Getting a placement at Uni can be a daunting prospect for any student. Uprooting your life and starting a fresh, on your own without friends and family by your side can be incredibly intimidating. The decisions you make within the process can have dramatic effects on your life for the next year and the actions you take throughout the year can have a measurable impact on your life from there – so the pressure is on.
Many of my peers were desperate to get out of their usual routine and make the move down to ‘the big smoke’, where opportunities are thrown at you and life is more fast paced and exciting (supposedly). I don’t disagree that London has a certain excitement around it, however this for me is only appealing on a weekend-trip sort of basis, any longer than that and I begin to crave the normality and regularity of life ‘up North’.
For myself, choosing to apply within the Hull region was a no-brainer. East Yorkshire is not only a wonderful place to visit, but for me it has been a memorable place to live for the last 20 years. A home-bird I most certainly am, only attending uni an hour’s drive away in Leeds – my roots are firmly placed in Yorkshire & its appeal carried on for me when beginning to think about a year in industry.
Fast-forward to October and I am currently one month into my placement at Eon Visual Media – a company that for me encompasses everything that Hull is about: spirit, passion and innovation. I am incredibly lucky to have been offered a job within a business that is so forward-thinking and I am incredibly excited to discover what the next 11 months will bring to the table. Fortunately for me, the placement situation is so-far-so-great, each week has rolled into the next as I have been constantly provided with information, training, included in meetings as well as being given responsibility and numerous tasks to carry out within my role. As well as this, I have been invited to and attended awards ceremonies in the region and travelled across the country to be involved on set at video shoots.
Long gone are the stereotypes of ‘gofer’ interns and ‘coffee-making’ placement students. Despite ‘only’ being part of the team for a year, your role is valued and respected, as if you were a permanent employee. This sudden shift from your regular uni routine into working life is designed to develop and enrich your knowledge going forward into the final year of your studies, so it’s only right that you throw yourself in to the experience.
If I was to give advice to any undergraduate student thinking of applying for a placement, I’d split it in to 3 main points:
- Respect all of the opportunities you are given – it’s a competitive market so setting yourself aside from the rest is key and offers can come in few and far between.
- First impressions are vital. Not only a company’s first impression of you, but yours of them – if you walk into their offices and instantly get a good vibe, chances are it’s going to be a great year. If you’re having doubts or start getting bad signals from your would-be employers, perhaps explore opportunities elsewhere, this is going to be your life for 12 months ultimately – so you have to enjoy it!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff – this is all brand new, you’re not going to understand some things at first, so don’t expect to know everything and everyone within the first week because chances are your employer won’t expect you to either.
Thank you to Eon for my time thus far, here’s to hoping things only get better from here!