Placement Ambassador – Charlotte Whatley
Placement Ambassadors are Stage 3 students who have returned from a placement year. They are happy to offer advice and guidance to stage 2 students looking for a placement.Why did you choose to do a one year commercial placement?
I felt that I was lacking ‘real world’ experience and was worried that I would struggle when it came to applying for graduate jobs. I lacked confidence in myself and I did not know what profession I wanted to be in. I thought that a year in industry would give me that experience, the confidence and perhaps the career insight.
Which company did you work for? What was your position?
Newcastle Building Society – Conduct Risk Student Placement
What was the highlight of your placement year?
The highlight for me was meeting so many new people, I was placed in a very supportive department with a great atmosphere and team spirit. I was worried before I joined that I would be out of my depth, and that I would be a hindrance to my colleagues but they could not have been more helpful, particularly at the start of my placement. I soon realised that I was capable, and my confidence gradually increased, this was a satisfying feeling.
How has the placement experience helped your own development?
From day 1 I was pushed out of my comfort zone, I was asked to give presentations, write papers and reviews, and host meetings with other business areas, all of which have improved my confidence which will help me in Stage 3 and also when applying for graduate jobs.
I believe my work ethic has improved significantly which I can carry into my final year at Uni. Working 9-5 has put me in a structured routine. This placement also improved my time management skills which will be very helpful when it comes to university deadlines and exams.
I have also had opportunity to work with a range of people and to develop my communication and relationship building skills in a variety of situations.
What elements of the placement have been most useful in helping you move towards your careers goal? What is your career goal?
I now am aiming to build a career in Accountancy. As I wasn’t sure of this at the time of applying for my placement, my placement did not have specific links to Accountancy. However, I think the experiences I have gained have given me many transferrable skills. NBS were also very flexible and allowed me to spend time in the Finance and Accounting areas of the Society as they were aware that this is what I was interested in doing.
What advice would you give someone who was thinking about doing a commercial placement?
Research the area you are applying for, keep up to date and be aware of news and events that affect your chosen industry and your specific business area.
Research the company before you apply and think of specific reasons why you want to work for them. I am so pleased that I had the confidence to go through the rigorous application processes as I have gained invaluable experience from my placement year! Now that it has come to looking for Graduate Jobs, I am thankful that I have experiences to refer back to.
If you have any placement related questions, feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org