The placement year or year in industry is often termed ‘The year long interview’ by students or employers themselves. Why a year long interview? Well keep reading on and you will find out why and also get tips on what to do when on the ‘year long interview/assessment session’.
Most employers hire students for internships and placements for a year so that they can assess them on how they do and that helps them to know whether they can hire them back as graduates. So as one would be on a placement they won’t be formally assessing every move you make but they will definitely be interested in your overall performance. On a short placement I took before I moved to the current placement, they did periodical reviews and at the end of the placement period they rank the students, the top half will be fast tracked to the graduate program where they skip some stages in the application process which is always a good thing. However on the other hand with some organisations doing a placement with them, this will not necessarily mean that you will be fast tracked to the graduate program or be offered a graduate role with them, but doing a placement with them is definitely an advantage as long as you leave a good reputation.
And here are a few tips, I think would be helpful for anyone considering a placement or already on one, the key thing about a placement is to enjoy the experience as you learn new skills , make contacts and impress the employers. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, be yourself at all times and if you can try to do the extra bit as it is always appealing to most employers. One thing I have found useful is to offer to help people when you have spare capacity even if its not part of your job description. I volunteered to do building tours for candidates who where coming for assessment sessions. I did it the first time and enjoyed it and ever since the HR team contacts me to help out, by so doing I managed to go and do a presentation to engineering students at Bradford Uni about the opportunities Arup offers to them. I am pleased to say that with the performance I have shown they have been pleased and manged to hire one of my friends who is a student at Bradford uni.
Remember that whilst on placement that you are an ambassador of your university, if you don’t want to work for them in the future don’t mess up chances for other students.