Archive | February, 2015

Almost a year in the making… The FBL Placements Team

It has been nearly a year since the first Placement Officer joined the Faculty of Business & Law to assist students to find placements. We have worked hard over that time to meet with many of you, work with employers and help you in your efforts to gain valuable experience with numerous organisations. As part of those efforts we have created our own systems for monitoring what we do and to promote opportunities to you as effectively as we can. This website is a result of some of that effort. Hidden from view but no less important is the need to monitor and evaluate the data that our processes and systems generate.

As a bit of fun I thought it would be interesting for you to see some of that information at a top level.


Excel Southampton Placement Programme – What are you doing this summer?

This blog post was submitted by Career Destinations.

Oliver Reed, an undergraduate Medicine student from the University of Southampton, has just won the ‘Best Intern’ Award at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards in London.

Ollie undertook a summer placement at the University through the Excel Southampton Placement Programme last year and won the Excel Outstanding Achievement Award for the contribution he made.

The placement, working with Dr Tom Wilkinson, Associate Professor of Respiratory Medicine, saw Ollie working in the team that is developing new treatments for patients with life-threatening lung diseases. During his 8 weeks, Ollie introduced, manufactured and tested a new piece of equipment that saved the team over £30,000.

This led to a nomination for the national award, whereby Ollie beat over 400 other nominations to secure his place as a finalist against students who had worked with Enterprise rent-a-car; PwC and The Silver Spoon Company.

Apart from the tangible benefits Ollie brought to the project itself we are delighted that his achievement has received national recognition at this prestigious event.

Speaking of his award, Ollie said:

“It is an honour to win this award and without the support from the Excel Placement team and the Tom Wilkinson research group it could not have been possible. I thank them for giving me this opportunity.”

Ollie claims his prize at the NUE Awards


So, what can the Excel Southampton Placement Programme do for you?

Continue Reading →


DIY: Speculative Applications

This blog post was submitted by second year BSc Marketing student, Ashley Griffin

With exams finally over it is time for students like me – second year students looking for a year-long placement – to get back to the job search. With months of searching before Christmas amounting to very little, one of the difficulties for a placement student is motivating yourself after one rejection, or failed application: to keep going and apply for something else. With research showing that without work experience 52% of graduate employers rate your chances of getting a job offer as ‘not very likely’, it’s definitely something I need to push on with.

I have been looking for a placement in a marketing agency. I would particularly like to work for an agency so that I can experience a wide variety of projects and gain skills and background knowledge in a number of different industries. Although my placement year must be a paid position – which is nice – the main purpose of it is to gain experience so that when I am applying for that first graduate job I have a lot to offer a potential employer. An agency where I can work with a few clients therefore seems like the best way to gain a rounder experience.  As these tend to be medium to small-sized companies, they often do not advertise a placement scheme, meaning I have spent much of my time so far ringing offices and sending countless emails to different companies speculatively. From my experience this is more difficult than other applications because as well as having to convince the organization that you are the right person for the job you also have to convince them that they even need you.

Something I’m really keen to be involved in is creating content. This appeals to me is because I love writing, especially about current affairs. This has become the subject of my own blog; ‘Contagious Marketing Ideas‘. Communication skills and a desire to pay attention to trends are important in most industries, but in industries such as PR and search marketing it has particular importance because a campaign will have a bigger impact if it carries real relevance to your target audience. As I have said, the breadth of work appeals to me but also the fast paced nature of the industry. A 2011 study by CareerCast says that PR is the 2nd most stressful career path, just below being a commercial pilot. Marketing is also a highly competitive industry. When Xavier Aaronson (project manager at TheMuseBox) was interviewed by Mashable he said of job security in marketing, ‘there’s always going to be a really hungry person who wants to do the same job, and maybe he’ll do the same job for free’. So why would I want to work in PR or marketing? I think that the emphasis on results and deadlines will hold my attention, motivate me to work harder and hopefully achieve more.


My blog, 'Contagious Marketing Ideas', gives me space to further my writing skills.

My blog, ‘Contagious Marketing Ideas’, gives me space to further my writing skills.

Part of the problem in any application is distinguishing yourself from the crowd. Continue Reading →


Nothing is impossible: that’s the beauty of L’Oréal

The following blog post was submitted by 3rd year BSc Marketing student, Anna Bradford.

Let’s start off by saying that as an individual, I’m incredibly stubborn and fall into an incredibly dramatic slump when things don’t go the way I want. Take for instance when I didn’t get into the university of my choice after getting my A-Level results.. I think my family can vouch for me when I say I cried day and night and refused to come out of my room for about a week. But as they say, thing’s fall apart so new things can be put together, right?

It was around September of my 2nd year when I started to think about my placement year. I literally had no idea where I was going, what I was doing but I followed my friends behaviours to research online for internships. Many of my friends were going for the big placement schemes to start with but I decided at the beginning that I didn’t want to get stuck in a dead end job that I didn’t have a passion for. So then you start to look at your passions. My passions involved my blog, make-up, cosmetics, luxury goods. I could write for days on end about my new foundation or cleansing water which is something I felt extremely comfortable talking about.

My search started on Google. I remember being in my university room, staring at a blank google page and searching all the keywords under the sun. “Make-up internships”, “cosmetics internships”, “marketing schemes” – you’ll start to realise that when you start to look into these industries, such as fashion and beauty, you’re very much expected to be paid nothing, or if anything, a pittance, for a few weeks of experience in their offices.

My dream was to live and work in London so it took me quite a while to get to grips with the fact that I was going to have to live at home and commute, to work at many of the luxury fashion houses or niche cosmetics companies. December soon dawned on me and I suddenly realised that I was the last one in my group of friends without an internship. I started to be invited to seminars & lectures without my friends to discuss things like my CV and the ways I was approaching companies.

In January, I started to get a few emails back from smaller, but well known, companies in the industries I wanted for an interview. I’d get suited up and make my way to London to sit in their office and be asked questions. They all went really well… it was just the timing that was the issue. Many of the interviewers wanted somebody to start immediately rather than July and so that’s where my downfall was. Continue Reading →