By Emily Lawrence, Degree Apprentice, Pearson College London, Pearson PLC

Hi, I’m Emily, a Degree Apprentice on the International Rotational Degree Apprenticeship programme within Pearson Plc. I am in Manila in the Philippines on my annual summer placement. Manila is not only the country’s capital, but it is also it's financial, publishing and business centre of the Philippines.

Whilst on my placement, I will be working within the Pearson Plc Human Resources (HR) department, within the Global Service Desk team. The Global Service Desk team mainly deal with internal questions and enquiries regarding Pearson’s HR systems and also with editing staff databases.

To give me the most experience whilst there, I will be rotating through three different shift patterns, known as the morning shift, the midday shift and an evening shift. There are three different shifts so that the team are operating twenty-four hours a day, so all the Pearson offices from around the world are able to talk to the team throughout their working day and get the quickest turnaround time for their enquiry.

I am very excited to go to the Philippines as part of my placement because I have never been there before, and I think it's an amazing opportunity to experience a new culture. This is also an opportunity for me to step outside my comfort zone and do something I wouldn't usually be able to do, allowing me to grow both professionally and personally. Furthermore, it is a chance for me to vary my job role and learn new skills to help broaden my professional skills.

What do you hope to learn from your international placement?

From my rotation, I hope to get a better understanding of Pearson PLC and how the office in the Philippines is run differently to the UK, regarding hierarchy, office culture, employee values etc, as these are the things I have studied at university this year. Furthermore, I hope to get an understanding of the Filipino way of life.

How is this placement of benefit to your apprenticeship?

I hope to learn new skills that I will be able to transfer back to my role in the UK; I’ll also get to build my apprenticeship portfolio, using the projects that I’ll get to work on during my placement. In addition, I hope to be able to use my understanding of placements as an idea for my dissertation, once I have completed all three of my international placements.

How is your placement going so far?

I have been on my rotation for a week now, working the 2pm-11pm shift; I am thoroughly enjoying it and I’m really starting to settle in. During my first week in the office, I have been trained on how to use the Pearson HR systems such as Fusion and Service Now, to onboard and offboard employees. I have also completed a voice recording for a video presentation on Pearson’s history, the recording will be used in most NHO courses and it has also been included in the Global Service Desk (GDS) weekly team huddle, as that’s the team I worked with first. I will be working with a different team each week during my placement; next week I will be working on the 11am-8pm shift.

I have also been lucky enough to explore the Philippines and visit an island called Cebu, where I saw Kawasan Falls which were beautiful; I also went snorkelling, swam with turtles and got to see dolphins too!