Archive | Placements Office

My Placement At Samsung

My name is Danny Kent, I’m a 4th year BSc Marketing student who completed a placement year in European PR & Communications at Samsung Electronics.

My placement year was a rich and diverse insight into the operations of a multinational brand. Having completed a lengthy application process including steps such as online tests, digital interviews and assessment centres, I began with an induction week where I learned everything about Samsung; its products, history, culture and systems. With the extensive help of the placements office, I had done plenty of prior research for both my application and also to get placement-ready, but this added another layer of useful knowledge for me to begin working with.

 

Samsung’s fast-paced culture was emphasised strongly by everyone I spoke to before starting, and it was just so from start to finish on placement year. Within my first month, I was already heavily involved in the launch and reporting of a major flagship mobile: Galaxy Note10. Almost immediately after, we had major tradeshows and campaigns to complete before the end of the year, including a major tech tradeshow, IFA, in Berlin in September as well as an anniversary campaign, SpaceSelfie in October. This busy schedule is indicative of Samsung’s leading role in global business, and of the technology industry itself in its constantly evolving landscape.

In terms of direct experience, I was so fortunate in that Samsung’s interns are an integral part of their team structures and so are treated as genuine employees. This meant I had more responsibility than I ever imagined before starting and was provided with so many opportunities. Highlights for me include leading the organisation of over 300 journalists and media representatives in exclusive pre-briefings of the Galaxy S20 in Munich, Germany; arranging and conducting interviews with leading fashion media outlets such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Vanity Fair for Cara Delevigne (an amazing day in London at the Renaissance Hotel, St Pancras) and also working directly with film crews on independent campaigns such as Galaxy Note10 sustain, where we worked with an artist called Hey Reilly to deliver a project called ‘Mobile Masterpieces’.

A few months into my placement experience, my line manager departed and the team was a manager short for quite some time. From then on, I reported into a new manager but I really feel that this moment was a big checkpoint in my year in industry because I needed to step up to help the team further in managing our busy schedule with a reduced team size. This increased involvement and responsibility was integral to the growth and development I feel so lucky to have had in my time at Samsung. The launch of S20 in Munich (February 2020) felt like the first big step in this process, being the first major flagship campaign I had taken a leading role in. Our calendar from then on was packed with events and work I was really excited for: media trips to HQ in Korea, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Fuorisalone in Milan and IFA in Berlin. Unfortunately, the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic would curtail all of these trips and throw us into an unprecedented period for businesses, and see me working from home for virtually the entirety of my remaining months at the company.

 

With hindsight, despite the frustrations and uncertainty at the time, the shift to entirely digital working through the pandemic gave me experience in how to adapt and overcome swiftly in times of hardship and uncertainty, as well as how to work remotely. We delivered our first ever virtual launch and pre-briefings of the Galaxy Note20, and also an augmented reality event called ‘Life Unstoppable’, where we worked with digital agencies to build a graphical smart-home space showcasing our integrated cross-category portfolio. Given that I started in the summer of 2019 and finished in September 2020, I suppose I can look back on my placement year as having given me the best of both worlds, and I feel prepared for both styles of working when I return to the workplace.

 

Looking more into the actual skills I developed, my placement really helped me grow as an individual, providing a solid foundation for developing professional skills. The difference in my confidence between starting and finishing was enormous. I now feel comfortable speaking in front of large numbers of people, having done so on a weekly basis to our PR managers across Europe and also taking advantage of free presentation training days provided by Samsung. That increased confidence meant I threw myself into more opportunities such as briefing journalists/analysts on new devices, writing press releases and creative asset development with agencies. Such skills, I believe, directly translated into improved performance in my final year of study; I stuck to my established working routine and was able to apply experience from Samsung often as a valid case study in a few assignments. This undoubtedly helped me to achieve First Class Honours, something I was not on track for with my second-year grades.

 

Most importantly, I have secured a graduate role back in the PR team at Samsung, starting in September 2021. This has been an immense weight off of my shoulders throughout my finals, making me feel much more relaxed in the knowledge that I have a clear next step in my life. The familiarity of returning to Samsung makes the prospect of transitioning full-time into the professional world much less daunting, and my existing experience in the PR role fills me with optimism that I can really kick on and achieve a lot over the next two years. My aspiration is to gain promotion to a Junior Manager role at the end of my graduate scheme, and I hope to stay at Samsung for a number of years.

