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My experience in getting a placement

4 January 2024

3 mins

Hi, my name is Erin, and I am a final-year Geography Student who has recently completed a placement year at ‘Climate Compatible Growth’. In this blog, I hope to share my experience in applying for placements with you.

Erin in front of a COP27 banner

It’s no secret that applying for placements can be daunting. It is natural to feel like you are endlessly scrolling through websites, hoping an opportunity you are interested in comes up. But what if the company you wanted to work for is not offering placements? That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t reach out to them!

And that is exactly what I did!

Like many students, I wanted to complete a placement year to gain experience and develop my CV. However, after countless hours of scrolling websites such as ‘Bright Network’ ‘Indeed’ and ‘Target Jobs’, I still struggled to find a position I was interested in. That is when I decided to personally contact different companies to see if they would create a position for me. 

I first heard about Climate Compatible Growth from my tutor in my first year. I remember reaching out to him to ask if there was a possibility that they would create a placement position, as this was not something this company had done before. It was a long process of calls with the company and waiting to hear back, but eventually, I was offered an interview in June and started in July. 

My experience applying for placements has been quite different compared to other students, but many parts were the same:

Finding a placement:

As previously mentioned, there are many websites out there that can help you find a placement. However, there are also events hosted at the University to help you! The Careers Development Team hosts careers fairs throughout the year where you can speak to various placement companies. This was a great way to speak to these companies and find out what you could do and what skills these companies are interested in! 

Developing your CV and mock interviews:

Many placement positions open early, so updating your CV early is a good idea! The Careers Development Team are very supportive in reading your CV and guiding you on how to tailor your CV to the company’s requirements. Not only this, but the Careers Team also allow you to book mock interviews, which is an excellent way to boost your confidence ahead of any interviews. My top tip would be to ask your friends what questions they have been asked in their interviews and help each other out! They may make you think of something that you haven’t thought of! I then wrote mock answers to questions that could potentially come up to feel more prepared for the interview!

Remember, finding a placement is not necessarily easy, but do not be afraid to reach out to different companies, as they may be able to offer you a position that was not advertised! This turned out better than I could have imagined, leading me to travel to different parts of the world training an energy model.

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