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How placement prepares you for final year



When making the decision to take a placement year, there are a variety of benefits you will be made aware of, for example, it is real life on the job experience, you will likely receive a salary and it is more experience to add to your CV before you graduate. However, one major factor that may be forgotten is how it may benefit/prepare you for final year. As a student currently on placement, I can already see how certain skills I have learnt and developed over the past 8 months on placement will help me.

Time management; an area that many of us believe we’re good at, but when it comes to submitting assignments, we are all too used to those late nights wishing we had started weeks ago. Does that sound familiar? When it comes to final year, the workload is immense; thank you to all my final year friends for making me fully aware of what I’m letting myself in for. If like me, you’re considering doing a dissertation, this skill becomes even more valuable. My major recommendation, would be to treat any essay you are given, like a report your manager has asked you to complete. I know you might be thinking ‘easier said than done’, but for those who haven’t had the opportunity to go out on placement, they will likely be in the same mind-set they were in in 1st and 2nd year. View your placement as a trial year, for getting the hang of planning and meeting deadlines, because your managers certainly aren’t going to be as lenient as your tutors.

Public speaking; did a wave of panic just hit you, like it did me? In 1st year these were two of my most dreaded words, from presenting in class, to answering questions. In your final year, group presentations are likely to be a common assessment, so ensuring you are confident and prepared is essential. My advice would be to get as much experience presenting while on placement as you can, whether it is just to a couple of colleagues or an all team meeting. This is an opportunity to practice how you present yourself, in terms of body language, projecting your voice and overall confidence. Being able to perfectly execute a presentation will allow you to clock up those essential marks that will certainly help your overall grade. Another area this will help you with, are interviews for graduate employment, being able to sell yourself is essential.

So there are you are, a couple of skills that I have learnt while on placement that I believe will be invaluable for final year.


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