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This is a guest blog post by current student Emily Thorne, studying BA (Hons) Communication and Media. 

When I was searching for a placement in my second year at University, I found the most helpful platform was LinkedIn. LinkedIn has all the information you need to know as you create a platform and business page for yourself and send it over to the company you have found. Once it has all your details it also forwards jobs that are suitable for your placement year, so you never miss out on anything. Word of mouth was also helpful when looking for a placement as you can discuss and research there and then, instead of constantly waiting for a response. Throughout my year I did two separate placements. I worked 4 months as a social media intern in London for Jane Carr scarves and then 3 and a half months at Class Professional Publishing as part of the marketing team. This obviously got cut short due to the coronavirus, as I was meant to finish working at the publishing company in July.

The hardest part of my placement year was interning in London at Jane Carr scarves. By agreeing to work a 4 months unpaid internship, I struggled to enjoy my time in London due to a lack of income.  London is the best place to be and that is why I took the internship. Not that I didn’t like the internship, they taught me a lot, but working for free becomes extremely draining and unmotivating. On top of that, my commute to work was over an hour and I didn’t finish working until 6pm. None of this is a bad thing, but it taught me a lot of life lessons and the value of money, but if you are thinking of doing an unpaid internship, I wouldn’t recommend doing one longer than 2 months. In that time, you have a chance to learn all you want to know, while also seeing all aspects of how a big company works.

This year I have learnt to be completely independent by only relying on myself. Moving to Ealing through my placement year with my closest friend being over an hour away on the tube, I felt like I completely grew as a person. When you only have yourself to rely on, it brings out a different side of you. I met loads of new friends and attended events independently. Life begins outside of your comfort zone.

COVID-19 affected my placement year as it cut my job at Class Professional Publishing short. I ended up being jobless mid-March which scared me a lot as I didn’t know what I was going to do.

Throughout lockdown I have started my own social media agency called May Move Media. I started by creating an Instagram page and posting it on LinkedIn, which got me my first few clients. I am now running The Ashcott (a local pubs) social media pages, doing photography for a couple of upcoming businesses and have written a few articles for personal pages on LinkedIn. (@maymovemedia)

I also started a jewellery making business called May Jewels, where I have made my own earrings and sold them through Instagram and Etsy. 10% of my profit has been donated to Penny Brohn, a Cancer Research charity based in Bristol. (@mayjewels)

If i hadn’t finished my placement early, I never would have expanded and started working for myself.

Taking a year out to work throughout University has helped me refocus and recognise what I want when I have finished studying. It has made me realise how hard I need to work to get what I want from my future career and success isn’t just going to land on my doorstep. Even applying for placements gives you an insight into real life and the struggles that pop up when you are applying for jobs. So being put in a workplace and seeing how a company works has made me realise what I want in the future and how I am going to get it.

Find out more about styudying BA (Hons) Communication and Media. 





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