It’s National Careers Week 2nd to 7th March, and work experience placements are often part of courses here at Nottingham College. There are lots of benefits, and different ways to make the most of your placement. But what is the real point of it?
We spoke to 17-year-old Level 3 Business student Harriet, who is doing a work placement in the College’s Marketing department. She gave us five reasons to get involved, plus some examples of what she’s been getting up to:
1 - You can learn new skills
Experience of being in a working environment is something that employers do look for. Skills such as organisation and time management that you will learn on your work experience, can give you more of an advantage compared to other people.
On my placement I wrote this blog! It’s taught me how to write in a different way, reading different blogs, finding information, and adding my own personal experience.
I also learned some basic skills in design packages like Photoshop and InDesign.
2 - It can add to your CV
Most employers may not expect you to have done lots of work experience when you leave school or college, but volunteering and doing work experience placements can really help to set you apart from the crowd.
I’ve actually done some real work for the team during my placement. For example, I designed a poster that is going to be used as the front cover of an events programme, my blog is being published on their website, and I helped with an apprenticeship open event too. I can add all these things to my CV.
3 - You can make contacts for the future
Work experience will mean that you meet professionals, enabling you to get plenty of pointers on progressing your career. It can open doors to your future employment.
I met with lots of different parts of the team, from Schools and Events, to PR and Communications, and Design. They were all friendly, and happy to tell me a bit about the industry.
4 - You can check what your preferences are
It can be really worthwhile, even if you’re in doubt about what you want do as a job. By undergoing different placements or seeing different areas of a business, it can help you decide which ones you prefer overall.
I really enjoyed doing the social media side of things, like researching into what different companies are doing well. I also really enjoyed the design work.
5 - You might even get a job out of it
Employers sometimes take on their placement students in the future, once they’ve finished their course. You’ll make contacts but also get to know how a company and department works which could help when applying for jobs.
This would help me in the future if I applied for a similar job role, as I already have a taster of the different jobs within the department.
I also learned about LinkedIn and now I’ve made myself a profile, and started looking at how I could use that to help get a job in the future.
Overall, I’d say a work placement definitely helps towards your future career!— Harriet
Here at Nottingham College, work experience is a big part of lots of our courses
We even have a dedicated Work Placement team to help our students apply for and complete their placements. Or, you could even choose an apprenticeship, which combines learning alongside earning a wage.
Are you an employer?
If you’re an employer and you’d be interested in learning more about offering a work placement, you can visit the dedicated work placement section of the website, or email the Work Placement team at email@example.com.
Already a Nottingham College student?
As a current student, if you’d like to find out more about work placements, why not check out the Work Placement Portal on the E‑ILP, where you will be able to search and apply for work placements?