Did somebody say it’s time to get out in the world, get a feel for how your knowledge relates to the workplace, develop some awesome skills and plump out that resume of yours? If this is you at the moment, don’t worry. I have been through the same thing twice now and I assure you, you are going to LOVE it!
If you are anything like me, then you are just busting to get hands on experience and more involved, but it is also completely normal to feel nervous if you don’t know exactly what to expect. My suggestion, no matter how you are feeling, is to get eager! This is an EXCITING opportunity because you can get a bit more of a taste for what it is like working in a field related to what you are studying.
When I was on my most recent placement, I jotted down some things that were helpful for me to remember.
Here is my insiders scoop:
- While placements are giving students work experience, it is still important to be PROFESSIONAL. Especially when your university, lecturer or a co-ordinator have organised your placement for you, it is important to do your student body and university proud as well as being professional in the organisation you are placed at.
- Know your expected LEARNING OUTCOMES. Work with your course lecturer and placement organisation to achieve them and develop professionally. Don’t fall into the trap of being a bystander in this valuable opportunity; make the most of it. You shouldn’t just be making coffee!
- Understand the terms of each particular placement. Every organisation and placement is different and there are different expectations about the days, times and hours you are expected to be in attendance. DON’T OVER-COMMIT to a placement if you won’t be able to fulfil the requirements. Placements provide a great learning experience, but they shouldn’t be hell on earth!
- ASK QUESTIONS. This is your opportunity to gain valuable workplace knowledge. Don’t be shy and ask questions that will help to increase your knowledge about the industry.
- VALUE-ADD to the organisation. Immerse yourself in your new role, practise the relevant skills and gain context for all off your theoretical knowledge.
- Don’t forget to ASK FOR SUPPORT from your loved-ones. They can help by making dinner or washing clothes if you find that you’re a bit strapped for time during your work placement.
- ENJOY YOUR EXPERIENCE. Develop professional relationships and broaden your network.
- REFLECT on your experiences. Take the opportunity to sit back and see exactly what you have been able to achieve as a result of your industry experience.
- Have a celebration! REWARD YOURSELF for all of your efforts. Completing your work placement probably wasn’t easy. Some of us study, work, have families and friends that we need to strategically work around in order to participate in and achieve this goal. So well done, you deserve it!
What do you guys, my fellow students, find helpful to remember when you’re on work placements?
What’s your insiders scoop?