The importance of a worthwhile and positive 12-month or summer student placement should not be underestimated.

Fitting into the culture of a organisation is hugely important. Assessing this through placements is used by many top recruiters.

See what opportunities are currently available on our work experience noticeboard.

Develop your soft skills

Developing your soft skills through these opportunities should be a key objective. Working on projects, in teams, meeting deadlines and prioritising work are skills gained that you can use to sell yourself.

Playing sport, joining a university society, voluntary work, and going travelling are other ways where these skills are fostered. You may have a good academic history but placements and interests develop those vital soft skills which help you become a more ‘well-rounded’ individual. Something which recruiters are always looking for.

Find out if the company suits you

Placements are a good way to assess whether the organisation is what you want from your work place saving you time when looking for full time jobs.

Practical experience for your studies

When returning to university you will be able to relate academic theory to a more practical knowledge, these can be useful for assignments, lectures, seminars and your exams.

Experience of the recruitment process

Work placement applications are often done in a similar way to a company’s general recruitment. This provides you with more experience of the application process when looking for full time jobs, giving an extra insight into what is required from you. In today’s highly competitive graduate market everything adds up to help secure the position that you aspire to.

How to find student placements

Visit your careers centre

Research the types of placements you can choose from and consider the factors which might influence your decision.

Factors may include:

  • Intended career path.
  • Location.
  • Expections from the placement.

Good companies will have built strong links with the university and therefore advice from staff is highly valuable. It is worthwhile looking online and at careers publications as well to gain any extra bits of information.

It is never too early to start looking

There are plenty of opportunities out there to speak to employers through careers fairs, evening presentations and workshops. Do your research early and you’ll have a clear direction of what you want when you start making applications. This will improve your chances of getting waht you want.

Why not look at our events calendar to see where you can meet potential employers?

Do a lot of research

If you’re seeking a placement do as much research as possible, if you think you will fit into the culture of the organisation, you are more likely to have a positive experience which could influence you future job prospects. However, willingness to relocate may be necessary to find the ‘right employer’.

Speaking to students that have undertaken placements is a good way to gain some insights and gather information.

Read our Recent Graduate profiles to learn more.

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