So, it’s nearly Easter; phew, this term has gone so quick! And it’s also forever since I’ve posted… oops.
One of the main reasons I liked Aston so much when I was looking at universities, was the emphasis they have on placements, and the support given to help you get one. In the business school (ABS), doing a placement is actually compulsory, so you’ll reap all the benefits of an Aston degree – as well as embarking on an amazing experience in placement year.
As Computer Science is in EAS (Engineering and Applied Science school), doing a placement isn’t compulsory; however, there really aren’t any cons to doing a placement at all, so I’ve gone all for it! It’s a year away from your studies, which, in most students’ cases it will be the first year since you were 4/5 that you won’t actually be in education… scary! So, you get this fantastic experience by working in your chosen field, you get to be treated as a real employee with real responsibilities, and more often than not, you also get paid for it! Doing a placement also gets you out of the tricky situation some graduates find themselves in when searching for a job once they’ve finished uni. If you find your dream job, there will probably be an advert something (well, not at all) like the following:
Your Dream Company
We are looking for a fantastic individual to work with us, achieving at least a 2:1 degree in <how coincidental – your degree name here>, to work in the most amazing department ever, with so many benefits, and a starting salary of £99,000!
The ideal candidate will have some experience in the field.
Okay, so I know job adverts don’t exactly look like that, and if you find a job with a starting salary of £99,000 when you’re fresh out of uni – be sure to let me know..!
My point is, employers love experience; if you can talk about situations you’ve been in when you’re in an interview for a job, your placement go-to sack of situations will be your best friend, because you’ll have a whole year’s worth of stuff to talk about. If you don’t have experience, you can’t really talk about diddly-squat, except for things you did on your degree. But the thing is, your degree alone won’t give you the practical experience you’ll need to really get out there once you graduate!
I mean sure, of course there have been many successful people who have graduated and have found jobs without doing a placement, but it just gives you such a boost when you’ve done it. It’s basically a safety net year to try out a career-path to see if you like it; it’s of course a real job with real responsibilities, but you’re there for a year! If you find out it’s not the thing for you, then you can stick out the year and hey, once you’ve finished, you’ll have a better idea of what you do want to do, and a bit of money in the bank too – as well as a whole stack of experiences and memories to boot.
By doing a placement, you get out of the worm-hole that is a job advert that goes something like “We’d love to hire you, but you need experience to be considered.”. If you do a placement year, you’ve got a whole year’s worth of experience and can high-jump over this starting barrier once you’ve graduated. Otherwise you’ll be stuck in the situation of “I’d love to get a job right now, but because I’m fresh out of uni, everyone wants experience’“…
I think you get the idea by now.
ANYWAY, the real point of this post was to actually say that I have secured a placement already for later this year!
Second year is a real stress when you have to look for placements, apply, and prepare for interviews and assessment centres – all on top of your studies… It’s a balancing act, but if you want it, you can do it!
I was invited to an interview with a company in Birmingham in mid-December, and found out I’d actually been offered the role in February! I am super excited to start in July, and I’ll make sure to write about some top placement tips in the near future.
I suppose for now I just wanted to express how strongly I feel about how positive doing a placement year is, but of course it’s not for everyone! There are people on my course who aren’t doing a placement, simply because they don’t want to – and that’s fine! Everything I write about is of course my own opinions – I’m just trying to big it up a little to explain the benefits of doing so, but the decision is down to the person doing the degree at the end of the day.
Okaaaaay! Well, that’s it for now, I guess! I have a few posts planned for the future, with another stress-free second year guide coming up soon, and another idea I had (which I’m quite excited about) is a photo tour of Birmingham! I don’t quite know what will feature in it yet, but I hope for it to be really good!
So, thank you for reading this (once again…) super long post, and I hope it’s been a little informative if nothing else!
Good luck with the rest of term until you break up for Easter, and stay happy!