Janet Nambuya – 2nd year Social Policy Immigration Advisor, Life Line Options, Birmingham
Working with the founder of Life Line Options and his team, Janet acted as an Immigration Advisor for asylum seekers and refugees in the Birmingham area. After spending some time observing the work performed at the organisation Janet then performed various activities; including interviewing clients both face-to-face and over the phone, attending court during hearings and mediating between clients and various law firms.
Janet believes that her main achievement whilst on her placement was the improvement in her confidence: “The skills achieved from both shadowing and self-tutoring whilst at Life Line Options overtime enabled me to learn and understand the immigration welfare and legal framework used to determine immigration cases both theoretically and practically.
By my fourth week I felt fully confident when responding to immigration telephone queries, communicating with the Home Office on behalf of clients, managing case work whilst reading through a client’s files as well as accompanying clients to their oral court hearings. It was at the end of this particular week that I felt utterly confident that being an immigration advisor was what I wanted to be professionally after graduation.”
Janet was able to improve a number of skills whilst on her placement. Her communication skills improved as she had to convey often complicated information to clients who may have limited English ability, as well as communicating professionally and competently with the Home Office about legislation she was still learning.
Janet recognised that "Responding to immigration queries enabled me to rise to the challenge of handling different situations by adapting quickly and successfully, think both critically and analytically, use strong verbal and personal communication skills to demonstrate confidence on the subject, diplomacy to overcome challenging situations, as well as use of judgement to analyse problems."
As a result of this experience Janet now has a greater understanding of the skills she needs to improve further and she has identified a number of additional work experience placements she will apply for in her next University year to help her achieve this.
Janet believes that the placement at Life Line Options will be hugely beneficial to her in her future. As a result of the placement Janet now feels sure that she is pursuing a career that she will find rewarding and will enable her to make a difference to peoples lives. Just as importantly Janet’s excellent performance has given her the confidence in her own ability to believe she can flourish in this industry. In her own words: “This experience helped to further justify that I was in the right field of work where other people could see my enthusiasm. It made me extremely proud to have an organisation that I looked up to see my potential and value it by trusting in me.”