Industrial Placement years & Sandwich Courses at University are becoming increasingly popular for students to complete, with some courses now having compulsory placement years for students who are completing a certain course.
I completed an industrial placement year during my third year of University, and even though at the time it seemed (in my non-committed student head) like a lot of time and effort, my experience had huge benefits in terms of setting me up for the ‘real world’ of work upon graduation, as well as helping me think about which way I wanted to focus my career and which type of company and company culture I would want to be a part of.
The idea of hiring a Placement student has huge benefits for both students and employers who already run a work placement scheme; benefits for the employer include:
- Placement students have 1 year to impress you and secure themselves a job for when they graduate, therefore they will bring enthusiasm and energy to the workplace, as well as having a great work ethic.
- Placement students are an ideal way to complete projects (especially short - term projects) which would otherwise be put aside due to time constraints of other employees - they will also bring fresh ideas and an external perspective to the project.
- If you are impressed by the placement student and their work, you have the opportunity to offer them a role for when the finish University - you are able to meet them and test them as a potential future recruit before committing properly.
- Placement students are cheap - they offer a cost effective solution to recruitment needs. Most industrial placements are paid work, however they won’t expect a high salary.
- Hiring a placement student will help to network and build relationships with various universities as well as raising the profile of your career opportunities.
If you are a student and contemplating whether to complete an Industrial Placement year, then it is worth noting the benefits which come to students who are progressing into their chosen career:
- A placement year will offer a practical experience in the industry which you are looking to work in. There is only so much a lecture at University can teach you about what it would really be like to work within your chosen industry - actually working practically within a role for a long period of time will give you an honest and thorough experience of what it will be like to work that role after graduation. You are also able to develop your teamwork and interpersonal skills within an office environment, which is essential in all types of job.
- A placement year will provide you with improved job opportunities. Every employer looks for relevant experience which a candidate has and this relevant experience is the most important part of your CV. You will be much more likely to be considered for your chosen role after graduating if you already have a years work experience in that industry. It will put you one big step ahead of other applicants.
- It will help you to secure a job before graduating. If you work hard and impress your employer during your industrial placement year you are likely to be offered a role for when you graduate. If you don’t secure an offer of employment there and then, you will have spent the year making contacts within your chosen industry which will help you for when you are job searching.
- Statistics show that those who complete a placement year end up achieving better grades and better degree results. When I was in my final year, I was able to link my practical experiences into written essays; it also becomes a lot easier to understand a theory if you have practical experience within that area - it sticks in the brain and enables you write freely about it.
Due to my own experience during my placement year, and the benefits which affect both students and employers, I decided to introduce the idea of hiring placement students here at Morgan McKinley. This is the first time we will be introducing a formalised scheme into the business and I am excited to run the process from start to finish while witnessing the benefits which will come from the new scheme.