find a placement

May 27, 2016, by Carla

Looking for a Placement? Three Tried and Tested Steps to Follow

By Grace Pownall, student blogger

Last October, I wrote my first blog post ‘On the Hunt for an Engineering Summer Placement.’ I’m excited to share that the hunt is over, and I have secured a summer placement with an engineering consultancy.

The role is a structural engineering internship in the buildings department, which is the area I most wanted to work in. The office is in the perfect location too – Nottingham city centre – so I couldn’t be happier.

To come full cycle, I thought I’d share the steps I took to succeed in finding my perfect placement. Tips that should be helpful no matter what type of role you’re looking for:

1. Keep your eyes peeled

If you’re looking for a placement with a particular company, see if they offer job alerts and sign up for their mailing list. This way you’ll know about vacancies as soon as they go up, giving you more time to work on your application.

If you’re not sure which company you want to work for, sign up to graduate job websites, such as RateMyPlacement, Gradcracker or TargetJobs. Most of these sites offer a weekly email service you can sign up to, which will alert you about their newest vacancies relevant to you.

Finally, don’t forget to look on My Career, which is packed with jobs targeted at Nottingham students. The more you know about, the better chance you’ll have of finding exactly what you want. It’s very rare to get the first job you apply for, so stay positive and persevere.

2. Network, network, network

Make the most of events run by the University to find out more about the companies you’re interested in. Go along to a careers fair – the Graduate Jobs Fair is coming up very soon! – to find out what kind of person they are looking for and what opportunities they have on offer.

I met several graduates and recruiters from the company I’m going to work for at careers fairs. I also attended a company presentation, which gave me a real insight into what the company are all about. Having insider knowledge is really helpful when it comes to writing application forms and preparing for interviews.

3. Get help

Over the past year, I’ve attended several appointments with the Careers and Employability Service, to tidy up my CV, discuss applications, and to prepare for my first big job interview. Everyone I spoke to was really helpful, supportive and encouraging.

I used websites, such as Glassdoor, to find out common interview questions and what format the interview would take.

Finally, I chatted to a final-year student who did the same internship in the same office last summer, which helped to calm my nerves. It gave me a better idea of what to expect and made sure I was prepared. By eliminating unknowns, my anxiousness and nervousness were replaced with excitement.

Whether you’re looking for a placement, work experience or graduate job, Grace’s tips are a great way to get ahead in your career planning. The Careers team are on hand throughout the year to help you too. Login to My Career to book an appointment now. 

Posted in Applying For JobsCareers AdviceChoosing Your CareerGraduate VacanciesInterviewsStudent Bloggers