A placement year may be an essential part of your degree or optional. Current placement student, Emily Fox from De Montfort University, recently completed her year in industry and details four reasons why you should consider one too.
Placement years usually occur between your second and final year of study at university and at many institutions, count towards your overall degree. Often, they can help you to explore potential career paths and provide you with valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.
1. Enhance your career prospects
Placements are useful to help you develop professionally. Not only do they strengthen your CV, they help you stand out from the crowd when applying for competitive graduate jobs. With a year’s worth of experience, employers will see that you are proactive and passionate about your chosen career path and have key industry knowledge.
With many choices in the graduate market, undertaking a placement year means you are given the opportunity to ‘test-drive’ a career and can make an informed decision.
2. Expand your network
During the course of the year, you’ll develop professional relationships with your fellow colleagues and clients. You never know who you’ll meet, so networking could be useful for your future job prospects.
3. Discover the real working world
You will be given real responsibilities to challenge you and it will get you into the habit of the 9-5 routine. It’s a chance to get ahead of the game and gain industry level work experience before you graduate and it increases the odds of you securing a graduate job. It’s likely you’ll also get paid, so it’s an opportunity to save money for your final year too!
4. Improve your academic performance
Some institutions may ask you to complete a work-based portfolio. Even if this isn’t the case, it is still useful to document your thoughts on placement. By reflecting regularly, it can help you to see your accomplishments and understand where you could improve in the long term. These real-life examples can then be applied in graduate job interviews by using the STARR technique.
Research shows that those who completed a placement year received a higher overall degree grade because you have a more-enhanced skill set.
If a placement doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there’s also a number of internships and brand ambassador opportunities available across the country.
For next steps, visit RateMyPlacement.co.uk to learn about all things placements and internships.