 

As my time at Southampton University draws to a close, I feel immensely grateful. I would never have had an opportunity to work at a company like this without the guidance and support from the placements office and my supervisor Rochelle. I truly believe they are the university’s strongest and most influential department in terms of advancing students’ skills and supporting them in building a platform for the chapters of their lives beyond university. These 4 years have been an adventure I’ll never forget, and now I look towards the future with a similar excitement to the one I had when I started my uni story in 2017.

 

 

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Working from Home on Placement – Why should you still take that opportunity?

Working from Home on Placement – Why should you still take that opportunity?

I would first like to outline that I won’t be able to draw a comparison between working from home and working in an office as will most likely finish my placement without having ever stepped foot into the Hewlett Packard Enterprise office.

I am currently working for HPE as a Business Development Support Intern. My experience with working from home has been very positive, despite it being different to what I had hoped for. One thing that should not discourage you from choosing a placement year from home is taking on the role. You will get so much support and everyone will be really understanding that you are not going to know everything when you first arrive. They give you time and very good communication (especially now I am remote working) to ensure I know everything to play my part.

There are pros and cons of working from home during your placement year, the most immediate negative aspect you will notice is the reduced social life should you choose to live back at home for money saving purposes. But if you decided to live with your friends, you will have a more sociable time, but remember you’ll be working full time 9-5! However, the biggest benefit to working from home during your placement (if you are fortunate enough to live with your parents) is that you will have very good income with very little expenditure. You will save so much money for whatever purpose you want; holidays, next year’s rent or general saving is an incredible benefit you wouldn’t otherwise get. But ultimately, you can live anywhere with an internet connection which is cool if there’s anywhere in particular you have always wanted to live. You can still get a student loan to help with rent if needed too.

Thankfully I have still been able to develop my skills & experience whilst WFH. I have still been progressing my communication to a more corporate, professional level with day to day interaction, my confidence has been boosted as I must still give presentations to large groups even if it’s on Teams. Additionally, I have still been developing my PDP (personal development plan) with my manager and Early Careers Lead where I highlight my objectives and which areas of experience I want to develop and they give me the right channels and space to do so. Nothing much is different about developing your skills whilst WFH as you’ll still be conducting day-to-day business and you are still allowed to look into other areas of the business for broadening your abilities.

There is a lot of things to weigh up so I have made some bullets below to start you off thinking. One thing I would take away from this is that it’s still worth it to undertake a remote working placement.

Pros Cons
Great experience and skill development in a business environment. Missing university social life
Saving good money (if living at home) Not meeting other interns in person
Living more comfortably than at university Potential difficulty with accommodation
Less pressure than in an office Living with family for a long time gets boring
Online work social calls to keep connected and keep it fun  

 

If you have any other things to consider then speak to the Placement Office, they are great with any questions you have & have helped me a lot throughout the process to please utilise them!

 

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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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Meet Our New Placement Officer

Hello,

 

I would like to introduce myself as the third team member of the Placements team in the business school.  I came through Strathclyde Business school studying Human Resource Management and that has given me a good understanding of some of the skills and qualities needed for business.  I went on to work in learning and development, coordinating, designing and delivering accredited and non-accredited courses.

 

I have a great deal of experience of helping people with employability issues mainly within the Third sector.  As well as helping clients build their confidence through identifying their strengths and skills, building strong CV’s and writing effective applications, I have organised work placements in all sectors.   I am a strong proponent of gaining first hand work experience and bringing in your fresh, current knowledge to the workplace.   I have helped many people gain employment which I find particularly rewarding.

 

In my various roles in Scotland and England I have taken placement students in the short and long term.  This will be helpful in knowing what employers look for and also the key aspects of what makes an outstanding worker.    This has been a privilege watching students grow in confidence and bring a fresh perspective and knowledge to the various organisations.   I have recently facilitated young undergraduates through the process of updating digital media in a local anti-poverty charity and I look forward to hearing how they progress in their careers.

 

I am looking forward to having the opportunity to meet you and to working with some of you with the guidance of Rob and Rochelle as I learn the many aspects of working at University of Southampton. It will be great helping you get that placement that will make the difference to making your learning real and start you off in a path of an incredible career.

Kind regards

Suzanne Wright

 

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