Six Months at Yakult & 3 Reasons Why I Think my Placement Year has been Valuable

Hey everyone, Raff here again! If you aren’t familiar with who I am, I am a Nutrition student on placement at Yakult UK and Ireland.

picture of placement student smiling

Firstly, Happy New Year! Saying this makes me realise that my first six months of placement is complete… and has gone by in a flash! Since my very first day, I have had an incredible experience learning all about the ins and outs of gut health, and especially our handy gut bacteria. I have also had the opportunity to improve my transferable skills – self-motivation, communication, teamwork, research – and having reflected on the last six months I have come up with three reasons why I think my placement year has been valuable:

1. A rewarding experience

Taking on a role in the science team at Yakult has aligned so well with my degree and has been a rewarding experience, for my personal growth, and also for my future career. It has opened my mind up to what I can potentially do with my nutrition degree after I graduate, and has allowed me to discover my enthusiasm for gut health.

2. Discovering my role is in a field that I enjoy   

Discovering that my role is in a field I really enjoy has motivated me to work hard and fully immerse myself in my projects. If you find yourself in a situation where you don’t like your role on placement… do not give up as it is still a valuable experience and will narrow down your career choices later on.  

3. Building a foundation for a professional network

Networking is a great way to meet people in your industry, find mentors and keep up with the latest news, research and trends. As I have been working from home since I started my placement, I haven’t been able to fully participate in networking, however, I feel that working closely with my team at Yakult has formed a great foundation and has highlighted the importance of building relationships with my colleagues.

What’s in store for the next six months?

With a vaccine for COVID-19, there is a new hope for normality… but it is most likely that I will be working from home for the rest of my placement (yay, more time with my furry friends!).

picture of cat lying next to student's computer
My siamese cat, Caramella

 Along with my everyday tasks, I will be involved in two major projects in my last six months at Yakult:

  • Yakult Study Day

The science team is organising two virtual conferences in spring, and I will be involved in organising speakers and the virtual running of the event.

  • My Placement Project

I will be setting up the Yakult Student Programme for nutrition and dietetic students across various UK universities talking about all-things gut, to gather data and feedback for my placement project. 

If you would like to know more about these projects, or anything else relating to my placement, please feel free to contact me!