Finding and applying for placements

amnahThis week, Amnah Nadeem, a final year Business & Management student and one of our student receptionists in Careers describes her experience of finding and applying for placements…

During my second year at university I had the opportunity to apply for a placement year.  I had applied to every place possible – London, Manchester and Leeds. Studying Business and Management meant I was able to apply for a wide range of vacancies however it was not easy.

After I had my CV checked at the Careers Development Service I began applying for positions in early October. The process was tedious. It began with searching online on websites such as Prospects as well as signing up to the University’s careers site. I applied to any vacancy that seemed interesting so I could gain the experience of different application processes.

However, I quickly found each company did things differently. Some included online tests as part of the process while others asked some personality and competency-based questions. I had experience answering those before but for retail jobs. For placement roles the criteria was completely different, therefore I sought assistance from the Careers Service for help and was given many tips on how to word my answers.

When I was asked to participate in a telephone interview I returned as I had never done one before and had no idea what to expect. The careers advisers, and material from the university’s online resources, helped me to prepare for a range of questions from extensive research.

The process took over five months from applying to the final stages, yet I recommend all students who are considering a placement to at least try and apply for one. It is a very long process and you have to be patient, there are weeks in between waiting for responses and often they were rejections. However, having the determination and confidence in yourself is always picked up.

The best advice I would give to those applying for a placement is to use all the resources around you from the company’s website to the Careers Service, and never be afraid to ask for help. Good luck!

Thanks Amnah. Please feel free to get in touch if you need any assistance with your placement or any other careers query, call us on 01274 234991 or pop in to see us.