University is all about independence. From turning up to your lectures, seeking advice from your lecturers, to doing extra reading and revising. It is up to you. Securing a placement is the same. Like your coursework and revision , you need to put time and effort into searching for the right placement. I’m going to focus on what I did in order to secure the placement of my choice.
Before I started applying for placements, I made sure I attended all the seminars and lectures which were organised by the Careers+Placements Team.
They were vital, because they helped me understand what I needed to do and the services and support which were on offer. I honestly recommend you to at least attend a couple of them in your spare time.
Before I started searching for placements, the first thing I did was book an appointment with the Careers+Placements team, in order to get advice and for them to check my CV. My placement tutor also gave me guidelines on how to create a cover letter.
Your CV and covering letter should be personalised to each placement you apply to. Your cover letter should also have information about the organisation and an explanation of why you have chosen this organisation. The placements team can help give advice and improvements, therefore definitely make sure to go and see them.
Personally an application took me from forty minutes to two hours, depending on the length of mini assessments. I will definitely recommend to start applications as early as possible. Most large organisations have deadlines for December.
I did at least three applications a day. This gave me a higher chance of choosing from a variety of options. Applying to more than one is very important because placements are so competitive.
I managed to get offers from all my top five choices, and from my back ups. This was definitely because I made sure I applied to as many placement opportunities as I could. It is definitely time consuming and a lot of hard work, but once you get your placement sorted, I can promise you it is a massive relief, and probably the best experience you will have.
Your placement year shows you how it will be after you graduate, and it gives you a taste of your field.
Therefore, you should treat it as a priority alongside your studies. I am grateful I managed to get a placement because it has given me a great insight into what my future will be like if I was to continue in the teaching industry. Personally, I enjoy my placement, but some people may not, and this is the whole point!
It is a taster session for a year, and it is worth it!