Andrey @ SMI

Andrey's thoughts on his placement that he did with us here at The Sheffield Methods Institute.

ICOSS building

First, when I had heard that I got the placement, I was thrilled at the prospect of what I could accomplish. But I could not have imagined how fulfilling getting behind the project and working on a piece of research with a dedicated team would truly be. It was indeed interesting learning about the cultural and creative industries (CCI), what they are, how they work and the different perspectives of the people working in it.

In the beginning of the placement, I quickly realised that I had to extend my bibliography and did some thorough reading on various sources before finally choosing a topic of interest, which I explored further. I set my mind on the exceptional and informal economy of the CCI, with the idea that I can research how their income statistics can vary accordingly to the people’s departmental degree and type of university. When the concept was disclaimed to my supervisor, with his assistance, we reached a conclusion around what I should focus my research on, which was extremely convenient.

The placement developed my writing and cognitive skills even further, preparing me for my undergraduate dissertation next year"


SMI intern

My placement involved a lot of work with Microsoft Excel and RStudio. Through the daily use of Excel, I refreshed and improved my knowledge of the program.

However most of my time was spent working with RStudio. I enriched my knowledge of the software, especially how to display a variety of graphs. Also, I learned how to work with Regular expressions and how to recode strings. Recoding new or just setting regular expressions is a particularly useful skill when creating new variables out of existing ones. Additionally, this helped me search for strings, which can be later renamed or put in different variables. While depicting the graphs, I encountered the new issues which, as I resolved them, led to the graphs looking more and more professional.

Afterwards, I had to describe in-writing the results and underpin them with academic references. This developed my writing and cognitive skills even further, preparing me for my undergraduate dissertation next year. The fact that I had already conducted another academic research piece gave me experience and new skills, which have made me more confident in my abilities, which will prove very useful for future job applications post-university, as I will be more comfortable.

My placement definitely allowed me to improve my existing skills while gaining new ones by working in an academic environment. Through the placement, one can truly get a sense of what it is to work on a piece of academic research. The data gathering and processing, the analysing and depicting of results was a daily routine, giving me a true insight into what it is like to be an academic researcher.

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Why Numbers Matter

SMI's series on why it's important to get numbers right.

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