and Event Management at the University of Hertfordshire. I will be going back to university at the end of the month to start my final year.

Since you started how has your role evolved?

My role has become more dynamic. I have become an expert in what I do and instead of asking questions, I have now been able to give the answers. I am currently in the process of training my replacement for the role and it’s going really well; it has made me appreciate just how much I have learnt and achieved this year.

What is your favourite part of your role?

My favourite part of the role is delivering Career Moment session to trainees in their first week of training at FDM. A Career Moment is a point in a consultants’ journey where they are reminded of the support and tools available to them at FDM. It’s a really fun and interactive session and was launched to allow consultants to take charge of their career development and to have the best possible experience from start to finish. It has been great to be involved in the development of a new delivery.

What skills have you picked up over the last year?

My team describe me as a finisher/completer because I am really efficient at getting things done straight away and I think that’s a great skill to have. I’m hoping I can put this to good use in my final year back at university!

What is your top memory from the last year?

My favourite memory is walking 16 kilometres up the Cumbrian Fells with 40 other FDMers, dressed as a penguin for Walking with the Wounded’s Cumbrian Challenge. The weekend was extremely challenging and I am very proud to have taken part with my fellow FDMers.

Has this industrial placement changed your career path or aspirations?

This placement has exposed me to different departments and the role that they actually play within an organisation. Before I started, I didn’t know what a Diversity and Inclusion team did in a company. However, since being part of the team at FDM, I have developed a strong interest in making the corporate sector more accessible to people from different social backgrounds, abilities and cultures. With all the knowledge I have picked up during this year, I feel empowered to continue learning and I would like to pursue a career in a field that recognises the worth and dignity of all people.

What is your top tip for your replacement?

Talk to people, make connections and save your money! Annual leave doesn’t mean you have to travel abroad.

Final thoughts

I chose to do a placement year because I wanted a trial run of the real working world and to learn what I enjoyed doing as well as what I don’t enjoy. FDM has helped me discover just this and has opened the door to a world of opportunities – for which I am extremely grateful. I’ve met some great people and I’d like to thank everyone who has made my time here so memorable.


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