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Department of Information Studies


Archive for the 'Work placements' Category

Almost like Silicon Valley: my placement at Skyscanner

By Sarah Davenport, on 22 May 2013

A blog post by Kate Kozhevnikova, MA in Electronic Communication and Publishing

Hi everybody, people who are already in DIS or planning to join.  I’m a full-time international student on the Electronic Communication and Publishing (ECP) programme. ECP is a great course which doesn’t necessarily specify what/who you are supposed to work as. So when it came to choosing an organization and a field for my placement I felt that it would be a tough one.  I had two offers and a choice to make: work either in communications or digital marketing. I chose the latter and that is where my story begins.

I started working at Skyscanner (a leading European flight comparison website with headquarters in Scotland) three weeks ago and I‘m already overwhelmed. Skyscanner has a presence in more than 20 markets around the globe, with Russia being its second largest market after the UK. My Russian language skills along with digital marketing experience came in handy here and I joined the Market Development team to work on Skyscanner.ru (look how funky the characters are) and my initial plan was to observe and be quiet for a while… I really wanted to learn from the people who work within the electronic market, deal with enormous amount of data every day and are trying to change the world of online travel.

This is what the team is trying to do every day

This is what the team is trying to do every day.













My biggest surprise was that my first day started with a personal induction. It was a presentation about the company, its goals, plans, strategies and I had a chance to ask all the questions that were bugging me and find out about my role at the company. My second biggest surprise was that even though I joined the marketing team, I was assigned to spend some time with people from all over the company and learn from them, even web development and data acquisition (which I was especially pleased with).

At the moment I mostly learn.

At the moment I mostly learn.








When I started digging into the world of PPC, SEO, ROI, Redirect, USP and other cool acronyms and terms, that is when it hit me that I actually do know a lot already, and all the essays I’ve written for my classes left some pretty decent knowledge in my head. It was good to feel that I know some of the coding languages and I don’t need an initial explanation of what tags, style sheets, databases etc. are. I was also up-to-date with the online trends, varied platforms, social and legal aspects (thank you, Simon!) and actually developed a solid platform and personal view on many of these things. Being able to express my views and initiate projects based on my ideas in such a major company is the best outcome I could get. Furthermore, learning the technical side of a business which is purely online is another priceless part of my placement.

Our canteen/social area

Our canteen/social area








Going back a year to when I confirmed my offer from UCL, I remember reading again and again the section on the DIS website about placements. Initially, this part of the course was the most exciting for me.  I was looking forward to entering the world of ‘real’ work in the UK. For an international student like myself it is a unique experience, which is really different from the one I had in my home country. It turned out to be better that I had imagined.

Russian flag is there to warn people:)

Russian flag is there to warn people:)

Profiles in Law Librarianship

By Anne Welsh, on 2 December 2012

At our recent open day, we were pleased to meet prospective students from a range of sectors including academic, health, business and law.

Perhaps because we teach a traditional MA LIS, with core modules in Cataloguing and Classification, Collection Management, Information Sources, Management and PCIT, or perhaps because so many of our alumni have gone on to prominent positions within RLUK and other academic libraries, one of the frequently asked questions was how many of our students go on to careers in the commercial sector.

We are honestly able to say that an increasing number of our graduates go into commercial roles, both within traditional information services and in new media positions. It’s a happy co-incidence that one such recent graduate has just been featured on the Special Libraries Association Legal Division’s ‘Profiles in Law Librarianship’. 

Marie Cannon was a member of last year’s cohort of students. Arriving with a background in the legal sector, she took advantage of opportunities within the MA to try out different areas before deciding to target law firms in pursuit of her first professional post. She was one of the first in her year to obtain a post, and one of many students to combine finishing her dissertation with starting a new role. She also received a scholarship to attend the SLA conference in Chicago last summer, and is now a board member for SLA Europe, for whom she runs the SLA Europe Blog. Social media was a developing professional passion for Marie during her time at UCL, when, as well as starting her own blog, she authored two entries during her work placement at Senate House – ‘Rare Books Revealed‘ and ‘Rare Books Revealed 2‘.

Information professionals are a friendly group of people, and Marie is no exception to this. I’m sure if you have questions about her route into law librarianship, her time studying at UCL, or, indeed, her love of baking and decorating beautiful cakes, she will be happy to be found on twitter @mariegcannon.

Read Marie’s interview on the SLA Legal Division website.

Image: Marie Grace Cannon’s Blog

Archival Description Across the Globe

By Anne Welsh, on 11 May 2012

Originally posted by Dr. Jenny Bunn to the UCL Staff Blog.

Every year students on the Department’s archives and records management programmes spend two weeks on work placement undertaking cataloguing projects in a variety of archival institutions. These institutions tend to be based within London and the South East, but this year two students, Sharon Messenger and Ego Ahaiwe, have taken the bold step of travelling much further afield. Sharon, for example, has just spent two weeks in the Orkney Library & Archive in Kirkwall and you can read more about her experience there on the Orkney Archive blog. Then again, Ego has travelled across the Atlantic to the Immigration History Research Center based in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, where she became headline news.

We therefore welcome back Ego, Sharon, and all our students from their travels and send a huge thank you to all those institutions who have kindly hosted a placement this year!