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How to Get More from Your Placement Year

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Guest post: Sophie-Anne Bradley, StudentJob                 

A placement year is an opportunity for you to put your studies into practice by applying what you have learned at university with an organization. The experience can be extremely beneficial for you, not only professionally but personally as well. Below is a guide of what to expect on your placement year and some tips for making the most of your 12 months in industry.

1. Set yourself goals

It is important to give yourself some personal goals when starting your placement year, so that you can see how much you have progressed over the 12 months. These can be goals such as learning a new skill, pushing yourself to achieve a certain target, or to overcome any personal boundaries. Not only will this motivate to push yourself but you will also see how far you have come once you complete your placement.

2. Get stuck in

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone; push yourself! You will get as much out of your placement as you put in, and the more willing you are to learn new skills, the more opportunity there will be for you to progress. Also, if there is opportunity for you to socialize with other employees, make sure that you do. In larger organizations there may be a lot of other placement students that are in the same boat as you; help each other out and help each other enjoy the experience.

3. Branch out

If there is something specific that you want to do within the company, don’t be afraid to ask – there will be employees that will be willing to teach you. You are only there for a year so why not try and gain as many new skills to put on your CV that you can. You’ll only thank yourself later! It will also show your employer that you have an eagerness to learn and that you have initiative. The organization is there to help you and will want to make sure that you are getting out as much out of your placement year as you possibly can.

4. Keep a record

Throughout your placement it is important that you keep track of what you have learned and anything you have achieved. This will help you upon completing your placement, as you will be able to add these new skills to your CV and you will be able to reflect on your development. Also for future job interviews you will have this information to hand to impress interviewers!

5. Keep in contact

Make sure you have the contact details of the company and connect with them on LinkedIn; you never know when this could help you in the future! And if you ever need a reference for a future job you’ll be able get one. Sometimes if placement students do well and impress their employers, they are offered graduate positions within the company.

6. Finally, enjoy the experience!

The 12 months of your placement will fly by! Give it everything you’ve got and make the most of the experience; you’ll learn a lot and meet a lot of new people, so enjoy every moment. You’ll gain an incredible insight into an industry and specialist knowledge that you didn’t have before the placement, so try and learn as much as you can.

Work placements are a great prospect for students wanting to gain experience in the working world. StudentJob advertises many placements jobs all over the UK and abroad; check our website for more information.

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