What course do you do?
I am a 3rd year student on the Business and Management with a Year in Industry course.
You have recently completed a year in industry placement. What was your job title?
Procurement & Finance Officer – Kent County Council – HQ.
How has this role helped your personal development and your employability skills?
This role has improved my personal development exponentially. Multi-tasking and Excel skills are the two skills I’d pick for the most improved. I thought I knew Excel well from my past education, but I couldn’t be more wrong. I have learnt here how to perform very technical tasks with Excel – especially manipulating data and graphs.
Do you have any tips for other students looking for a year in industry?
Start early. Yes – it is a cliché! I learnt the hard way. I started early, but didn’t do enough early. I was cocky; I wrote 20 applications before Christmas then took my foot off the pedal. In February I received only 3 interviews and 17 rejections. I was then rejected from all 3 places after the interview stage. I didn’t land a role until the summer later that year. It increased my stress immensely. Remember, you have to prioritise. You will have a lot of coursework and exams to do.
Another tip is to practice SHL Tests (also known as Psychometric or Aptitude Tests. They seem easy and they are if you have all day to do it, but not when you are pressured by a time-constraint. The main reason I was rejected from many of the places I applied for is due to the fact that I didn’t practise these enough and in the end I faltered. Another cliché is coming: practice makes perfect!
The last tip is to focus on the areas you want to work in. Do not just apply for anything and everything. Apply first to areas you are interested in. For example, I’m interested in banking and finance. Luckily I obtained a role in finance. It is also important not to rule anything out without research first. I know a student who didn’t think a place they are now working at was going to be good because they didn’t research first, but applied anyway and got the job. To their surprise, whilst working in there, she found it amazing. The opposite could also happen.
– Thanks Junior – some very useful tips! If you’d like to read his blog, see it here.
Get in touch if you are looking for a year in industry or graduate role and would like some advice and guidance: firstname.lastname@example.org (for Medway students) or email@example.com (for Canterbury students)