You’ve spent hours perfecting your CV, practising your interview technique and now you’ve secured your placement, congratulations! Feeling nervous? No need. Here's how I prepared.
A few weeks before my placement started, I definitely began to feel nervous and wasn’t really sure what to expect or how best to prepare. I’ve put together a few top tips for you on the run-up to starting your placement.
1. Get yourself into a good sleeping pattern
It’s a huge shock to the system working 9-5 and especially difficult if you’re used to sleeping in. Try to move your wake-up time earlier gradually, then it won’t be such a shock when your alarm goes off for work on your first day!
2. Refresh your knowledge of the company
If you’re anything like me, you probably did lots of research into the company and the sector they're in for your interview – and then instantly forgot everything after you walked out. It’s always good to know what’s happening in the sector and anything exciting that the company is currently doing.
3. Try to keep your weekends free for the first few weeks
Starting full-time work is super-overwhelming and tiring, so give yourself some time off at weekends to just relax and recharge ready for the next week. It surprised me just how tired I was at the end of the first week, so I really appreciated some free time at the weekends (mainly to catch up on sleep!).
4. Do a practice run of getting to the office the week before you start
There’s nothing worse than panicking on your first morning because you don’t know how to find the office or which tube stop to get off at. Make sure you set off nice and early on your first day so that you don’t arrive late; first impressions do count!
5. Know who you’re meeting on your first day
There may be thousands of employees working in the business, and the receptionist most likely won’t know who you’re supposed to be meeting. If you don’t know who this will be, make sure to email the week before you start to find out. And, if you’re feeling super-nervous, maybe ask if you can have a call with this person to chat through any questions you have.
Good luck and just remember, it’s OK to ask questions. No employer will expect you to be the expert on your first day, so make sure to ask for clarification if you’re not sure about something you’ve been told.
And most importantly... enjoy!
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.