Tag Archives | placements

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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#FindYourPlace

findyourplace

Introducing #FindYourPlace! Over the past few months we have loved hearing from different people about their placement experiences, tips and advice. Now we want to hear from YOU!

Over the next few months we want to build a community, sharing tried and tested tips, advice and experiences which will hopefully help you #FindYourPlace. Whether you are looking for a graduate job, internship or placement year, we want to hear from you – get involved on our twitter and facebook page and keep up to date on key information which will make you a first choice for employers!

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Your Placements Team x

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4 Extra-Curricular Activities that Employers Love


Are you stuck for extra-curricular activities to add to your CV? Perhaps you don’t know which of your experiences is worthy of mentioning, or maybe you’ve not yet got round to taking part in anything outside of your degree. In this article, we’ll look at four activities outside of your course that employers love, providing you with inspiration for writing your CV, or new ideas for activities to apply for in September.
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1. Doing charity work

Taking on charity work is a great way to show your passion for a cause close to you, as well as providing an opportunity to learn new skills relevant to your future career. Charity work doesn’t always involve fundraising or providing frontline services, there are often opportunities to take on a volunteering position with the management of a local charity, teaching you valuable business skills such as a good email manner, project management skills or event planning.

A volunteering role such as this is a great way to fill any gaps in your experience, for example if you were unsuccessful in applying for a summer internship. You may have to go without pay, but don’t forget that even a day or an afternoon a week during term time can be enough for you to learn many of the useful transferrable skills mentioned above.

2. Actively learning new skills

A highly sought-after trait of new hires is being a self-starter when it comes to learning new skills. If you regularly spend time learning new skills outside of your degree course, you’re able to demonstrate that you’re willing and able to fill any gaps in your knowledge, which can really help to reassure your interviewer if you don’t yet have all the skills necessary for the job you’re interviewing for.

SKILLSThere are two types of skills you may wish to teach yourself. Firstly, extra-curricular skills can demonstrate that you’re a well-rounded person, for example learning first aid. Learning this life skill shows you have a willingness to become a resource to your community, and is also relevant to the business world, since organisations need a number of trained first aiders in the building as part of their first aid obligation. If you have a first aid certificate already, check it’s in date, as due to a rule change, an out of date certificate means you’re no longer a first aider.

Second, is learning a skill relevant to your industry that you may not have gained through your course. For example, if you’re looking to get into digital marketing, you need to learn industry-specific skills which are not on offer on many courses. Show you’re worth hiring by learning these skills before you get on the job training, which can be done for free with online courses by Google and other providers.

3. Show off your writing skills

Even if you’re not looking to enter a career in journalism or copywriting, the fact is that many roles require strong writing skills, for example for communicating ideas in presentations, writing reports, or creating specifications for products or campaigns.

One of the best ways to showbusiness-writing off your written communication skills is to write for the Wessex Scene, the Tab, or other publications such as a blog on a topic you’re passionate about. Bringing a portfolio of articles authored by you can really help set you apart from other candidates who may simply rely on their CV to demonstrate their writing skills.

To gain even more credit with the interviewer, consider writing on a topic relevant to the industry you’re looking to enter, demonstrating not just your writing skills, but also your passion for the career you’re aiming to begin.

4. Taking part in relevant societies and student groups

Employers love to see candidates who have actively tried to expand their knowledge about the industry they’re looking to enter, and a great way to show this is by joining a club or society relevant to your career plans. For example, if you’re looking to become a web developer, then why not join the Electronics and Computer Science Society? Or if you’re looking to become an engineer, then taking part in the Engineering Society can help show your passion. With over 300 societies to choose from, it’s well worth taking a look for one relevant to the career you’re looking to enter.

Your level of involvement in these groups is also of significance in your interview. It’s always best to join just one or two societies and take on a leading role, such as becoming a member of the committee, than joining 5 or 6 and not attending regularly. A deeper involvement in a club means you’ll learn more transferrable skills such as financial skills or time management, which you can put on your CV and discuss in your interview.

About the author

Seb Atkinson graduated in 2011 and is a first aider writing for the Safety First Aid blog, which provides helpful advice to first aiders and first aid volunteers.

