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Hi, DS is struggling to find a placement (tbf I’m not sure how hard he has been looking). He had his heart set on one particular opportunity but didn’t get it. He now has an offer that doesn’t really interest him. Is this better than no placement at all and to just go straight into the final year?
Not necessarily better - could just be a waste of time and leave him with no summer to enjoy to allow him to re-charge for his final year. It depends entirely on what the placement is and where his interests lie. I'm probably going to be a minority of one on this one. Although if the placement is only a couple of weeks as opposed to ten then probably no harm done. But I'd still probably err on the side of only doing it if it interests him.
@Libbylongtree - Could you just clarify: are you talking about a year-long placement between 2nd year and final year? What area is his degree in?
I thought you meant a second year vacation placement, which is very different! I'll defer to others who know better about third year full year placements!
If this is a year long placement I think Most students have to work very hard to find one. I also think a lot of students start uni thinking they will just have to write a few letters and one will turn up or the uni will find them one. They are hard to come by but the experience of finding one is in itself a great experience and great practice for the next year - and if you do get one it is also a good thing to have - but as goodbye said only if it interests him. To be frank he sounds a bit lazy/entitled but I could be judging harshly
I think it depends on the subject and what the placement actually is. It might be better than he thinks. Placements can often end up as jobs if they work out. I think you need to be clearer about the course and the placement. I understand universities don’t spoonfeed the students and my DD had to find her own placement. It requires effort.
It also pays for students to be flexible. For example, everyone doing motor engineering wants to work in F1. This won’t happen so flexibility and the ability to learn from an alternative experience is important, even if it’s not the best opportunity.
Hi, thanks for your responses. It should be a ten month placement as part of a four year degree course. He is studying business management (yeah, I know) and the placement he’s been offered is management trainee for a large car hire company. He really doesn’t know what he wants to do after uni.
Regarding lazy/entitled, he originally didn’t want to go to uni and got an advanced apprenticeship. It was his first choice and he went through a fairly demanding interview process. He ended up being treated badly despite working a lot of hours for a poor salary.
He had his heart set on his dream placement and worked hard on his application but with hindsight I don’t think either of us realised how stiff the competition for places are. He’s not at a Russell group uni.
The reviews for this company’s placement scheme seem to be fairly positive so I think he’s coming round to it a bit more today. I agree it would be helpful if he had a better view of what career he would like to pursue.
My dd is doing Human Resource Management and is on her placement year currently. She got very little help from uni and applied to many companies before securing interviews ( some with several stages)
She found the whole process quite stressful, but at the same time very useful and good real life experience
She's loving her placement year( and getting paid well) and is gaining invaluable knowledge which will prove useful for her final year
These placements are certainly not a given...in fact she's one of only 3 on her course who were selected for placement on her course
She's working for an IT company...not necessarily her first choice for future employment but she's been given real responsibility and has her own workload and now has a clearer idea of which direction to aim for!
Business management can lead anywhere so if he takes the placement it might make his future career seem a bit more obvious. Sometimes you can click with a firm and they may give you opportunities in different departments. He should feel pleased he actually has a placement. It will always look better on his cv than doing nothing.
I worked for several years as a Placement Manager at a Business School within a UK uni. We placed about 650 UG and PG students a year, anything from 4 to 48 weeks, paid and unpaid.
If this is a car rental company beginning with an E, I know the format and content of their placements quite well and they are excellent.
I would always advise students to do placements. The softer skills that cannot be taught at uni (teamwork, communication in a business setting, meeting deadlines, accountability etc) are so well developed during a placement year that not only do they make students more attractive to employers on graduation, but placement students often increase their predicted grades significantly fgollowing a placement. We could always tell who had been on placement and who hadn't. I did placements myself when I was at uni and my placement employer offered me a job when I graduated. The ability to take finals without having to apply for jobs was amazing.
Bear in mind that placement employers start with the very basic tasks. If students can't do these without attitude or complaining, they won't be offered more responsibility. It was one of the biggest areas of managing expectations for us.
Thank you all for your comments.
BradleyPooper - it’s reassuring to learn of your experience with the company beginning with E and interesting to discover that grades often increase after a placement.
He did gain a lot from his year of employment, not least remembering to write down the orders on the tea round!
Thank you all for your comments, I have passed them on to DS who feels a lot happier and more positive now.