Friday, 3 July 2015

Lifestyle | Is it worth doing a placement year at university?

(Image not my own nor do i own any rights to the image) 

 Hell Yeah!!

 So back in 2012 I packed up my life and moved half way across the country to start a degree in Business Management. It was without a question of a doubt the scariest thing I have ever done. I literally knew nobody north of London so it was a massive change for me.

 My first two years were amazing, I won't go into too much detail here but do let me know if you want that in a separate post! Once second year was coming to an end I had a big decision to make - to take a year out and do a work placement or to stay on at uni, graduate a year early and get to go through final year with all my best friend.

 I probably changed my mind about a million times on what the best thing to do was. When I started uni it was always my intention to do a placement year but when the decision came it seemed so hard to take on the responsibility and leave all of my friends behind to finish uni without me. In the end, I took the plunge and I did the placement and it was the best decision I could have possibly made. I genuinely could't recommend it enough!

Ok.. I'm finishing uni a year later than everyone else but I have a fantastic job and a great reference to fall back on after uni life. I still lived with all my friends, I still went on the odd night out, joined in with the family dinners and spent my weekends hungover and eating unlimited amounts of £3 pizzas. But.. Instead of being skint and spending 3/4 of my life asleep - I worked 9-5 every day and had money to burn.

Doing my placement in my uni town meant I had the best of both worlds and I haven't felt I missed out on anything.

Things to consider: 
-Why do you want to do a placement
-Where do you want to do a placement
-Where will you live
-Will you have friends left at uni after the placement has finished
-You won't have uni holidays

Where to find a placement: 
-Company websites
-University job websites

  How to apply: 
-Start looking early
-Perfect your CV and cover letter and have them checked
-Do research before any interview
-Only apply for jobs you would be happy to spend 12 months in

  Useful info: 
-You are still considered a student, will be eligible for the minimum amounts of student finance and are still exempt from council tax
-If you have not worked for the last year you probably wont be taxed for your first 6 months work
-Don't think you can go out every night and still make it in to work for 9am (you cant I tried many times)
-Remember not to take it too seriously, they will understand you are still a student!

-I came out of my placement with a promotion, pay rise and permanent job offer
-I have made a number of useful contacts for my future
-I will be better prepared for interviews
-I have industry relevant work experience
 -I paid off my £2000 overdraft and brought a number of extravagant purchases
 -I have met some amazing people and made life long friends (so cringe but true)

 In simple terms I would 100% recommend doing a work placement if you have the opportunity. Leaving university and trying to get a career relevant job can be tough and having a years experience really does put you one step ahead.

 If you are thinking of doing a placement or already have one lined up and have any questions at all, or just generally want to know more about my experience then please do get in touch I would love to answer your questions.

  Ashley xxx


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