By Matilda Gardener on Wed 16 August 2023 in Placement Blog
Are you unsure whether a placement year is for you? Discover the highlights of Onboarding placement, Matilda's, year in industry as she reveals why a placement year isn't something to be missed!
Over my placement year, I’ve developed many of my personal skills through working in the real world with real customers who need assistance. Gradually I was given more real responsibility and, now as we come to the end of my placement, I look after a number of customer accounts and manage them myself without my managers intervening. This has allowed me to gain industry-level work experience before even graduating, which I can take into my final year and apply further to my learning. Placement years are a great way to learn on the job as they allow you to put your textbook knowledge into practice.
Having this practical experience and showing your growth over the year increases your employability – employers look for hands-on experience as well as a degree, so having both puts you above the competition!
In my role, I talk with customers from different types of businesses every week over a 2 month period, and this leads to me forming professional relationships with them as well as my colleagues, which is great for networking via LinkedIn. I try to post on LinkedIn regularly to show I am actively engaging with the connections on there to ultimately help meet people who could help me go down the line of work I’m interested in.
Completing a year in industry also helps you to realise what elements of the job you’re doing that you love vs those you don’t love so much, so you have a better idea of what you want to pursue when you leave university. Therefore, even if you find that your placement year hasn’t been for you, it’s never a waste as you’ve just crossed one thing off the list to try and gained some transferrable skills in the process!
You also meet new people and form great friendships. For example, I became such good friends with the other placements at ProspectSoft, and we regularly meet up outside working hours. This placement even allowed me to take up a new hobby with one of my colleagues; we took up boxing and I would never have had the confidence to do this alone, but my placement year allowed me to meet like-minded people and gain the confidence to go out and try new things.
Finally, a paid placement year teaches you the value of budgeting, because a year in industry is a great time to start saving for your post-uni plans. Whether you’re hoping to travel the world or put down a mortgage, your placement year will give you a real feel for life after university, and give you an opportunity to get some money in your savings!
The ProspectSoft Placement scheme is dedicated to equipping students with the skills they need to succeed and, with a 52% placement retention rate, ProspectSoft offers opportunities that can take you far. Take a look at the roles we offer and start preparing your application today.