Now that I’m in my second year, it’s pretty much time to buckle down and get to work. This time of the uni year is especially stressful, as I have to apply to various placements in hope of procuring one for the 2016-2017 year.
How time flies! Last thing I remember was being a fresher, being told that a placement would be offered in my third year. Back then, I thought to myself ‘Oh well, that’s ways away’. Before I knew it, it was staring me right in the face. While the actual placement won’t come around till July 2016, the application process has already started and I am already buried under it.
Placement applications have literally poured in with various deadlines and various different application methods and sometimes can be a real pain if you’re the procrastinating type (Hint: C’est moi) So here are some (in my opinion) tips on applying for a placement if that is something that you have opted for.
1. Do not procrastinate. This is pretty self-explanatory, and can apply to even your university workload, not just applications. It is good if you don’t leave applications to the last minute, as this causes unnecessary stress and makes you fall behind with the other applications.
2. Check and Double check the type of application needed. Some companies will ask for just your CV and a cover letter. Some will send an application form etc. Know who wants what, and that way, you can sort them into categories and do them as a group (aka, the ones that just want CVs and Cover Letters, you can just sit down and do them all in one night)
3. Only apply to places that you are truly interested in. I was the type who thought “Oh anywhere that takes me is fine, really”. But that’s just making it all so much harder for yourself. The university (and your programme) has a TON of placements to offer and there is no way you can apply to every single one. Choose the ones that you can sincerely see yourself doing. After all, what’s the point of spending a year doing something you won’t really enjoy?
4. Stay Organised. Make a calendar and pin it to your wall, keep a planner in your bag. Whatever helps you keep on top of things. Write all the due dates down so you know what is due when. This will help with reducing panic and hopefully help you stay calm.
5. Don’t Ignore Uni Work. I did this. Before I even realised I was doing it. I was so excited and busy with placement applications, I forgot to keep up with my lectures. Second year for me is a lot busier than first and I really need to be caught up with lectures and falling behind won’t help me in the least. Remember, placements are important but so is university and your course. Find a good balance (Refer to: staying organised; Set aside times for everything)
6. CV. Probably the most obvious piece of advice and the most self explanatory. Have a CV ready even before the school year starts and then keep fine tuning it throughout the application process. This applies to a cover letter as well: have an outline and fine tune it depending on the position you’re applying for.
7. Don’t worry about rejections. When I got my first one, I was bummed out. Even though I knew my chances of even getting an interview were low. But yeah, don’t let that bring you down, there are literally hundreds of other options and the university will do its best to place you.
8. Get excited. Probably the cheesiest one on the list but I couldn’t help it. I am so stoked for next year and I don’t even know where I’m going to go yet. Its a wonderful opportunity and its wonderful experience and who knows, you may even get to live in a different country! Which is very very very cool.
Hopefully that has been helpful in some way if you ever consider applying. Talking to your personal tutor regarding CVs and in general about placements is always a good idea too. And don’t hesitate to try something new, you never know, you might like it!
PS: Congratulations to Mr. Justin Trudeau for becoming the new Canadian PM! (if anyone keeps up with them politics at all).