Usually, your degree lasts three years and after your final year, you are expected to land a graduate job. However, a lack of previous work experience can make applying to these jobs quite difficult.
But what if I told you that by doing a placement year, you could gain the super valuable experience needed for your professional path post-graduation?
I’m currently on a placement year in Paris as part of my Combined Honours course and loving every minute. I’ve even been lucky enough to benefit from two six month internships as part of my placement year. Firstly, as a Tutor Manager with Speaken (an application that helps people learn English via video calls with native speakers) and now as a Community Management intern creating digital content for WHAT (games).
So, here are the reasons I think everyone should consider enhancing their University experience by including a year in the workplace.
I’m repeating myself, but truly the main reason why you should do a placement year is to vastly expand your existing knowledge. You learn how to navigate your work life and environment, collaborate with your co-workers, report to superiors, liaise with other departments and so much more!
We all know there’s more to the world of work than you’ll learn behind a book in the library, and a placement in your chosen field is a great way to prepare yourself for life after your studies.
If you thought starting University made you independent, you should see what it’s like moving (potentially very far) away for a new, possibly first, job. No one will be there to make sure you get to work on time!
Uni creates a sort-of bubble in which you can relate to your fellow students. This work year, however, truly gives you a taste for life outside the bubble.
You may have to secure your own accommodation and carefully read over a long-winded contract or two. This may sound dull, but it all helps increase your self-confidence and self-reliance. And in the end, being fully self-sufficient feels really good!
It may sound like an exaggeration on my part, but this year has truly been invaluable, and miles apart from what my life was like in Newcastle.
I’ve made some really close friends, two of whom I even live with! I’m still attempting to see at least half of all the amazing museums Paris has to offer, and I’ve definitely taken advantage of free weekends to explore this beautiful country and beyond.
In conclusion, to mature in all aspects of life and accumulate experience for your grad job, consider doing a placement year. Find out more about Placement Years and, if you’re an existing student, ask your faculty office how they can support you in this regard. Au revoir!