Making the Most of Your Placement Year
- Be proactive; if you’ve finished set work, ask for more, ask to assist on projects or shadow seniors
- Use theory and be critical; apply your university learning and consider how you can apply your newfound business knowledge when you are back in your final year, this will enhance your work, leading to better marks.
- Keep a record; keep note of what you have learnt and experienced, not only will it help with your portfolio but it will be useful when enhancing your CV or to discuss in job interviews as examples. Keep hold of any training certificates or letters of recommendation you receive. Save these on your personal computer not the work computer!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback; current employees of the company and senior management at your placement are the best people to be able to give you feedback on how you are doing and any areas you could improve. This could help pre-empt a possible issue.
- Future planning; consider what comes next after your placement. Does your company offer graduate opportunities, if so, are you eligible? Are you interested in working for another department or a partner company? How can you get there?
- Keep in touch; remember to keep the contact details of your colleagues and managers; they can provide references as well as let you know of any opportunities within the company you would be suitable for. Getting the contact details of people you meet at events or whilst networking are key to building your list of useful contacts. Just remember to send a follow-up email mentioning briefly what you discussed; this can help make you more memorable.
- Set yourself goals/objectives; rather than just working 9-5, completing your placement year and coming back to Uni, set a goal; i.e. training you want to complete, new skills you want to have learnt. The goal is to enhance Grad CV; check Blackboard (National Occupational Standards for Management and Leadership Summary) and focus on Grad-necessary skills rather than general job skills; team leading/team management/encouraging innovation/developing business plans/managing risk/managing conflict/budgeting/leading meetings.