Many courses at University can be complemented by a year of working in the Industry, usually between Year 2 and 3 of study. This is true across a variety of courses, but is it right for you? Here I will describe my experience of completing a placement, how it has helped me in my Business course, and how I anticipate it might help me into the future.
The most obvious advantage to completing a placement is the real-life experience you will gain, that can’t be recreated through an academic course. You will be able to develop skills that you otherwise wouldn’t, and have new things to write on you CV and talk about in job interviews. The completion of a placement shows potential employers that you have the experience to back up your theoretical knowledge, and that you will have experienced genuine problem-solving situations before, a key skill employers are looking for. This will make you stand out from other graduates, and improve your employability prospects.
This experience also gives you an opportunity to put the theory you’ve learned into practice, and experience any limitations of it. This can help you when writing coursework and dissertation in your final year, as you can write from the perspective of somebody who has actually worked in the industry you are interested in. It makes it easier to understand theory in a management context, and people who completed placements statistically usually perform better in final year than those who haven’t.
Working in the industry you’re interested in will let you know whether it is right for you. Before my placement, I did not know what I wanted to do after graduating. After completing a social media marketing placement for the University, I discovered that this type of marketing was indeed something that really interested me and something I may wish to pursue in my career. Equally, your placement might teach you that a subject you thought you were interested in is not for you, and that you may wish to target other types of jobs after graduating. Either way, experiencing this sooner rather than later helps you plan in advance.
All in all, completing a placement was one of the best decision I made as a student. It helps build experience, grow confidence, improve problem solving abilities in a real working environment, not to mention helping to save up some money for after graduation. If you secure a paid placement, you are still eligible for student accommodation, so this is great for those thinking about financial security in the months after graduating. My placement at Plymouth University was enjoyable, and immensely valuable. I’d recommend completing one to all those who have the opportunity, as it may not come around again! Good luck in your search.
Talk soon people,