Should I Go on a Placement Year?
Students from the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI) have had placements at Disney, Intel, NBC Universal, WarnerMedia, Rare, EA, Debenhams, Gillette and many more.
The application process is not the same for everyone though; some students can get the first role they applied to while others may only be successful after around 60 attempts. Some students choose to skip the application process altogether and start a business of their own on a self employed placement year, which is by no means an easy feat.
There may be a common misconception that interns just make tea and coffee. While that may be a small part of your role in some placements, a large part of your placement is to dive straight into the deep end of a fast-paced working environment. Students from our faculty have gained invaluable skills that are simply not possible to learn in your lecture hall...or your room. Skills that previous students have developed are navigating software such as Adobe Illustrator, web development, producing promotional videos and transferable soft skills such as presentation and communication skills.
Finishing your degree may be your main focus, and you might want to graduate with your friends. But doing a placement year could help shape your career path and allow you to discover more opportunities that wouldn't have been available to you otherwise.
Several students say their placement was the reason they were offered job roles straight after graduating. So although it is an extra year, it can give you more job security. When you start your first role after graduation you know exactly what a working environment in your career looks like and what areas of the industry you prefer. Students who were unsure of what career path they would take had a clearer idea at the end of their year in industry, so this is a chance for you to discover your passion!
It can be a scary process but almost all students that undertook a placement year have said that it was the best experience of their lives. Real world experience is definitely worth it, and by the time graduation comes round you will have learnt from all your previous mistakes and become a better candidate.
It is not all work though, there is a social side to working in industry. You will meet a diverse range of people who may become a big part of your life, or people who may help you get the foot in the door in another company later in life.
During this pandemic, the competition has risen and the number of internships and placements have decreased but there is always a chance! This could be an opportunity to do a self-employed placement like Lauren who started her own games company or Antti who worked as a freelance games sound designer. Starting your own company and running a business comes with a large set of skills as you are the head of all departments. You will learn skills you did not even know existed and can test your resilience as you would not have a supervisor to check your work or a mentor to ask for advice. Sometimes the best experiences in life come from doing something you never thought you would do.
Whether you want to take a year out or just work over the summer, take that chance, apply for that role or start your own company! If you are looking for a sign...this is it! Creative Careers will be here to support you along the way.