Covid-19 – FAQ’s about your placement

We are aware that this is a very uncertain time for a lot of students. Whether they are currently on placement, looking for placements, or simply wondering what to do next. There are a lot of questions so we have put together some FAQ’s which can answer some of your queries.

Students searching for Placements 2021/22

Should I still be starting to think about my Placement Year?

Yes! The Placements Team are all still accessible to assist you with any applications, interviews and more. This can be organised via email, telephone, and Microsoft Teams. You should have received an email from your allocated Placement Advisor earlier this month so get in contact with them to make an appointment and discuss the first/next steps in your Placement search.

I am in my home country (outside the UK), can I still get help with Placement applications?

Of course! As stated above, the Placements Team are still accessible via email, telephone, and Microsoft Teams. Send an email or make an appointment via Microsoft Teams to get assistance with your CV, Cover Letters, or anything else required for your applications.

Be aware of time differences – the Placements Team are usually available between 9:00am – 4:30pm Monday – Friday. Some adjustments to these times can be made if you have returned to your home country where there is a large time difference with the UK.

 

Students on Placement in 2019/20 and 2020/21

I am now working from home in accordance with the government guidance, is this acceptable?

Definitely! We want all our students to have a placement experience and we also want you to all be safe during this time. If you are now working from home, please ask your Line Manager to send an email to your Placement Advisor or placements.sbs@soton.ac.uk to confirm that you have the equipment and ability to work from home and are being supported through this time.

I have been furloughed, is there anything that I need to do?

Sorry to hear that you have been furloughed. Please get in contact with your Placement Advisor with the anticipated dates or period of your furlough. Keep your Placement Advisor aware of any changes to your working circumstance or environment.

My employer has asked that I return to/enter the work place, what do I need to do?

Our primary concern is your safety and welfare. Please make and appointment with your Placement Advisor or give them a call if you are asked to return to the work place. We will need to conduct a Risk Assessment to ensure that there is no significant risk to you if you enter the workplace as well as ensure your employer has appropriate measures in place to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19.

 

 

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Securing a Placement – Q + A with SBS Students

This blog post was written by three second year students who have recently secured their work placements for next year! Elise Paramore, Calum Glendinning, and Jade Hagger have all given us a look into their Placement Application Journey.

Elise Paramore –  Toyota GB – Marketing Product & Programmes Placement

“The placement application process was a challenge but really insightful. After applying to a number of roles in marketing across a wide variety of industries, I found my placement at Toyota GB in the Digital Marketing team. The application process allowed me to gain a greater understanding of what I want from my career and the skills and experience that I do have to support these things. The Placement Office was incredibly helpful during the process, checking CVs and applications, and offering mock interviews allowing me to understand further what I need to do to secure a placement. My main advice to students applying to placements is to stay true to what you enjoy and to stay determined throughout the process. Rejection and setbacks are difficult but it’s really worthwhile in the end.”

 

 

 

Calum Glendinning – Oracle – Human Resources Placement

“I have recently gained a placement at Oracle, based in Reading for a Human Resources role. The placement process is a stressful experience, however, if you utilise the placement team they are very helpful in supporting you and offering advice. I sent out around 15 initial applications, often failing at the first hurdle, in particular the maths tests proved challenging. I managed to gain 2 interviews and 2 assessment centres from this, where I then consulted the placement team to ask for advice and a mock interview. Fortunately, I was successful at two of these and I selected Oracle as it was more aligned with my career aspirations. My three main advice points are to start applying early, use the placement team for any help and don’t be afraid of rejection throughout the process. Good luck!

 

 

 

Jade Hagger – Williams F1 – Procurement Industrial Placement

As several students from our university have completed placements at Williams F1, Southampton have a very good reputation. As a result of this relationship, to apply for this position I only had to adapt my CV and cover letter and send it off to the Placement Team who submitted the application on my behalf. Soon after, I received and email inviting me to an assessment day – Williams assessment days are usually really early (mine was in mid November) meaning that placement stress is over very quickly if you get the job. Before my assessment day the Placement Team linked me up with a student that had completed the Williams placement two years prior to talk me through the experience and help set expectations for the day. I also met up with my Placement Advisor (Rochelle) who provided further help and practice such as interview preparation. My assessment day consisted of a three minute presentation with no slides or props, a group exercise, one-to-one interviews with department heads, and tours round the site.

