It’s a dream to go from a placement year in Leicester to a graduate role in Dubai. But for Dinah (HR & Psychology student) this has just become a reality!
Dinah started her placement search back in September 2012 in her 2nd year but didn’t get a placement offer up untill June 2013! Her sheer perseverance and determination paid off after several mock interviews and engagement with the placement unit.
Read how Dinah did it with her top 5 tips for placement searching:
- Get involved with extra-curricular activities: I made sure that I did some volunteering with the student union over the course of my first year in order to update my CV. (It’s not too late if you’ve not been involved as yet. There’s still time over the summer to make up for it. It doesn’t necessarily have to be even related to your course – just make sure you have some work experience under the radar! 🙂
- Decide on doing an industrial placement: This is where all the work experience and volunteering becomes beneficial. You will find that many employers today are not only interested in the grades you have but also what you’ve been up to aside your lectures, tutorials etc. I feel it is important to also make the placement unit your second home (if you can!). Well, looking back now, I can confidently state that they played a major role in supporting me with the placement search process. After all, there’s only so much you can do on your own…
- Make the most out of the Industrial Placement: I imagined my placement year as my only chance to confirm or validate my interest in HR. If anything, it was an opportunity for me to not only have a ‘taster’ of the real world but also a real learning curve in terms of my personal and professional development. Amongst the many benefits of taking a placement it included the massive boost in confidence (considering I was a VERY shy individual prior to embarking on this ‘journey’). Returning to my final year, it was almost as if I had come back with a completely different mind-set towards everything – Not forgetting the fact that I saw a clear improvement in my final year grades for assignments.
- Time management: This is essential in making sure you achieve a good uni/life balance (if there’s such a thing!). It’s all well and good being ambitious and making hard work your ultimate goal throughout your time at uni. However, the importance of maintaining and making time for other aspects of life cannot be estimated (just don’t over-do it.)
- Utilise all the opportunities available: This can be anything from the careers service, the essay help sessions held in the library, the placement talks, lecturers surgery hours – the list is endless really). It is quite unfortunate that I only realised the benefits of these opportunities in my final year but I managed to totally embrace it regardless. There is support available for any aspect of the university experience – all you have to do is find it and make the most out of it!
I’m hoping this gives you some exposure in terms of my experience and how I’ve managed to secure this opportunity, 4 years on from joining DMU…
Searching for a placement is tough, especially if you’ve been trying really hard and the only feedback you get is, “There’s nothing to improve on, it’s just that the other person was better suited to the position, that’s all”.
But like Dinah, if you keep going you’ll reap the rewards. Dinah is now moving onto a HR Global position for a major oil company and will be based in Dubai for her first year which is fantastic. The reason she got this graduate position is mostly down to her placement experience. She talked about all the things she accomplished whilst on placement at the assessment centre.
Don’t give up on placements!
Come and speak to the placement team if you have any questions.