Archive | Students

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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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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Secured a placement!

This post was written by second year BSc Accounting and Finance student, Della.

 

Hi everyone, I hope your placement search is going well! I was recently lucky enough to be given an offer for a global investment bank – and it was my first placement application! I would like to share my experience with you, along with some tips I hope you will find useful.

Take time on your applications

As this was my first application, I had little experience of doing placement applications, and so spent a lot of time on it to make sure I showcased all the relevant skills for the job I was applying for. This helped me a lot. It is much better to spend a significant amount of time on each application, rather than sending off quick fire applications which tends to be a waste of time. I would say the most important thing is sending your application to your placement advisor as they can easily see any areas for improvement. The placement team have a huge amount of experience and are extremely friendly so please use their help!

Prepare well for the interview

As soon as I found out I got through to the assessment centre stage, I only had a week to prepare and of course was a little nervous. I contacted Rob, my placement advisor, and he devised a set of possible questions that would typically come up in the competency based interview. I then thought of a situation I could use to showcase each skill such as team working, leadership and problem solving, typed some answers out and practised saying them out loud to friends. Please note that the skills they ask about in your interview are highly based on the skills they are looking for in the job description, so read this carefully beforehand. Lastly, I definitely recommend having a mock interview with your placement advisor as it improves your confidence massively before the “real thing”.

Group task at assessment centre

As part of my assessment centre, I had a group task in which we had to read some documents individually, before having a group discussion/debate about the topics at hand, all whilst being observed. My advice for this session would be to make sure you write down the main points that you gathered from reading the articles, so you can remain engaged in the discussion and also build upon your teammate’s points. The key thing is to work with your teammates, not against them! Remember that a lot of interviews are done on a rolling basis, so if you all impress, you could all be successful. Although you want to stand out from the crowd, working with teammates shows that you can listen to other people’s contributions to create a well balanced argument, and that you are a ‘people person’.

Attitude at assessment centre

Your attitude at an assessment centre makes a huge difference, as you are not only trying to impress the interviewer with your skills but also trying to make them like you and want to work with you. It is a two sided thing. It goes without saying, but smiling will show interviewers your enthusiasm and willingness to learn/take initiative if you do get the job. You will inevitability be nervous in this kind of situation, but being yourself will show the interviewer your real personality and many companies really value honesty and integrity in their employees.

Thank you for reading my blog post and good luck with the rest of your placement search!

 

Shout out to Rob, my placement advisor, for helping me with my application, and the whole of the placement team as they are amazing and most of these tips were given by them. I really appreciate your help!

Della

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Blog about blogs… a.k.a Placement Students in Action!

We at the Placements Office love seeing the work that our placement students produce. Blogs are a big part of today’s culture, both professionally and personally – you’re reading one right now! – so naturally, some of our students are creating content for their employers’ blogs whilst on placement. Today we bring you two of those blogs.

Will is doing his marketing placement at RateMyPlacement, an organisation that is familiar to anyone interested in placements (if you aren’t familiar with them yet, visit their website ASAP, you won’t be disappointed!) He regularly writes posts to the RMP blog, you can see one of them here.

rmpcapture

Theo and Holly are on a placement at Fresh Relevance, and have written this blog post about what it’s like doing marketing for a company whose business is to offer clever marketing tools for online retailers. You can read their blog post here.

capture

As you can see, blogs are a great source of information, whether you are currently applying for placements, on one already and eager to find out what other placement are doing, or even f you’ve completed your placement and considering your graduate job options.

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