Skip to content Skip to navigation

Loughborough Life Blog

Other Blogs

All about placements with Annabelle

4 October 2018

5 mins

Hi, I’m Annabelle and I have been on placement at the University this year, working in The Place as Placements Assistant.

A placement could give you something unique to put on your CV, which might make you stand out compared to other graduates. I personally would recommend a placement year; it’s a nice break from studying, and a chance to develop your skills for when you eventually leave the Loughborough bubble.

Researching placements

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what you want to do after you graduate. Apply for a range of placements that interest you! A year is a long time to do something you might not like. Also, to save time with those applications, make sure you’re qualified to actually do the job.

If you have no idea where to start, I’d suggest looking at the Prospects website. Browse some different job profiles to see what responsibilities those types of jobs involve. I applied for a variety of roles from marketing roles, to merchandising and branding to corporate responsibility at a fashion company.

Pay attention to the job descriptions and think about how you can connect the skills you have to those being asked for. Spend some time on this! You have more skills than you think you do. If you’re interested in the job or placement, add it to a list!

While researching, be mindful of whether the opportunity is paid or unpaid, and if it is unpaid, whether you would be able to finance yourself for the year. Also consider if you’d have to move somewhere, whether it’s convenient for you, and if you could see yourself happy there!

Of course, Prospects isn’t the only place to find placement information. I found Rate My Placement really useful as larger companies often advertise their placements on there. There’s also  Careers Online, Loughborough University’s very own vacancy portal – the University is often approached by companies looking for Loughborough students. Quick mention also to Gradcracker and Indeed.

Applying for placements

When applying for placements, it’s key to be organised! I had a colour coded word document where I kept track of the placements I’d applied to, the dates they closed, and if I had heard anything back. Don’t be fooled – applying for placements can be a time-consuming process. It’s a challenge to balance applying, interviewing and your usual university studies! Make sure you plan out your day – I tended to apply for placements in the afternoon and the evening so that I had time to do my coursework and attend lectures.

Make sure you use everything on offer at the Careers Network! I had my CV checked by my Placement Officer and attended a Careers Consultation and mock interview. This in particular was really useful, as we went through practise interview questions and talked about how I could sell my skills during the two placement interviews I had lined up. Everyone I’ve met in the Careers Network really cares about your success, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Ask around to see if friends are applying for placements too! We got together one evening drafting ideas in preparation for an assessment centre I had been invited to.

Finally, please don’t lose hope if you receive a few rejections. I applied for 30 placements and ended up with two placements to choose from. You will find something that feels right!

Being on placement

As I mentioned, I am on placement and am working for Careers Network. It’s strange to work in the place where I study, but also interesting to see the ‘other side’.

Being on placement is all about learning as much as you can and getting a taste for the world of work. Take every opportunity available to you – they can only reflect positively on your CV later.  For me, I’ve mastered new IT software, worked an event at the Loughborough University London campus, and gained a qualification from the Institute of Leadership and Management through the intern development programme at the University.

Don’t forget about your social life! I was lucky enough in Loughborough to still take part in LSU Sing and spend time with my friends who were in their final year, but there will be plenty of things to get involved in outside of work on placement.

If you choose to do a placement, I really hope you enjoy your experience. Unfortunately, sometimes things don’t work out as planned – but there are silver linings even to this – you will have gained a variety of different skills, and then at the very least, you may know exactly what you don’t want to do!

I’ve enjoyed working in The Place. The team here are all really passionate about their jobs and helping students to succeed, (just make sure you get your placement forms in on time)!

I really hope you get a placement at a company that you like, and take away practical skills which will complement your degree.

For more help with finding a placement, read more online or speak to the Careers Network team

Loughborough Life

The Loughborough Life blog features all the latest events from across our campuses. Find out what's happening near you and get involved.

Scroll to Top