Placement Year -What is it?

What is a placement year?

A placement is a programme available to most students that involves taking a year out from studying at university and going out into the big wide world to get some all-important work experience. 

The placement year tends to last a full academic year, and are available across most sectors. The best time to apply is between September and May in your second year. 

Things to consider when applying for a placement year:

Start early with applications as some of the larger companies will close their submission period early due to getting so many students apply.

Make sure you speak with your careers team within your university and ask them to help you build a CV and a cover letter so you can get these out to companies ASAP.

Be prepared to apply for many placements as you’re not necessarily going to get your first choice. You need to be the one that stands out from the crowd so make sure you’re wowing people on your applications. There could be many interviews so just take the time to do your research and if you don’t secure the placement just keep up the hard work and apply the techniques to the next one.

Your university will have some great options for placement s but don’t be afraid to step outside the box, ask for help from previous placement students at your university, they will be able to give you extra information to ensure you are successful in securing the placement. Think about improving your LinkedIn profile so it states you are looking for a placement year and include your skills. Many employers do utilise LinkedIn, so don’t waste the opportunity to make an impact.

Also think about applying for 12-month contracts, it isn’t always easy to find placements in some of the areas of your study so why not think about a 12 month contract where you will still be using the skills you have developed and also have a chance to develop valuable experience.

Placement Interviews

Prepare for your interview/assessment. Research into th company, their culture, check out their website and their online presence. Do your homework and you are more likely to be successful. Think about the location especially if it is not local to friends or family – are you able to relocate for the year? For some people relocating is an amazing experience while for others can feel quite lonely. Make sure you recognise what works for you and focus on these before applying and wasting time.

Make sure you listen at your interviews and take in each word like a sponge. Placements are a big learning experience so make sure you get the most out of everything that links to it.

Make the most of it!

Once you have secured your placement, take advantage of any training they have to offer and just remember this is going to fill your CV with excellent experience that Graduate employers will be fighting for.

It may seem like a lot of effort for a placement year but it will be well worth it when you get your dream placement and all the training that leads you to your dream job.

Don’t forget you have to get your placements approved by your university so make sure you check out their deadline dates and get it approved as soon as you know.