The advice that I would give to students looking to get a placement is:

  1. Don’t limit yourself to a certain industry. Apply based on a position you are interested in gaining experience in such as finance, supply chain, HR etc.
  2. Concentrate on applying for as many jobs as you can before midterms and end of semester deadlines to reduce your stress as much as possible as you won’t get as many applications completed when you’re revising

Remember if you need any help with applying to Placements, the SBS Placements Team are always here to help!

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A Day in the Life of a Marketing Intern at Park Now

This post was written by Tom currently undertaking a Marketing Placement at PARK NOW

 

It’s a very busy day today – I need to document the findings and outcomes from the marketing conference in Amsterdam I attended last week, and I need to report on and look at the next steps from our B2B workshop. Both of these are really important, not just for the company going forward, but for the group as a whole and our role in the UK market. It’s been great on placement so far; I’ve been getting to experience things at a level that I didn’t think I’d be able to this soon. At the moment, we’re in the midst of a huge rebranding campaign. On top of that, to go off jet-setting to Amsterdam and Berlin last month was an incredible experience! It’s a bit of a change from Jesters!

We’re part of a new €1 billion BMW/Daimler mobility services joint-venture, so I’m very fortunate to have joined PARK NOW at a particularly exciting time – there is more focus and importance placed on marketing now than in the history of the company. And, successful marketing is vitally important to keep our RingGo brand progressing and thriving as the UK’s no. 1 cashless parking provider. There’s plenty of exciting stuff for me to be working on and producing, and no two days are the same!

I’ve also been given the chance to take the lead on some very important projects, working directly with some of our partners and their account managers. That is such an amazing experience, and I’m learning a lot. It’s even more amazing having that level of responsibility and trust after just a few weeks being here. I can feel myself growing into the role more and more with everything I can sink my teeth into. I feel genuinely valued as part of the team, and not just someone to give a few tasks to keep them busy.

At PARK NOW, I’m getting to see and do things that I never expected to, but I’ve learned so much already that I could never have been able to learn at uni. I can’t wait to keep learning and progressing as part of the PARK NOW family. I really couldn’t have chosen a better placement.

Visit parknowgroup.com, or career.park-now.com to find out more about how you can join us and shape the future of mobility!

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The Benefits of a Placement Year at 2 Circles Communications

This blog post was written by Dulky a BSc Marketing student currently on placement at 2 Circles Communications

 

 

Over 40% of UK graduates fail to land graduate level jobs after university, with almost two thirds of employers believing experience is the most important asset when recruiting rather than qualifications. Recent studies have shown that 72% of employers admit that too much emphasis is placed on qualifications and not enough on experience.

Many students make the mistake of assuming that their degree alone will qualify them for a job after university. Realisation often hits after graduation that they don’t have the skills or experience needed for their desired graduate role and must settle for something less suited to their preference or spend money on further courses and training programmes to help provide them with those skills and experiences employers are looking for. Noah, who spent his placement year with 2 Circles Communications, felt his experience helped improve his employability, “Working here at 2 Circles has given me a great portfolio of work to showcase my skills and qualities and lots to talk about in future interviews”.

Placement years are becoming an increasingly common option amongst students with more and more undergraduate courses offering an optional “sandwich” year spent working in an industry, giving students vital experience that can help set them apart in the jobs market. Placement years differ to traditional short-term internships in that the extended duration allows students to take up a role within a business that carries real responsibility.

If you’re thinking of doing a placement, already applying or just unsure then this is just for you. I had some extended time with Noah, and he gave some great insight as to why a placement year is so valuable as well as some key takeaways from his time with 2 Circles:

1) Put theory into practice

Do you ever sit in lectures and wonder when am I going to use this? Well, undertaking a placement provides you with the perfect opportunity to take what you’ve learnt in the lecture theatre into the real world as Noah experienced himself: “Learning theory is always good but getting that first-hand experience of how that knowledge is applied was amazing. I got to see how different theories in marketing were used and how it helped deliver a brand message”. Doing a placement year will give you a great opportunity to impress your new colleagues and apply what you have learnt.

