Placement year

Hey there beautiful people!

Today the topic of my blog will be career oriented and I`ll give you few tips for your second year when you will be applying for placements.

If you forgot already what a placement actually is, I will say it again. At Surrey students have the wonderful opportunity to work in a company after the second year of studying for the period of 12 months. During this time you will most likely get paid and this year will count towards your degree and it will appear on your transcripts. Moreover, you can choose whatever job you find interesting and useful for your future. At the end of this placement year you will submit a report about the past 12 months, the company and what you have learnt, which will be graded (that`s how it goes into your transcript) and then  you will come back to Surrey and continue with your final year of studying.

So, since you know what a placement year is I can proceed and give you some useful tips.

  1. Some of the good opportunities close before Christmas, so many students start looking for one the moment they come to university for their second year in October.
  2. It`s a good idea to go and have your CV and cover letter checked at Careers service on campus before you start going to interviews and assessment centers (for those who don`t know assessment centers are a full day activity  when all the candidates, who passed the first round, get together and do tasks together or give presentations on topics they have been given by the recruiters)
  3. You can have a mock interview and mock assessment center on Surrey campus for no charge at all to practice before the real thing!
  4. You should never feel bad about being rejected (even though it is normal to feel so) because most of the students get rejected 60% of the times they apply, but eventually they do get accepted into a really good company. So, being rejected doesn`t mean at all that you are not a good candidate.
  5. You can either apply online or contact companies yourself to find out if they will be willing to offer you a placement year.
  6. You can do more than one placement in the period of 12 months, so you can first do 6 months at one place and then go to another one, university is pretty open to any options you can find.
  7. Some students find their placements in the summer after they finish second year, so it is never too late to find one!
  8. Another important thing is that if you don`t know what exactly you want to do, it is not a problem to do a placement and it is even better to do one. This will be your first attempt at finding what you want and that`s great, because you will receive a training and you are not expected at all to know anything specific.
  9. For those of you who are wondering how you can combine doing an exchange in your first semester of second year and during the same year finding a placement, I will tell you that it is perfectly fine to do so and there are many students who did it!
  10. So, if you`re already fed up with my `i-know-everything` attitude, let me tell you that all these tips are given by my friends, because I actually didn`t do a placement. And no, it wasn’t because there weren`t any more opportunities for me after I came back from Hong Kong exchange and no, it wasn`t because I don`t think this opportunity is useful. It was entirely my decision and now I think it was indeed the right thing to do, even though there are negatives to it as well. I`m saying this just to let each of you know that there are many paths students can take and we all eventually get there, one way or another. There isn`t one single path to take in order to find the best life and career for your future. And don`t get me wrong, I haven`t found this life or career yet, but at least that`s how I feel about my future and that`s where I get my happiness from.

Have a wonderful day and don`t stress about your future now! Just come to university and everything else will follow!


Lusi xx