Beyond the CV – What can you get out of a placement?
Posted by JamieKelly on a Friday in July, 2013
With 49% of 17-30 year olds now participating in further education and an ever-tightening employment market, it is more important to stand out than ever. An industrial placement can be a fantastic way to differentiate yourself from your peers. But, a placement offers far more than a few lines on your C.V.
So, what do you want to gain from a placement?
Experience in a professional environment? Insight into your chosen field? A chance to branch out and make meaningful connections? Money?
Before you answer that, I’ll tell you who I am and what I wanted.
Before starting, I had expectations and goals. In reality, I wanted it all.
That being said, there were a few distinct aptitudes I was intent on developing and experiences that I wished to gain from my time at Quantum.
What I wanted:
- Sharpening my skills – Given my aspirations of a career in Marketing, I was intent on fine-tuning my abilities, my initial focus being communication and task/time management.
- Insight into the different business functions is an active area of personal interest and I definitely aspired to move beyond my initial role.
- Integrated marketing experience – The core of my academic career, thus far, has been focused around an integrated approach. Naturally, I wished to explore and develop this during my placement.
- Internal progression – Insight into the different business functions is an active area of personal interest and I definitely aspired to move beyond my initial role.
- Money – As with most students, finances are a constant concern. The fact that this position appeared to offer a high volume of achievable commission made it all the more attractive.
What I got:
- Skills – In short, I gained and developed a myriad of skills, some of which I didn’t expect when beginning.
- Responsibilities – While I stayed in one role for the duration, I did get the opportunity to undertake a few extra responsibilities. From writing articles to reporting and helping with team management, the experiences were there for those willing to commit to the cause.
- Client exposure – Due to the nature of the campaigns on which I worked, I got a huge amount of client exposure. And, as a result of this, I made some fantastic connections.
- Industry knowledge – During my day-to-day tasks, I accumulated a vast array of knowledge about the B2B high-tech market, the competitive scope and the nature of business relationships.
- Redefinition of skill set – Coming into the role, I was almost certain that my skills would lead me to a strategic or creative role. But, having been successful in a more sales oriented position, I have been able to reevaluate my abilities and potential paths.
- Rewards – Although I didn’t qualify for anywhere near the volume of commission that I’d hoped upon beginning, I did earn a few extra pennies. Also, due to efforts on a particular project, I was given a free laptop!
So, did I get absolutely everything that I initially wanted? Well, no.
But, is what I got valuable? Absolutely, because everything gained can be used.
What I’ll do with what I got:
- Using skills and experiences: Not only do I have a more developed set of aptitudes, but also I have a solid base of experiences to use as a point of reference.
- Apply knowledge: Having accumulated a high volume of industry knowledge and discovered new areas of personal interest, I now have some fantastic ideas and basal information for relevant dissertation topics.
- Define career path: As I briefly touched upon earlier, this role has given me the chance to focus on the way that I approach future employment.
- Utilize contacts: Having produced significantly good results for several parties and connected well with them, I sit in a perfect position to use these connections after graduating.