Placement year student kicks off placement at Premier League football team!

Placement Student - Tom DaceyEssex 2nd year Sports and Exercise Science student, Tom Dacey, has just begun an exciting placement year with West Ham United Football Club.

Working with them for the full season as a Sports Scientist, Tom will get the chance to practise many of the skills he has learned in his time here at Essex and no doubt learn many more! We caught up with Tom to see how he was getting on……

How did you find the placement?

“I found the placement following my work as a Strength and Conditioning frontrunner in my 2nd year at Uni. The frontrunner position gave me valuable experience that I was able to put forward and show potential employers whilst looking for a work placement.

I have been on the Volleyball Scholarship Programme since I joined the university, so when Dave Parry, who is the Director of Performance Sport at the University, heard I was looking for a work placement, he forwarded the contact to me.

With the help of Dave and the careers centre, my CV and covering letter were good enough to get me an interview. After a successful interview I was offered the position at West Ham, an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

 What’s the best thing about being on placement?

“The opportunity to work within a professional club is the best part of the placement. There’s a vast amount of knowledge and experience from so many aspects of the club and I have access to that. I’m able to learn something new every day.

A lot of my work is research based so not only am I learning new things; I’m improving my skills that I’ll need to use for my final year in university with regards to my dissertation and coursework.”

 How have you found the transition from student to full-time work?

“I found the transition from student to full time work quite easy actually. Sure the days are longer, early mornings, long commutes and always having some sort of project or work that I need to be doing, but I spent my first 2 years at University on a scholarship programme where I was training twice, sometimes three times a day as well as going to lectures and having some sort of social life, so time management wasn’t that much of a problem to me.

The staff I work with have been extremely helpful in settling me into the work environment and I think that was probably the main reason for it feeling so easy.”

Find out more

To find out more about placement years and how to find opportunities to learn and gain vital work experience, please contact the faculty placement teams:


Science and Health:

Social Sciences:


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