My placement year was definitely one of the best years of my life. There were highs and lows, but it was - without a doubt - all worth it.
Finishing placement was a bittersweet feeling for me. There were so many amazing people that I had met, and I had gotten into such a routine of going into the office and working every day that the prospect of coming back to uni without a routine was pretty daunting. Also, most of my friends from my course had chosen not to do a placement year so I was coming back to a completely new cohort of people who I hadn’t met before.
I finished my placement the Friday before Freshers' Week commenced on the Monday (my choice!), so enjoyed a long lie-in before heading back into uni, ready to get involved for my final year. My placement has meant that I’ve appreciated sleep a lot, but I’ve still been able to be so much more productive than ever before.
I've been really lucky in that I’ve stayed working for the company where I did my placement for one day per week, and it’s been so great to keep in touch with what’s happening – ready to return as a graduate.
I’ve also found that the contacts which I have made throughout my placement year have come in useful now I’m back at uni. Whether I needed a guest speaker for a student society event, or help with an assignment, I’ve had so many people that I could turn to, which has been great. I’ve also found I can apply the theories I'm learning in lectures to experiences which I have had on my placement year, to see how this is implemented in the business world.
I decided on my dissertation topic whilst out on placement and this has been hugely helpful in getting started. It’s on a topic which I am truly passionate about and the knowledge will help me in my future career. I can also use one of the research projects which I completed on placement to help me find information for my dissertation.
My placement helped me to gain infinite amounts of confidence and so many other skills, such as problem solving, resilience, thinking on my feet and communication.
I feel so much more knowledgeable about the career I want to go into and the skills and experiences I need to get there. I feel truly motivated to get stuck in during my final year – and to study hard, ready for my future.
Many of our undergraduate degree courses, including Emma's, offer a placement year. They're a great chance to gain work experience and make industry contacts. Find out more about courses with placement years.