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Web Designer (HTML and CSS)
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wanted to study Web Design - HTML and CSS in order for me to be able as an engineer to communicate my research and my group research findings to members of public as well as other researchers. This will help them understand our research and its impact on their lives

How did you find your placement/internship?

Department email

Application process

I was required to fill a form with a very easy to follow questions and it is completely worth the effort spent on it. Less than half day of effort will give you the chance to improve yourself, increase your chance of getting employed, develop a new skill as well as become a better ambassador for the university in the future.

Main responsibilities

In terms of money, you have to cover some of the fees for the experience as I was not given all of the money required and I had to cover some of them (about 80 pounds) and this is not bad at all. The money was just for food and part of the hotel fees.

For the PREP, you will have to fill one reflective report about your experience and one case study.

In terms of the course, You just have to attend everyday from 10 till 4 pm and bring with you a notepad.

Typical day

I was involved in building websites and web applications that are cross-platform and device capable in a standards-compliant way using HTML5 and CSS3. The course was four days and designed to help us gaining understanding on how to create hyperlinks, place images, use tables, floating, positioning, rounded corners and other cutting-edge techniques. In the first three days, we have learned almost all of the things mentioned above and then we were involved in the fourth day in designing some pages of websites such as The Guardian and taught how to upload our site into a server.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

I am so happy and I gained a lot of new skills upon the completion of the course and I was given a certificate, which is a cool thing to prove to myself that I can challenge and put myself out of my comfort zone and enrol in a course that is completely different than my field of study and be able to do well. Now, every time I am looking at a website, I try to visualize the designing stage for it and it is a gift to be able to do so and imagine what the designer have gone through to bring us all of the features and make the websites handy for us. It also helped me in getting to know the effort that was spent in creating the University of Sheffield website and the electronic resources that we have for the sake of facilitating our study, which is so cool from hyperlinks to our emails and google drive to links to thousands and thousands of pages and making sure it runs smoothly for students. I remember one funny thing from my class when I was given the Guardian exercise is that I told the instructor would you like me to design the whole website just like them or just the headlines with the weather box. He laughed and he told me designing the whole of their website will take you a month or so and we had just 30 minutes for this exercise.

Challenging aspects

The first day was very challenging for me since I did not know about the basic structure for HTML and CSS commands for programming using atom software. For example,
(for giving a headline to the page)
(for styling the text in the page)
(closing the style)
(opening the body)
(closing body text)
(closing html)
In addition, I am a heavy Windows user and the course was taught on a Mac desktop. I was trying to adapt to the new PC and the class and trying hard get to know all of the information. By the end of the first day, I downloaded the lectures using my phone and installed a software called ‘’droid edit free’’ which helped me immensely in opening all of the exercises that I have done during the day and review what I have learnt. The second day, I was one of the best students even though everyone in the class found the second day the most difficult day in the course and they were graphical designers. I felt so much in control and I can create anything faster than anybody. I also felt so excited working on any exercise and I was so passionate about learning and thrilled to continue progressing to reach my goal of being able to design my own website. I have reviewed the course material for the second day and I was so happy that I am learning a new field that was alien to me. We have learned a lot such as creating boxes and positioning them and creating a container that contain all of the boxes and arranging the boxes so that we can resize them according to the display screen (interactive display) and creating a tool bar with icons hyperlinked to new pages in the website or to google page.

Did you use any skills learned from your course?

I will try to design my own website after a month or so as I am a bit busy finishing a scientific article at the moment, but at the back of my mind I wish that I can practise the skills that I have learned. One challenge is that I do not have a mac.
I think one additional experience which could be beneficial in developing my skills more is to work as a trainee or volunteering in an IT office for the university or anywhere. This would help me hugely in gaining more knowledge about the subject.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

Yes, It will compliment my research skills and It will give me an advantage in finding a job easier. I am trying now to find a trainee position in my free time in order to develop my web design abilities and practise using the skills that I have gained.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

I would strongly advise students to apply for the Postgraduate Researcher Experience Programme and seize such a golden opportunity to develop new skills which will help them in finding a job easier these days.

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Form completed: 08 Jul 2017

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