May 8, 2023

5 Ways to Excel in Your Placement Year

If you’re embarking on a placement year as part of your degree program, congratulations! You’re about to gain invaluable real-world experience in your chosen industry, build your professional network, and set yourself up for future career success. Here are five tips for making the most of your placement year and excelling in your role.

1. Take initiative

Don't wait for your supervisor to assign tasks to you. Be proactive and seek out opportunities to contribute to the company's projects and goals. You can do this by asking your supervisor for additional responsibilities, taking the initiative to complete tasks before they're assigned, or offering to help colleagues with their workloads. This will not only show that you're a valuable member of the team, but also help you develop important skills in leadership, communication, and problem-solving.

2. Network

Use your placement year as an opportunity to network with professionals in your industry. Attend industry events and conferences, reach out to alumni of your university who work in your field, and connect with colleagues and supervisors on LinkedIn. Building your professional network can help you discover new opportunities, gain valuable insights into your industry, and even lead to job offers down the line.

3. Learn from feedback

During your placement year, you'll receive feedback on your performance from your supervisor and colleagues. Don't take criticism personally; instead, use it as an opportunity to learn and grow. Take note of areas where you can improve and work on developing those skills. Similarly, take note of your strengths and find ways to build on them. Being open to feedback and willing to improve will make you a more valuable employee and set you up for future success in your career.

4. Be professional

Treat your placement year like a full-time job. This means arriving on time, dressing appropriately, and maintaining a positive attitude. Remember that you're representing not just yourself, but also your university and the company you're working for. Being professional and showing that you're a reliable, responsible employee will go a long way in building your reputation in your industry.

5. Keep a record of your achievements

Throughout your placement year, keep a record of your achievements and the tasks you've completed. This will be helpful when it comes time to update your resume and prepare for job interviews. Make note of any accomplishments or projects you've contributed to, any skills you've developed, and any positive feedback you've received from your supervisor or colleagues.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your placement year and set yourself up for future success in your career. Good luck!

You may find this blog post useful 10 Tips for a Successful First Day on the Job.

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