A lot of people say that first year is the year where you get to have fun and play around. While that is technically true, speaking from past experience, I do have a lot of regrets when I look back at my first year. However, it’s not in the sense that I only focused on my studies and didn’t play around, but more of I didn’t use my time wisely in trying to improve my employability.
Being a Business School student, I’m always thinking of what I’m going to do once I graduate. Going into my degree I’ve always had the option of doing a placement between my second and third year. I always knew that I wanted to do a placement but I didn’t realise until I started my placement search that I needed at least some sort of work or voluntary experience on my CV to even be considered by employers.
When I started my second year, my lack of work experience terrified me. I knew I wasn’t going to secure a placement if I didn’t do anything about it. So I started looking for opportunities on campus, the first of which is my student blogger gig with the University! Besides that, I managed to become one of the representatives for my Marketing and Management course, a Business Champion for the Business School and secured a term time placement with St Oswald’s Hospice through Newcastle Work Experience (NWE).
All of my effort did pay off in the end though as I’m now on a yearlong placement as a Marketing and Communications Intern with Newcastle University Business School. However, if I had started looking for work experience opportunities starting in my first year, I wouldn’t have had to rush as I did in my second year. So my advice to any first years out there is to think long term and plan ahead!