March 30, 2015, by Sunita Tailor
This blog post was written by second year English Language and Literature student, Charlotte Lambert from the School of English.
As an English student at the University, I am sure that you are all familiar with the email notifications that are sent on a regular basis, advertising the latest placement opportunities. You may have scrolled down and pushed them to the back of your mind or you may have taken further action, but for my part I spent the beginning of this year sending off applications for every role that was sent my way. For a great portion of these I managed to progress to the interview stage. Yet no matter how I answered the questions or presented myself, I was unable to advance beyond this point for a long period of time. Before I began to stew on this for too long I made the decision to attend interview sessions with the University’s Careers and Employability service and took the Christmas vacation to learn how to draw on my experiences more proficiently.
This initial practice was essential to building an application and interview style that I am now much more confident with. This term I was able to succeed where last term I had failed, progressing beyond the interview stage to actually having secured placements. I am currently undergoing a ten week position with the University’s Undergraduate and Postgraduate Marketing team; a placement which I am able to combine as a module for the University’s Nottingham Advantage Award. For one day a week I am situated in the Marketing offices, analysing the University’s online presence with reference to other Russell group Universities. Through this placement, I not only feel that I am taking an active interest in my career development but that I am gaining experiences which will later provide me with evidence to support future applications and interviews.
Additionally, it is worth considering that placements can also be a great way to challenge your own ideas of an industry. At the start of the year I was adamant that my future career lay in the publishing sector and it was not until my placement with First Story that I began to question this choice. My role here entailed supporting the editing process of an anthology of secondary students’ work and I was even given the opportunity to proofread one of the manuscripts. Whilst I enjoyed my time with this placement and was given the chance to learn a new set of skills, I now understand that my interests lie elsewhere. If it wasn’t for this placement, I do not doubt that I would still be pursuing a career which, as it turns out, is ill suited for me.
My advice to other students would definitely be to apply for other upcoming placements. They provide great practice for future interviews and a chance to test your suitability with a career profile.
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