2) Getting a taste of the real working world

Undertaking a placement year means you will be given real responsibility along with opportunities that will be stimulating and take you out of your comfort zone. Noah saw his experience with Circles as a chance to see how everything came together within the marketing team. “Working in the marketing team I got to see the work everyone in the department carried out and how it all came together to deliver the brand message of 2 Circles, and this is the kind of thing I might not have been able to see in larger organisations”

This can be a huge benefit for students as they can see where their strengths lie and which areas they might want to specialise in post university.

3) Life at 2 Circles

2 Circles Communications offer placements in several departments to undergraduate students. Talking to Noah he spoke about the culture within the company that really helped him to settle into his role and feel welcomed. “The people here are really supportive and friendly, and I felt that from my first interview. They always encouraged me to ask them questions if I needed any help during my first few months and everyone really takes an interest in your own personal development during your time with them”.

4) Working in Telecoms.

Working in any industry as a placement student can be exciting. If you’re someone who enjoys problem solving, then working at 2 Circles could be the place for you as Noah found out. “I liked solving problems. Sometimes when I’m working on a document for our website it can be tricky to get across the right message. Being able to get around challenges like that I found really satisfying”.

If you’d like to find out more about work placements at 2 Circles, please email a copy of your CV to recruitment@2circles.com.

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My placement so far: Coca-Cola Enterprises

This post was written by Oliver, currently on placement at Coca-Cola Enterprises


Although it is early days, I think it is fair to say on 8th July 2019, my life transformed as a new chapter in the life of a BSc Accounting and Finance student began.

This was the day that I took on the role of a procurement intern at Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) for my year in industry, located in Uxbridge. First things first, would this blog really be a Coca-Cola blog without a Coca-Cola related pun? Or maybe I’m just not Spritely enough to come up with one. Sorry, I couldn’t resist! On a serious note to placement students who will be submitting applications this upcoming year, the process will be tough. You may be unsuccessful with some applications, however, do not let that be a reason to give up. This year has potential to be the best year of your life and I’m going to tell you why.

A bit about my job role at CCEP so far: my main focus during this placement will be to support some of the procurement focused pre-work alongside SAP Ariba to implement a new system to improve the efficiency of the supply chain process and to reduce the costs incurred by the procurement department across all European partners. This includes contract review and conversion, buying channel analysis, commodity code to GL Mapping and supporting the testing and development of training. Not sure what that means? I wasn’t either before I started, but with the support of my colleagues here, I’m learning quickly. I will initially work closely with the internal project team, IBM, and Ariba to develop my understanding of the capabilities of the tools we are deploying.

Coca-Cola Enterprises Brussels

The project team I am a part of is relatively small and involves colleagues from across their various European partners.  Much to my surprise, particularly with the importance of technology to a multi-national corporation like CCEP, there is a vast amount of travel involved to frequently meet with the “procurement champions” representing their nation as part of the deployment of this system.  This role is allowing me to explore different regions and alternative cultures from a professional, as well as personal perspective.  In my first three weeks of work, I have already ventured to Brussels, Belgium and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.  Both provided me with incredible experiences and I look forward to exploring other offices in various locations such as Sofia, Frankfurt and Prague in the next few months.  The luxury travel, executive hotel rooms and unlimited Coca-Cola owned drinks is an alien concept for me, but I can confidently say that it is a pleasant change from having to wear seven layers in my university bedroom to keep utility bills at a minimum!

Rotterdam Sunset

Rotterdam Sunset

I hope whoever finds the time to read this has enjoyed the insight into my Coca-Cola experience thus far.  To conclude my debut blog: sipping on a complimentary Peroni on my bedroom balcony in Brussels, and watching the sunset whilst cycling the lowlands of Rotterdam has helped me realise that corporate life may be for me.

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