The University of Essex offers its students the choice of taking a four year course. This additional year is spent on a placement. This can be really beneficial because it is time spent gaining advantageous work experience; something which could really give you the edge over other applicants when applying for graduate level jobs in the future.
In this blog post, our Student Engagement Intern Hazel gives you the low down on how:
- You will gain experience
When it comes to graduating from University, employers won’t just be looking at your degree classification. They will also want to know what relevant work experience you have. An employer faced with a candidate with a first class degree but zero work experience, or one who has already shown aptitude in the field they are hoping to go into, is often going to go for the the one who has already proved they have some of the skills and stamina necessary to thrive in the world of work. Spending a year on a placement is therefore a win, win situation as it allows you to gain the experience and skills attractive to potential employers, as well as your qualification.
2. You can trial your career
Do you think you know what you want to do after University? This is the perfect time to try it out before you commit to it. Alternatively, do you have no idea what you want to do after you graduate? A placement gives you an ideal opportunity to work out what you do and don’t like in a job by trialling a particular field. This will make it easier for you when you start applying for graduate jobs.
3. You could be paid
As doing a placement year involves working a job for a year, you could get paid. This gives you a chance to save up some money for either your final year or after university, or it means that you can afford to live in an exciting new place for the duration of your placement.
4. You might have the opportunity to live in a new area
When selecting your placement as well as having the freedom to choose who you want to work for and what job you would like to do, you also have the opportunity to work wherever you want! This is a great opportunity to discover a new city, away from both home and university. This will help to further improve your independence and opens you many new and exciting opportunities and experiences.
5. You get to put theory into practice
Doing a placement allows you to apply what you’ve learnt during your first two years at university. This gives you a unique experience which cannot be offered in lectures or tutorials. On the other hand, you may get to experience things that you are yet to be taught, giving you an insight into what might be offered during your final year, or may encourage you do complete post-graduate study.
Bonus. You could get offered a job for once you finish University
Sometimes companies hire students who have worked there on a placement year. This takes some pressure off having to find a job once you have finished university. However, they often still have requirements that you must meet for the offer to remain valid, such as obtaining a 2:1.
I hope this has persuaded you that doing a placement year is a good choice. The university will provide support to help you find your own placement. To express your interest in a placement year during your second year, as well as check you’re eligible to complete a placement year, please contact Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.