Confused About What a Placement Year Is? Here is our advice

A placement is a period of work experience which is an integrated and assessed part of a student’s degree. Completely different to an internship which is extra-curricular.

Things to be aware of with placements:

  • Placements last a minimum of 24 weeks and generally a maximum of one year. They are all still referenced as a placement year.
  • They do not have to be subject specific and they don’t need to be called a placement.
  • Don’t just settle for advertised roles. Additionally, try reaching out to companies, ask for opportunities
  • Placements can be done anywhere. Look out for ones abroad for an adventure
  • Remember you are there to learn and develop as a professional.
  • Being paid is not guaranteed but obviously preferred. Additionally, it shows the type of firm you are joining if they offer a good salary level
  • Placements can start anytime between 2nd and 3rd year.
  • Remember you are still a student, there is still work to do for university.
  • Placements formally approved. There is a deadline!

Where to find a placement?

Firstly, you should make contact with the university careers service. They tend to have a large database of employers and alumni that you can approach.

Try checking out any work experience fairs that come up. These can get you direct contacts with employers so you can reach out and ask if they can help when the time comes.

Try to reach out to previous students who have completed a placement. This can be a great way to get hold of contacts and they can share where they worked and what their experience was like.

Don’t forget to get your profile on LinkedIn up to date. Reach out to your contacts, making it clear you are trying to secure a placement.

If you can not secure a placement you could apply for virtual work experience. Get involved in online volunteering opportunities. Additionally, apply for temporary or part-time roles. These activities build transferable skills and demonstrate to employers your tenacious, proactive and outside-the-box thinking.

There are several advantages to completing a work placement

  • Allows you to apply your knowledge and skills in a work setting
  • Increases your skill and competencies. Making you highly sought after by employers
  • Gives an insight in to how workplaces operate
  • Gives understanding within a particular job or industry so you know if it’s right for you.
  • Opens opportunities for training courses within the work place. Furthermore resulting in more skills on your CV.
  • Offers the opportunity of a reference for any future employer to approach.
  • This can sometimes result in a job offer for when you have completed your studies. As well as that it can give you easier access to the firms graduate scheme.

Would you like any help or support with finding a Graduate role? Please do contact us and we will do our best to support you. Additionally, check out our LinkedIn for up to date job posts.