As a final year student who has put placement year behind her, I can genuinely say I look back with nothing but relief that the dreaded second year placement hunt is in my former years. I will not sugar coat it whatsoever, second year is a stressful time, only heightened if you have plans to undergo a placement year, (which I would strongly recommend you do.)
However, all is not lost, based on my experience I have a few what-I-wish-I had-known-then’s to share with you.
- Do not procrastinate – in the time you are reading this sentence, 3 new placement opportunities have been added to the world wide web (potentially). There are plenty of opportunities but unfortunately there are also plenty of students in the UK vying for these opportunities. I’ve learnt that the phrase, ‘you snooze you lose’ runs very true. A deadline is a deadline and once it passes, another opportunity for you to secure your dream placement goes down the drain. Be proactive, dedicate at least 30 minutes a day to placement hunts and applications and make sure you start early, if you haven’t started looking for placements by now, you are already behind.
- The Careers+Placements team are your friends – maybe even your best friends if you’re smart. Throughout this year, you will be bombarded with e-mails about interview preparation workshops, C.V workshops and much more. GO. These are invaluable, they give you a chance to get feedback on everything the hiring manager will look at when deciding whether or not you are a suitable candidate. The feedback is amazing and it will help to boost your confidence when approaching employers. The Careers and Placement team also run opportunities for you to meet companies and potentially get an interview on the spot so look out for those.
- Don’t let the year get on top of you, get on top of the year! As long as you organise yourself well, finding a placement does not need to be as daunting as it may seem. Plan your lectures, revision time and placement search time each day and you will be absolutely fine.
I wish you the best of luck!