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6 tips to prepare for your placement year

By Jessica Marshall on Tue 17 April 2018 in Placement Blog

If you’ve recently secured a year-long placement, you may be looking for some advice on how to prepare. From experience, I’ve listed my 6 top tips to help you prepare for your placement year...

When it comes to starting your placement, it can be daunting. Big or small, you should prepare to make the best start in your company so you can stand out from the crowd. Preparation won't go unnoticed! So, making sure you’re equipped with the necessary information to give you a head-start will hopefully help you feel more at ease! Here are my best tips for preparing for your placement year. 

Step 1: Make sure you research their products in more depth

Whilst applying for placements, you would have researched the company to gain an idea of what they do and what they offer. This could have been a long time ago now so it’s a good idea to refresh your knowledge. Take an in-depth look at their website, browse through all the products and read about the company – even buy their product, try out their service or take a Free Trial of their software. I’m sure at the beginning of your placement, they will ask you what you know about the company, so it’s better to look eager to learn and show that you’ve already used your initiative.

Step 2: Read some blogs

If the company you’re going on placement with has a blog page, why not take a read? They’re normally short and snappy to engage readers so it shouldn’t take you too long to read and it could massively benefit you. Blogs are light content on topics relating to products/services the company offers. This can give you a great insight into their target audience and what they’re interested in.

If you’re going into Marketing, get a feel of their writing style and hot topics as it’s likely you’ll be writing blogs too!

Step 3: Set yourself goals

It’s always good to start the year by setting goals - big or small. Goals and objectives enable you to track your progress and achievements throughout your placement year. After all, this year is designed to develop as many skills as possible and grow your bank of knowledge. So, measuring goals will allow you to see how far you’ve come throughout the year. Sharing these goals with your line manager will allow them to set work relating to the skills you’d like to improve. It’s also a great way to see how truly important a placement year is to your career and development. Also, this is usually a University requirement so it’s best to get a head start. So, think about your goals now and where do you want to be when you finish your placement.

Step 4: Connect on Social Media

Find them on social media! This will help with your research but can also show enthusiasm for the brand before you’ve even started. Like and share some of their posts to show engagement, and even connect with other placements/employees if you can.

Step 5: Prepare for early mornings

Unfortunately, University life doesn’t prepare you for the 9 to 5 working life much at all! So, make sure you get into a good routine a week or so before you start your placement. This will allow you to be well rested, alert and more likely to digest the information during your first few weeks. It’s likely that you’ll be given training in your first week so it’s wise to get organised and get some sleep!

Step 6: Find a mug!

If your placement is based in an office, you will probably become a coffee or tea drinker (even if you weren’t before). It’s recommended that you bring your own mug as you don’t want to accidently be drinking out of the CEO’s mug on your second day! Your mug will also show a bit of personality too!

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for your placement year. A year may sound like a long time but it soon flies by so make sure you make the most of it. Good luck in your placement year!

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