Student feedback

Hear student insights into the placement and supervision experience. Over time we will be adding to this page as a way of collecting the stories and insights from a student’s point of view. Encourage your student to make note of their experiences and send it in. Note that all identifying information has been omitted to ensure confidentiality.

“Supervision was hard for me at first. It just felt so false to be telling someone what you are doing and why you are doing it that way. But as the time went by it all fell into place and I ended placement really enjoying my time with my supervisor. My supervisor was good because she knew I reluctant and didn’t push me but didn’t let me off the hook either. She tried to make everything relevant and linked back to my university studies which I appreciated.”
“I am just finishing my final placement and after 5 years of study I really, really don’t know if I am ready to go out there yet. I am concerned I won’t get supervision when I am in a paid role.”
“Placement has been an amazing experience for me. I was concerned at the beginning that I would not be accepted because I’m a mature aged student and I don’t have a calm life but my supervisor and the team were very supportive and encouraged me to get the most out of my time with them.”
“Supervision for me was an amazing learning experience. Nothing was taboo in our supervision sessions. We had a regular time and space and I had my supervisor’s total presence. By the end we were working on hard and complex cases together.”
“I learnt a lot from the other workers in the team. My formal supervisor really was there to sign the paper work. I didn’t see him much at all. But the other workers took me under their wing and let me fly and it was great.”
“My supervisor was very good in making sure we had supervision and my work was organised. She helped me link what I was experiencing to theory and I began to see the relevance of what I learnt at Uni in practice. I didn’t have that on my first placement as I had a supervisor with a different approach more practice oriented and not much time spent on theory or critique. Both were good but different.”
“My first placement was very structured and I learnt a lot about social health and its application in the field but from more a research and observation rather than hands on. My second placement has been so hands on and busy that I’ve hardly had time to think. In both my placements I had new supervisors. It was funny both were terrified they would wreck my learning up so I think they went overboard in making sure I did everything by the book. I know this because my friend who did her placement in another area had a very relaxed supervisor.”
“I am just finishing a summer placement and I found that extremely hard both mentally and emotionally. My supervisor was so hard on me. I had to do everything by the book and it had to be her way or no way. So I just go on with it. Then at the end she made the comment to my LV that she was disappointed that I did not question things. Go figure.”
“My first placement just finished and I want to say it was the best thing ever. I have an idea now about what a hospital social worker does. My placement experience has reinforced that I am in the right place.”
“I am a social work student from Korea. Unfortunately I had a problem with my health during placement. I had to take time off. I found it hard to come back. I liked my supervisor very much because she was good to me and let me had the time off and then she made sure I what I needed to finish placement. I’m doing placement over a little time longer but that’s good. I am learning.”
“Both my placement have been wonderful. My first and second placements are quite different I would have liked to have specialised in the youth area with my placements but because how things happen I ended up doing one placement in a youth service and the other in a hospital. Both different but I learnt so much. I’m glad I did two different placements.”
“I was the only student on placement with my agency. It was amazing as they treated me like a worker. I was thrown into the deep end and I enjoyed it.”
“Placement is a great experience and I totally see the benefit. But the logistics of having to balance placement, part time work and a family is a nightmare. I really was going crazy until my supervisor got me to reframe my thinking and use the placement experience to take control of my life and find balance. After all when I start working it is going to be the same juggling act. She encouraged me to do a time and self care diary. One day we went through it together and I clearly see how where my time could have been spent doing something else. I have since I used that tool with a young client and it worked for her too. My supervisor saved my sanity.”
“Placement is hard – summer placement is cruel. My supervisor was away for a big period over that time because she got sick and I had another supervisor that I had to get use to. I am exhausted. I learnt a lot but I am so tired.”
“Supervision was the best thing every. I loved my supervisor. She was clear and available. Nothing was too much trouble to talk about or explore. She didn’t know everything in the world. In fact I think I taught her a few things but she was excellent. I hope I have a good supervisor in my next placement.”
“I had shared supervisors. There were good things about it and not so good. The good things were that both were experienced, kind and generous with their time and focus even though they were part time workers and very busy. The not so good was that they were different and at time tended to contradict each other, leaving me confused. They had never worked together so I think they were finding their feet. There were a few problem times and miscommunication but on the whole it was a learning for them and for me.”


I think the message I would have of myself if I were to be a supervisor would be to remember what it was like when I walked through that door on that initial day of placement.

Just to remember how anxious you were and all those expectations of what you thought you might be able to have to do.

But also you have to be compassionate and you have to have empathy but also to be strong and guide that student through the process of learning, through the process of developing frameworks, through the process of developing your identity as a practitioner in a responsive manner.

Also being critical as well as supportive so you have that balance.


I think the message I would give myself as message as a supervisors in the future it might be “Elenor put your feet on the ground”.

Remember what it is like when there is so much uncertainty as a student.

Remember your compassion, remember your respect for people, remember it is important to collaborate, don't give the answers, walk alongside people as they figure out what is important for them as a social worker.