Are you on the fence about doing a placement year?
A year is a long time and the idea of leaving your uni friends, lie ins and nights out on a Tuesday behind for a whole 12 months probably isn't something that fills you with excitement.
However, the benefits gained from a placement year and the doors they can potentially open might make you reconsider. Here's 6 reasons why you won't regret doing one.
1. They boost your employment prospects
Not only will a placement year provide you with something interesting to talk about on your CV, but there's every chance it could open the door to a job offer come graduation. A lot of companies use their placement year cohort to recruit for their graduate schemes, particularly Big Four companies like Deloitte, EY and PwC.
Placements also give you the opportunity to network with important people in your chosen field - these contacts can be really useful when you come to start a career.
2. They might give you a better idea of the career you want to pursue
The best way to decide whether a job is for you or not is to give it a go. A placement year is the perfect opportunity to try working in a particular industry or area of a company, without having to fully commit to it. Internships are another great way to get a feel for different jobs and usually only last a few weeks.
If you finish a placement and decide the industry isn't for you, know that it wasn't a waste of time. You'll have gained a bunch of transferable skills from it that can apply to whatever career you finally choose. Speaking of transferable skills...
3. They teach you skills university can't
Your degree will teach you technical skills, broaden your knowledge and to some extent, enhance skills like teamwork and communication. But the workplace offers so much more opportunity for you to build soft skills. Soft skills are non-technical, personal skills that can't be learned in a lecture theatre, like leadership, communicating professionally with clients and effective decision making.
Employers want to see evidence of your soft skills so by doing a placement, you'll be able to provide solid examples of situations where you've demonstrated them.
4. They're the perfect opportunity for interview practice
If nothing else, applying for a placement provides you with the perfect chance to brush up on your interviewing skills. You can prepare for weeks to ensure you're ready for an interview, but there's no better way to improve your confidence and ability to talk about yourself than to gain real interview experience - you'll thank yourself when the interviews come rolling in after graduation.
5. You can experience living somewhere new
From Leeds to the Isle of Man, plenty of companies offer placements all over the country. As well as providing you with valuable work experience, you can use the opportunity to explore a new city and meet new people - it doesn't have to be all work and no play.
6. You get paid!
Taking a year off uni for a placement, where you'll be earning a full salary, is the perfect respite for a student who's overdraft isn't getting any smaller. When you return to university for final year you'll have a bunch of new skills and experience and you might not have to avoid your online banking app like the plague.
Are you convinced?
If we've given you enough reason to apply for a placement, you better get cracking because these companies are hiring right now.
Big Four firm, Deloitte, have a range of industrial placements on offer for students in Audit & Assurance, Cyber, Government, Risk & Regulation, Strategy & Operations, Business & Financial Advice, Technology, Real Estate and Tax. You'll receive world-class training, gain hands-on experience and a potential place on one of their graduate programmes.
World leading fresh food manufacturer, Bakkavor, are on the hunt for students to join their Finance and Food Technology Industrial Placements. Based in either Lincolnshire or London, Bakkavor offer variety of learning opportunities over the placement that will set you up to launch a career in the food industry come graduation.
Get a head start on your career at professional services firm, EY. On their Tax and Assurance Industrial Placements you'll gain key insight into the business area you're in, work on real client projects and learn from EY's in-house experts.
- Willis Towers Watson
If you're a tech expert, join Willis Towers Watson on their Technology Industrial Placement and you'll gain real world experience while you're still a student and put your knowledge and skills to practice.