So, last week I was out of the office as I had a placement conference on Thursday, I also decided to take some time off to have a bit of ‘me’ time and catch up with my old house mates. I stayed in Cheltenham with one of my uni friends and it reminded me off all the fab things Cheltenham has to offer and of what living away from home is like. The placement conference also gave a chance to ponder on the work experience benefits for students on a sandwich course at uni.
The placement conference gave everyone on placement a chance to come together and talk about our experiences and things we have really enjoyed and some parts that we may have struggled with. There was also an opportunity to learn about some current final year students accounts of their placement and how it has helped them when they returned to studying. I think the main thing they mentioned, which I can relate to is the shock of going from being a student to working Monday to Friday 9 til 5 (and sometimes longer). The pace of life is much quicker and heavier going as an employee than that of a student.
The final year students, however, did say that this workload helped them manage with the intensity of final year work. Although the final year is intense it certainly isn’t as arduous as the time during placement. I think this is an advantage of a placement year that I didn’t really think about when I decided to do one. The benefits of taking part in a placement year – if you are able – are many fold. You are able to put your theory studies into practice in a live environment whilst being aware of the studies you have made against the practical issues faced day to day, which may not have been present in the study environment. Certainly gaining confidence and and actual work ethic is very useful, as is liaising with many different people and taking part in many different opportunities.
There are many different opportunities out there to take a year out of studying or even summer placements to enhance the studies and theory of your college or university course, if you get the chance take it – you won’t regret it!