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This is a guest blog by Will Eamer, a current student studying BA (Hons) Marketing and Communications.

As yet another Christmas fast approaches and we are all left wondering where the time went, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on my placement experience so far.

First of all, a brief background of who I am. My name is Will and I’m currently on placement at BU in the Schools Liaison and Partnerships Team. I study BA (Hons) Marketing Communications at BU. It has been interesting to reflect on what I have learnt over the past few months on placement transitioning from studying to working full-time.

Let’s rewind to back to my second year of University 2017/2018. I will be the first one to admit that I thought that getting a placement would be a breeze. I thought if I emailed my CV out to a list of businesses at least one is going to give me an interview, right? Wrong! The first mistake I made was applying for jobs I had little knowledge of or interest in. Placements are an amazing opportunity to find out what you may or may not want to do as a career; finding the right job for you and making your application reflect why you are the best candidate for the role is the most important bit.

The role I have now ticks all the boxes I could have wanted. As a Schools Liaison and Events Assistant, my role consists of mastering the delivery and organisation of events involving recruitment and outreach. Maintaining the university’s brand image, liaising with schools across the UK, as well as providing appropriate information for prospective students are all key parts of my role.

I see myself as a people person; sitting behind a desk wasn’t really my picture of an ideal placement. The role I hold at the moment consists of so much travel all over the UK, whether I am liaising with schools face-to-face, delivering specific workshops or running Higher Education Fairs. Engaging with a diverse range of people from all types of backgrounds is really keeping me on my feet and I never know what the next week may hold.

Placement officers will expect you to do important work up to a high standard, which can be stressful at first, but realising that making mistakes is just a natural part of improving what you do is an essential lesson to learn when you’re new to a role. Your colleagues are there when you need help, and it is really amazing to see the team dynamic you get when working towards a common goal. I am lucky enough to have another placement student work alongside me; this has helped me a lot in gaining reassurance in our work.

The bridges I built in the team over these last few months are very important to me; we are always hosting events to improve our team dynamic even more. We have team ‘away days’ which allow colleagues to forget about work for the day and just focus on building relationships with one another. This year we went to play crazy golf, which I won, and we are also going Alpaca walking later in the year. It was a really good day out and of course I enjoyed winning!

Placements should be treated like jobs, perhaps even more important! They allow you to form networks, help you grow both professionally and personally and experience things that you wouldn’t be able to when studying at university. Placements are so much more than just something to put on your CV, they allow you to find your working style and develop people skills – something I think I will bring into my final year. I currently love my placement year and that is why I think it is so important for anyone who is given the option of a placement year to grab the opportunity with both hands.

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