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The power of placements: preparing you for the future

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We asked 3 of our Industrial Placement students their key learnings from their placement year so far and what transferable skills they believe they'll be able to take back to university.

• Ridhi is studying Marketing at University and works in the Social Media Team.
• Oliver is studying Maths at university and is working in the Audit department.
• Grace is studying Business management & public policy and is working in Corporate Affairs.

What’s the best thing about your role here? 

Ridhi – One of my main responsibilities in my role is to look after the internal employee social channel. The thing I enjoy most is being a part of a department that is still “up and coming”. The department is fairly new so I’m gaining a lot of experience which is quite exciting.

Grace – My job title is Media Relations officer. The best thing about my role here is that no day is ever the same! I have a variety of work from vast yearlong product driven campaigns to weekly press releases. I get great exposure to high level managers within the business and it’s a comforting feeling to know that with all the responsibility there is always someone there to support and guide me.

Since starting your industrial placement, what have you learnt at work that you couldn't have learnt in university?

Oliver – You really can’t appreciate the work-life culture at university. University lifestyle is so different- you can go out a few times a week and still manage to get yourself together for a lecture the following day. It’s not possible to fully understand the 9-5 lifestyle until you experience it.

Having done this placement year, I've learnt how to be more regimented and focussed. This is something that university teaches you but it’s just been further embedded during my time here.

Grace – Within work, I’ve learnt business behaviours; how to work within a team effectively, how to approach people, the nuts and bolts of how businesses operate.

“ I think that you can learn all sorts of important things through textbooks and lectures which are fundamental to job performance but there are certain things which you simply cannot be taught – some things you have to experience first-hand. ”

On a more personal note I’ve experienced earning a wage, having my own money and paying rent and bills. This is something I didn't experience at university so it was initially a challenge as I had to learn how to manage everything so quickly!

How’d you think you’ll be different when you get back to uni next year?

Oliver – During placement I've learnt the importance of discipline. I definitely feel that getting up for 9am won’t be as much of a struggle anymore. I also think I’ll be more disciplined when I study as I’m now used to working 7 hours a day, 5 days a week. I hope to be able to keep this work ethic up.

Ridhi – I feel that after a year in industry I’ll be more organised, waking up won’t feel as difficult! I’ll also be more efficient with my time, having had this experience of organising my working day, I hope to be able to take this skill back with me to university.

Grace – One thing I found out about myself whilst on placement year is that goals and targets motivate me – this was something I wasn't aware of throughout my life in education. I’ll be a lot more driven when I get back to uni as a result of this.

What’s the most exciting thing to have happened to you since you started your placement?

Ridhi – I had an amazing team away day with my wider team. It wasn’t anything traditional which is probably why I really enjoyed it; I got the chance to drive army tanks, try out archery & rifle shooting! It was so fun being able to do something I hadn’t done before and bond with the rest of my team.

Grace - The most exciting thing was having the opportunity to present to my Divisional Director within the first few weeks of starting my job. Being given the responsibility for a large project so early on was rewarding as I felt like an important member of the team from the very start!

Are you applying for an Industrial Placement this year?

Take a look at our Advice & How To section for top tips for your application process.

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