If you are about to start a placement, you’ll want to make the most of the opportunity and get the very best out of it. Take note of the top tips below; once you’re on placement, you’ll find the days quickly become weeks, and it’ll be over before you know it!
Keep a work diary
The more notes you make whilst on placement, the better. Be sure to scribble down notes on all the projects you complete, and the lessons you learn, as your placement year will form the bulk of material for your CV, cover letters and interviews for graduate jobs. You’ll have a whole year’s worth of work to draw from, and try as you may, you won’t be able to remember it all off the top of your head. It is a good idea to do a weekly write up, of highlights, achievements and also any mistakes you made – as it’s always important to reflect and learn from those too.
Set personal goals to match your ‘KPI’s
If you’ve not heard of the term ‘KPI’s, you will probably come across them during your placement year – these are your business targets which you’ll most likely be working towards during your time on placement. In your first couple of weeks on placement, you’ll probably be keen to learn and take as many opportunities as you can – but as routine bites and you start to settle in, these can easily fall by the wayside. Take note of your goals and schedule time to look back at them to keep on track.
Build your professional networks
There’s no better time to meet other professionals than on your placement. You’ll have plenty of time to get to know your colleagues, plus you’ll usually be on a placement with other students like yourself, so socialising can be a big part of your placement experiences. Don’t forget to connect with your managers, colleagues and anyone else you meet along the way via Linkedin and swapping business cards. After all, it’s not just what you know but also who you know!
Stand out from the crowd
Making that little extra bit of effort can make a big difference on placement – impressing your colleagues can help towards turning your placement year into a permanent position. Even as your placement year draws to a close, remember to keep up your professionalism and be memorable for your can-do attitude and innovative ideas.
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