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Charlotte Thompson: The top three benefits of my placement year

There are loads of reasons why you should consider doing a placement and since completing my 14-month placement in Finance this year, I wanted to share the top 3 benefits I’ve found with you.

 

1. Experience

For many of us, placement will be the first time we have worked in a professional environment. For me this involved several firsts such as hosting meetings, professional presentations and preparing reports using new software. This can all sound very daunting at first, but over the year I massively gained confidence in all these areas.

I asked a member of HR at a local business what level of importance they place on relevant experience when recruiting –

“A relevant degree is a good foundation in starting a career. However, work experience that is relevant to our vacancy can speak volumes in showing key skills like time keeping, reliability, commitment, practical experience and drive which is usually much more important to us than solely academic qualifications.”

Having the experience on your CV and to discuss in interviews will help you to stand out when it comes to looking for a graduate job – I now have so much more to add if I re-wrote my CV compared to when first applying for my placement. You may even secure a graduate job offer from your employer if your placement is successful!

 

2. Perspective

It gave myself & my peers perspective on whether we actually wanted to pursue a career in the relevant industry to our degree. Personally, I really enjoyed my placement which gave me the confidence to know that I am on the right career path. Equally, this could’ve helped me focus my energy on alternatives when looking for a graduate job if I had not.

It also allowed me to apply some of the theory such as basic accounting principles to practical situations and vice versa. I’m sure I’ll have a better understanding of the practical theory applications I will be learning in my final year.

 

3. Transferable Skills

I developed soft skills in areas such as communication when adapting to work-from-home and maintaining strong teamwork with my manager and peers using Teams. I also learnt how to use several new technologies to help with reporting & automation, which will be relevant to any employer.

I built on my network of contacts at a large company and developed a strong work ethic. I know early mornings and full-time work don’t appeal to many students, but I got used to it very quickly and I now have the drive to be productive and get a lot more done each day!

Taking a year out of studies for a placement won’t be right for everyone, but personally I am so glad I made the most of this opportunity. A year in industry has been invaluable for both my individual and professional development.


Charlotte is a final year student in Accounting and Finance, who completed a placement year with Procter and Gamble in 2020/21. If you are interested in completing a placement between Stage 2 and Stage 3, you can find out more in the Business School UG Stage 2 Community 2021-22 on Canvas, or contact the NUBS Student Experience Team.

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