Tom Woodhouse is in his third year of Media and Communications at Cov Uni. But you won’t see him much around campus, because Tom’s doing his placement opportunity at the one and only EA Games in Guildford. He’s written this inspiring blog for our readers about the experience too, so next year, this could be you…
Hi! My name is Tom Woodhouse, I’m a third-year Media and Communications student currently on my placement year down in Guildford with Electronic Arts. I work in the Communications and PR team at EA, working on titles like FIFA 17, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2.
I first decided I wanted a third-year work placement early on in my second year. I quickly realised that without relevant work experience my chances of getting a job were going to be slim, so throughout my second year I worked with local charity Arty-Folks as well as being a freelance videographer for local bands, the Good Food Show and Coventry University.
This gave me the experience I needed to secure interviews with 8 companies who I’d applied for placements with. Sadly, I got rejected from 7 separate interviews back-to-back which wasn’t ideal, but I soldiered on to my last, and most important interview at EA. I was and still am a huge gamer and my interview there was so warm and friendly as well as the job being incredible that I made sure I was as prepared as I could possibly be. Luckily, things worked out and those 7 interview rejections allowed me to nail my last one and get the placement!
Coventry University have been incredibly helpful with employability, giving me a huge amount of opportunities with my freelance videography work last year. I did numerous videography projects for the Central Careers Team last year and the Art and Humanities department as well, that was a great CV bolsterer – the opportunities are always there if you look for them.
I’ve learnt a ridiculous amount whilst being on placement and I’d highly recommend it to anyone. I’ve had the chance to work professionally with huge names like Natalie Dormer and Robert Pires, managed the Sims Facebook page, networked with hundreds of press outlets and gaming industry contacts and most importantly – not had to make any cups of tea!
It’s a huge learning curve and at times I’ve been rushed off the face of the earth but I couldn’t have asked for a more fulfilling or exciting placement year. Whilst I have learnt a huge amount about the specifics of the games industry, I think what hits home after a year on placement is the sense of general business understanding that you gain working in a multinational corporation. Before this year I didn’t have a clue what a financial year was, how purchase orders worked and I’d never even been in a proper meeting! It’s these kinds of experiences that I think are invaluable for graduates today and that’s the main reason I’d recommend more students to consider the placement option at Coventry.