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Your Placements Team x

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Not just a ‘day job’…

Caroline is one of our students who is currently half-way through her placement with IBM. She gives us a little insight into what else she gets up to alongside her daily tasks…

ibm_logo

At the beginning of my placement, I had fairly limited knowledge of the IBM (aside from knowing their 2013 revenue figure, having read the annual report relentlessly for interviews – needless to say that wasn’t the first thing they asked me about), so with very little idea as to what corporate life would be like, I tried to ignore the prospect of having a dull 9-5 office job.

7 months later and i’ve discovered that these preconceptions are very inaccurate, and no two days are ever the same. Although I love what I do as part of the PR team at IBM, and the work is constantly varying which always gives something new to try and learn, the variety of working life comes primarily from the 100+ interns working with me in the London Southbank office alone (300+ nationally). I count myself incredibly lucky to have this network of interns available in the office for entertainment when a break from ‘real work’ is needed, and consider it one of the best aspects of my placement year.

We were recently all together for a major IBM event, the Business & Developer Connect which was held at Twickenham Stadium last November. As interns, despite not being given the most glamorous jobs, the opportunity to spend time and work together (in this case 18 of us for 2 days) doing something outside our usual day jobs is well worth the effort involved in getting from opposite ends of London by 6.30m – no mean feat. The perks were definitely meeting Tim Henman & Will Greenwood!

Caroline post

 

Other good opportunities to make the most of placement year have been to get involved with “GiveBack”, something which IBM (and I would assume the majority of large companies) actively encourage. “GiveBack” is any charitable act to benefit anyone – which, as you can imagine, leaves a fairly substantial list of possibilities! For example, activities i’ve taken part in since joining have been:

  • Working on the University of Southampton careers fair stall
  • Running an IBM Graduate Assessment Centre
  • Teaching science experiments and cooking lessons to children at an autistic school (definitely the best day off work!)
  • Becoming a STEM Ambassador – helping to mentor girls to encourage careers in science, tech, engineering and maths (a slightly ironic role for me as, as a marketer, I was never a huge fan of the sciences).

Despite being a slightly random collection of extra-curricular activities, taking all the opportunities available has given me so much more variety and interest other than my normal day-to-day job, which is exactly what placement years should be about!

Your FBL Placements Team x

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Creme eggs, internships and university work – Tips for a successful Easter

With Easter approaching next week, there is mutual agreement that the days are getting warmer and longer; at last the worst of winter has gone.  Spring has arrived but academically, its almost the end of the year – just one final leap!

FBL - Final Leap

FBL placements – Final Leap

The FBL placements office know that Easter is a crucial time for a student regardless of the year or subject: Here are our 5 top tips to make sure you have a successful break.

  1. Write down what you want to achieve

4 weeks is a long time, it can be helpful to write a few tasks you would like to achieve in that time. Perhaps to gain some part time work, apply for graduate jobs , summer placements or simply to revise a certain number of hours per week.

  1. Contemplate a placement or work experience

Easter is a fantastic time to get some more work experience. The University of Southampton offers the excel placements but you could also research your local companies to see if they are recruiting.

  1. Check deadlines

Deadlines come in all shapes and sizes and during Easter, it’s easy to loose track of important dates. Make sure important calendar events such as student finance payments, interviews, and coursework deadlines after Easter are at the forefront of your mind. Some applications for summer placements and jobs also end around April time so keep your eyes opened.

FBL placements - Easter calander

FBL placements – Easter calander

    4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

This can also be a slightly busy period of the year but there are many people to help you at university of Southampton, friends and family. At the FBL placements office we are happy to help and give advice on topic such as placements, internships and CV advice.

   5. Enjoy a good work balance

Make sure you have some time off as well as keeping on top of all the work. This holiday is a time to refresh yourself before semester 2 exams and the summer so enjoy the better weather and friends. It is Easter after all and chocolate has been scientifically proven to aid stress and work – so Creme eggs are a recommendation.

FBL placements - Creme egg

FBL placements – Creme egg

If you want to join the community and be kept up-to-date with everything that’s going on, then follow us:

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Your FBL Placements Team x

 

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