If you are unsure about starting a placement – go for it! This year has flown by and I’ve not only learnt new skills and enhanced skills I already had…but I’ve gotten rid of a few bad habits too! I can manage my time better and I’m much more pro-active in seeking new opportunities. Read on to find out why I think a placement is 100% the way to go…
- What does your role consist of here at UKCloud?
Before starting my placement, I never really thought I’d be able to take on real responsibility or be given the chance to manage new projects. I was terribly wrong in my assumption – during the last 12 months I have been given numerous responsibilities within the Marketing team including the management of all social media channels and the development and ongoing supervision of three websites.
- What has been your stand out experience during your placement year?
The stand out experience for me during my 12-month placement is how close I’ve become to other members in my team. At first, I was nervous to make friends and network with other staff but you come to realise just how important your colleagues are in supporting you through busy and stressful times! I’ve also learnt so much about Marketing and general management from my Line Manager and she’s given me advice for not only final year, but also the career path that I want to take.
- Are there opportunities for social and volunteering events?
There are plenty of opportunities for team building and social events within the company. Each new starter is given a day specifically dedicated to volunteering – you are able to do this as a team or by yourself if there is a charity particularly close to your heart. All teams have a social budget allocated every quarter – not too long ago the marketing and products team were able to go skiing in February, giving them the chance to spend time together away from the office. The company also arranges several Children in Need days across the year with lots of great fundraising activities in the office, including the opportunity for fancy dress! Check out our UKCloud Foundation page to see how we help give back to the local community.
- What skills have you been able to enhance during your time at UKCloud?
It’s important to remember that undertaking a placement is not just simply about putting the experience on your CV. A year in the working world has given me the opportunity to find not only a working style that suits me, but to develop my soft skills such as communication and time management – something which I can also take back with me during my final year. These transferable skills also set me apart from undergraduates who decided not to take a placement because I can show my ability to perform in a marketing role even before I have graduated.
- What advice would you give to someone commencing an undergraduate placement?
If you are currently furiously searching for placements online whilst juggling university work (just like I was) … make sure you are organized and apply early. Set yourself up with a cover letter template and take your CV to an academic mentor or the university employability team to be checked. This will stand you in good stead for when the majority of placement applications are released.
The one piece of advice I would give to anyone starting a placement is don’t be afraid to ask questions. You may feel unsure or disorientated when first starting, but you can only learn and get better if you ask questions. There really is no stupid question!
Make sure you embrace all the opportunities that come your way and throw yourself into new projects and tasks (even if they feel out of your comfort zone!) Say yes to challenging yourself and make your 12 months count.