3 lessons I learnt from taking a placement year

Guest BloggerInternational Placements, International Students, James Chew

Blog by James Chew

Being an international student meant that I was given the chance to either take a placement as part of my degree or I could choose to go straight to the final year. However, I was glad I chose to undertake a placement year as I have learnt so much more than the knowledge my books could offer. Here are some lessons that I have picked up along in my placement year.

1. Knowing When To Voice Out.

Sometimes being the intern, people from various teams will try to get you to help them with their projects or you may even be assigned a project to lead on. This is great for learning and it’s an opportunity to shine. However, when these projects stack up on top of daily tasks, it can get rather overwhelming and can cause stress. This has happened to me before as I was hungry for knowledge, I was agreeing to help different people on numerous projects and task which eventually overwhelmed me. What I learnt is that saying yes to every opportunity that comes your way is not a long-term solution. What I later decided to do was to say yes to opportunities on projects that would help me improve on areas that I want to develop.

2. Learning To Manage My Time Professionally.

Time management in school and time management at work are two worlds apart. Being in school, you have the luxury of planning time with a lot of flexibility. However, being in a work environment, there are constant disruptions such as emails, meetings, last minute task that would take up a lot of time if it’s not managed properly. Bearing in mind that you only have 8 hours of time at work to do all your daily task as well as deliver on projects. See how I manage my time at work in my previous blog post.

3. Commercial Critical Thinking

As students, we sometimes don’t think as critical as we should. This is because our thought process is usually given some form of structure or guidance from our module lecturers to allow us to score better in our module essays. However, in a work environment, there is constant pressure to ensure every decision is well thought out that addresses the needs of every stakeholder in the company.