For those who do sandwich courses, starting your second year isn’t just about meeting deadlines or endless revision; a more daunting task is at hand – Do you apply for a one-year placement?
The advantages of doing a placement are pretty obvious, it seems that previous students seem to have much stronger portfolios, and often come out with a higher degree. For those of you who have to work on a portfolio, work experience is absolutely vital, and by doing a year placement portfolio pieces will be much easier to get your hands on, without having to worry about this in your final year, as I’m sure our dissertations will send our stress levels through the roof on their own!
Even more importantly, you gain extremely valuable personal experience; a whole year in the industry will help you gain contacts, improve on your skills and can often set out the rest of your future. After a year placement, your CV should look wonderful, and the variety of your work will be vast, which when you graduate, will give you a USP over those without any experience.
Also there are some great placements out there with some prestigious companies who are taking on interns; you probably won’t get this opportunity again! As the majority of these placements are paid, you also get the chance to earn a bit of money, saving for your last year of Uni, or even better, a holiday with your friends!
Despite these great advantages, placement years aren’t for everyone. For some, getting into the routine of working and earning money is great, but with third year still to come it may be extremely hard to go back to being a skint student!
You really have to be motivated and confident in yourself to apply and attend interviews for placements. Overall, it can become nerve-wracking and stressful, whilst still having to juggle your Uni work, but you are going to have to do this at some point in your life, so why not start early?
To be honest, only you can decide if it is worth doing a placement, it may not be for everyone, but could be an amazing experience and could potentially set you up for the rest of your lives. So even if you aren’t 100% sure, why not apply, you never know where it may take you!