Written by Guest blogger
Name: Karoline Lervik Sandvold
Course: BA (Hons) Public Relations
Country of origin: Norway
Where was your placement and what was your role?
I completed my placement year in Norway so I could start building my network for when I return. I divided my year in two; working in a PR agency, Coxit Public Relations, and also within The Norwegian Safety Forum. At Coxit PR, I became the architect and manager of several professional seminars, and at the Norwegian Safety Forum I was the campaign manager which was so much fun. As campaign manager, I was the one making sure the campaign moved forward; organising meetings, creating content for the website and social media, getting in contact with municipalities, setting up workshops and creating material for the campaign. My days were varied and exciting!
What was your strategy for finding a placement? How did you get the job? (networking, social media, attending employer events, applying to online websites etc.)
Finding a placement is a lot harder in Norway – doing a placement is rare, and they are often only for a couple of months. My strategy was to not be picky and to send out as many applications as possible, including to companies that weren’t looking for anyone. Neither of the companies I ended up working for advertised a placement so I ended up with both my jobs because I approached them.
What did you find most difficult when you were looking for a job? How did you overcome these difficulties?
You have to have patience. A lot of the time I would get an answer with a negative outcome and sometimes I wouldn’t get an answer at all. I didn’t secure a placement before I finished second year, which I found very stressful. But something will show up. Be open-minded and search widely.
What do you think helped you get the placement? (e.g. Extra-curricular activities at BU, volunteering, study/work abroad, etc.)
I think the most important thing is to have something to show. I have a website which I use as a portfolio for my previous work. This is a site where my future employers get a taste of what I am capable of and what they can expect from me.
Everything you can do alongside your studies is positive. It shows that you work hard and are willing to put in the extra effort.
How do you think the Placement helped you professionally?
I think the placement has enhanced my employability a great amount. I have established new contacts and have a clear vision of what kind of work I want to do after university. Today, employers want you to have work experience as well as an education, which Bournemouth has provided me with. Being able to show tangible examples of my work is going to be valuable in the future and will give me a strong advantage over those I will be competing with. It has also made me more organised, focused and dedicated.
What tips would you give to other International students considering placement now?
Start writing your application and make sure your CV is ready so you can start searching for a job right away. Do your research to get it right. Put in some effort and stand out. A lot of people are looking for jobs and placements – it is your job to make them remember you. The earlier you start – the better it is!
Any other comments:
If you don’t secure a job right away don’t lose hope! It might take a while, but you will end up with a job!