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Diving into placement year!

17 January 2017

4 mins

So I’ve finally arrived back in England after six months of studying and travelling Australia!

From creating film and theatre, to scuba diving and snorkelling by the Great Barrier Reef, I must say it’s weird to be back home. And here I am again, thinking about ‘what to do next’.

I’ve began looking at placements for third year, and oh my goodness, it’s way more difficult than I thought. Here’s me thinking I’d just click a few buttons, and I don’t know, someone would hand me a job or a genie would pop out of my mug if I rubbed it a couple of times…

Well you know, after opening and closing my laptop a few hundred times, I think I’m starting to get the hang of it.

Before I left for Australia, I had a meeting with Will Davies, an adviser at the Careers Network whom informed me what and where I need to research. Ahh the words ‘research’, not my favourite word nor is it most people’s.

Luckily, however, the Careers Network actually do some of this dreaded research for you. They have a system Careers Online where you can find relevant job vacancies all in one place. The Get a Placement page is also really helpful as it tells you the benefits of doing a placement, and exactly how you can find a suitable internship etc.

Step one

Research different job vacancies, whether that be through Careers online, or widely through Google. Make sure you understand what is available, there is no good praying you get an internship with say Santander, when actually that bank doesn’t offer internships (but thankfully for you finance students, I can tell you they do).

Secondly, read the job description. You probably think this is an obvious, but the amount of people I’ve heard signing up to jobs they didn’t know about is kind of ridiculous. Also look out for application deadlines! There’s no use signing up for an internship when the deadline has expired.

Step two

Apply for your placement… What a shock…

If I were you, I would apply for several placements, because to be honest you’re never guaranteed any internship you apply for. But hey if you want to increase your chances of getting your placement, here’s some more perks… the Careers Network offers help with creating your CV and personal statement. All you need to do is ask; the help is there, you just need to go and get it.

Now I am not going to lie, I’ve been a bit stubborn and created my personal statement with me, myself and I.  However, I do wish I did ask for physical help, rather than asking Google. Google ‘how do you write a personal statement’, Google ‘what are employers looking for’ blah blah blah.

To save you this little googling trip, let me give you my thoughts. Write your personal statement like a formal speech to your employer. Be enthusiastic, tell them why you should be selected out of the hundreds or thousands of other applicants. Why do you stand out, what can you do for them, and well, what can they do for you? Why exactly do you want to be there?

If you start off with something highly cliché, I can visualize your personal statement being thrown aside. ‘Since I was five I always wanted to be a banker because it’s my passion’. Nah, if you really want to do cliché, at least be specific. ‘It was working with HSBC in 2015, that convinced me of my love for banking. At age twenty, I worked as a bookkeeping clerk and relished in the hard work of customer service…’

This week I’m organising another meeting with the Careers Network to get more advice on the placement process, and kind of just to check I’m not a complete tragedy. Fortunately, as I am still at home, they have agreed to do a Skype consultation to save me travel expenses. Yay. But, face-to-face meetings are also available for those who are interested. To book an appointment, go to the Careers Network in the Bridgeman Building or in Steward Mason 0.06. or even online.

Oh gosh, now to actually take my own advice… Good luck, Gemma.

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