The Importance of Work Placement for a College Student
When you graduate from college, future employers want to see more than just your degree on your CV, they want to see hands on experience in your given field. Most companies, regardless of their size prefer employing someone that has experience of the workplace. Working in your given field through placement shows that you are driven to succeed in your area of studies, and it contributes to reducing the learning curve when you commence your first job after graduation.
I commenced my placement with Optimize Recruitment Ltd in August 2020 and so far I have already noted that there are many practical and pragmatic benefits to participating in work placement whilst you are in college.
Put academic study and theory into real work practice.
Work Placement allows you to put the theory of what you have learnt in college into real life work practice, whilst also helping you gain extra knowledge and lifelong skills that you can carry forward to your future career.
Try out different areas within your chosen field
Placement is a great way for me to sample different areas of marketing and digital media and explore what areas I excel in and what areas I find I need to work on. With placement I’ve found I have tried many different marketing aspects, really broadened my capabilities and pushed myself to learn more. It is the best way to get a real sense of your chosen industry. You get to work with fellow employees and understand what it is really like to work in the real world. Working has taught me to work to deadlines, always plan and have a schedule to work along with, as I found that way, I stay on track with everything I must do.
Introduces you to the world of work
Work placement gently introduces you to the world of work. You get to learn the dos and don’ts, in a hands-on way. You become more workplace savvy and learn to navigate your way through the everyday running’s within a company. Through placement I found it gave me an idea of the skills I will need to thrive in the workplace, but most importantly placement helps you to identify your own skills and potentially even highlight the areas that you want to work on. It gives you a good overall understanding of your strength and weaknesses.
You will broaden your network
Undergoing placement also aids in building up new connections and gives you the opportunity to meet new people and consistently build up your network. Making connections with professionals from different industries you are interested in can go a long way. For these connections can provide you with insights about certain industries, it’s workings and functioning’s. It also allows for upskilling from a communication perspective which is key within my field.
Gain confidence in your abilities
I find that every day in the workplace I am taking on interesting and new challenges and responsibilities. I have gained new skills but also confidence in what I am doing thanks to a supportive team around me . With every new project, or design I find more confidence in my ability to produce high quality work that I can be proud of. Recently I was tasked with giving a power point presentation, to say the task was daunting is an understatement but the positive feedback I received allows to me to further excel and not fear the next one!
As we are aware, the job market of today is highly competitive and fast-paced. It is quite difficult to impress employers with just a degree anymore as future employers are looking for more than just technical skills and knowledge of a degree discipline. They value skills such as communication, the ability to work in a team and problem solving. Therefore, students such as I who gain and develop these skills during work placement have a real advantage in the future.
Throughout my time in placement so far, I have gained new strengths and enhanced other ones, while gaining confidence in my work thanks to the team I have around me who always give feedback and encourage me. Every day I take on new projects that drive my passion for my chosen field and motivates me to continuously improve my work ethic and that is why work placement is so important and valuable to college students. It gives us the experience and knowledge necessary that we can carry with us to our future careers.
By Ava Hackett