Tips & Tricks Placements

The following tips & tricks to work on Tandem placements have been collected by Tandem Ukraine participants. Getting ready for yours? Read on.

Placement Tips & Tricks

‘Just have a placement!’
Juggling project work details, stakeholder meetings, shadowing, sight-seeing and your normal work load all at the same time? Some Tandems want to do everything at once! So did Anastasia and Iryna, however looking back at it, they realised that it is best to concentrate on one thing only: If you are on your placement, just do the placement. For now, the rest can wait.

Exchange & communicate expectations
Observing the rehearsals of a theatre production may be way more informative than having a more formal meeting about the structure and activities of the organisation. Especially, if it is a cooperation between two theatre directors, like Tommy and Dmytro. They say that this intensive period worked for them so well, because they made their needs and expectations clear to each other. They knew in advance what they were getting themselves into!

Have ‘kitchen talks’
Try to escape the formal settings and have a chat over dinner in a kitchen with the family, the friends or the colleagues. Sylvia and Sasha realised that they discovered so much more from their placement, beyond the professional and project learnings. They had the chance to grasp more of life in London or life in Kryvyy Rih! Just give yourself and your Tandem partner room and time for kitchen dinners!

Shadow each other!
As one of the methods in the tool kit, shadowing might feel a bit strange to you: but it is not stalking! Many Tandems took the time and just observed the work of their partner for a day or a few hours, and came back with interesting insights. And also for the person being shadowed the feedback and observation opened a new perspective on things and gave a chance to reflect on one’s own work from another point of view. Go ahead, and be a shadow!

Take a minute (or more) to reflect for yourself
Going to new places can be very enriching. It can also be too much! Be sure to take some time for yourself and find your way of reflecting on what you have heard, seen and experienced.

Have a flexible agenda
Yes, things should be planned and discussed beforehand. But still, do not always stick to your plan. Adapt to situations and needs in the moment. Listen to what your Tandem partner wants or does not want. Grab a marker like David & Mykhailo in Belfast and just change things on the go.

Be open…
Be aware of chances and possibilities that you might not see or plan beforehand. Maybe you will meet an inspiring organisation, the starting point for the next project or exactly the method you are looking for. Mykhailo & David looked at Belfast during their placement and realised they needed to change the city of their project in Ukraine. So, just keep your eyes open for the unexpected.

Be playful!
Play a little. Juliane, Kotryna & Natalia spent a lot of time planning and thinking about their project plans and agendas. Yet, once they arrived in Chernivtsi for their placement, they just took a break and went on a ride on a carousel! A placement is time for inspiration and shaking up thoughts & routines.

So in the end, most importantly… ‘Just enjoy it!’