By Jamie Seow on Wed 27 September 2023 in Placement Blog
Change can be a scary thing! Leaving your comfort zone to dive into the unknown and pursue a Placement year can be intimidating. Check out how Jamie, our Project Co-Ordinator Placement, has adapted so far...
Embracing Urban Life for a Placement Year at ProspectSoft
What is it like moving cities for a placement year? Project Co-Ordinator placement, Jamie, explains his experience of adjusting from a smaller area to a more populated city like Oxford.
At first moving hours and hours away from home may be daunting for some, however, the ProspectSoft family makes it easier to adapt to the change. A key reason for this is that I live with some of the other placements, allowing us to bond during and outside of work. The company also has regular company socials, allowing placements to meet and get to know people from other departments (many being previous placements!). Additionally, embracing the culture of the city, being adventurous and exploring different parts of the city!
Places to Visit in Oxford:
One of the huge advantages of moving to Oxford is that there are endless things to do after work and on the weekends. From high street retailers, rooftop bars and restaurants to beautiful historical architecture, parks, and rivers. Oxford has a wide range of areas to explore: the City Centre, Cowley, Headington, Summertown and Jericho. There is a wide range of public transport all around Oxford such as regular bus services, electric scooters, and taxis.
The City Centre comprises Westgate Shopping Centre, which is easily accessible to, especially from Cowley and Headington. Not only are there tons of different shops and restaurants near Westgate but there are also fun activities such as Crazy Golf and Escape Rooms. Cowley Road is one of the liveliest areas of Oxford, filled with countless independent restaurants and bars to hang out after work with other placements and get to know each other better. Headington is less lively than the City Centre and Cowley, but still has a range of shops, restaurants, cafes, and bars to visit whilst being close to the office. The Headington Quarry area is an old district with a small shopping centre with great transport links to Oxford High Street and Cowley. Summertown and Jericho are less student-dense areas but have vibrant shops and business centres. It is a great place to do a range of activities such as visiting J.R.R Tolkien’s House and Punting along the Cherwell River.
Living life in Oxford can be a culture shock to some people; the city centre is always a lively place with a mixture of university students, tourists, and the local people. The benefits of living in a better and more touristy city are that it attracts a range of amazing shops, restaurants, bars, and activities that should be on your list of places to visit. Additionally, compared to my smaller city, Oxford has diversity in their amazing restaurants, shops, and culture. This is a unique experience that I had not come across before moving to Oxford!
Living with Fellow Placements:
From the familiarisation day that ProspectSoft organises a couple months before the placement starts, me and other placements decided to find and move into a house together. The office is in Headington, which is further out from the city centre area, so we decided to live in between the office and centre by living in Cowley. This is a nice and convenient area with multiple shops, restaurants and bars and is only a short car commute to and from the office. The car journey is never boring, we usually spend it listening to and bonding over a huge range of music!
I have thoroughly enjoyed living with the other placements at the same company. Outside of work we regularly watch movies, go to bars and restaurants, as well as play PlayStation and Nintendo Switch together. This enables us to be really supportive of each other whether that’s during working hours or in our free time. It is also nice to be able to relate to other placements who are in the same situation as you, entering the corporate world with a full-time job and a lot of individual responsibilities.
ProspectSoft organises several out of work socials at the start of the placement year. This was extremely helpful for us placements to get to know each other better, and to introduce ourselves to people from a wide range of departments. Placements are encouraged to have a social life alongside work, so we’ve had multiple occasions where all the placements have met up outside of work for food and drinks.
ProspectSoft’s acquisition by Access has a range of benefits for placement students. For example, throughout the year, Access provides an abundance of resources to guide and develop placements’ skills and knowledge of how to succeed in the workplace environment. However, ProspectSoft remains to have the small, family feeling. You will get the chance to meet everyone in each department, working together closely with multiple departments to be part of ProspectSoft’s journey to success. The company has a relatively young and vibrant work environment, where most employees were previous placements themselves. This helps placements to learn quickly and feel supported as we know our managers have been in our position before. I’m excited for many more company socials!
If you are feeling worried about applying for a placement in a different and busier city, I encourage you to be optimistic and embrace the adventures of corporate life. The year will present you with a unique opportunity to gain a wealth of industry experiences, learning from experts in their fields.
So, what’s stopping you applying for a placement far from home? It’ll be a year to remember whilst building up your hands-on practical experience in the real world. You’ll have the chance to make incredible, lifelong friendships, both within the company and beyond, making it a truly extraordinary year!
The ProspectSoft office is only a quick drive away from the Oxford High Street and buzzing Cowley area, so there’s always something to do. Take a look at our placements page to discover all the roles we have to offer this upcoming year!