5 tips for starting a placement

I was super excited when I saw that my University offered a placement year with my Business Administration degree; going on a placement has always been something I have wanted to do. I knew if I went on placement it would give me the experience I needed.

Finding a placement was very time-consuming, after thinking I wouldn’t secure a placement because I couldn’t find a suitable one. Thankfully the perfect placement became available and I was offered the position. In August 2016 – July 2017 I was on a year-long placement at Kingston University as a Student and Course Assistant.

Here are 5 tips for starting a placement:

1. Ask lots of questions

At the beginning of your placement you won’t know all the answers or understand fully what you need to do.

Be brave and ask all the questions you need even if you think it’s a silly question. It can become a bit frustrating if you don’t know what you should do but you’re afraid to ask questions. It’s better to ask questions so that your clear and can progress with responsibilities.

There were times I felt as if I was being annoying by asking too many questions, so I decided to list all the questions I had for different tasks then ask them all at once, instead of asking several different questions on different occasions.

2. Prioritising

Once you know what your responsibilities are it’s best to start prioritising based on your deadlines. You can priorities by creating to do lists which will help you stay on top of your work. Prioritising & having to do lists really helped me on my placement.


3. Create and take advantage of opportunities 

Think about what you would like to achieve from this placement? And what you would to develop?

If opportunities arise it would be good to gain that experience, as it may allow you to develop skills that you would not have been able to develop in your actual role.

I had the opportunity of presenting to students on different occasions, which increased my confidence and helped me develop my public speaking skills. My day-to-day role was mainly administration, planning and customer service (managing the counter).

4. If you need help ask

If you want to go fast go alone, but if you want to go far, go together

There will be support and people around you that can help. If you need help don’t be afraid to ask as your colleagues would be willing to help or point you in the right direction. Completing a task with someone else is always fun, easier and it may allow you to complete it quicker.

Fortunately for me I had two other people who I was working very closely with, so I could ask them for help and I could also ask my other colleagues. Part of my role was to organise events and that was always fun.

5. Have Fun

This is an amazing new opportunity. Make sure you have fun and make the most of it!


Written by Shanna Antonio

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