The main reason I have opted to take a placement year is that I want to gain as much practical business experience before graduating. As I am in the process of applying for this placement I want to try and help anyone that is in the same position or deciding whether ‘a year in industry’ is something you want to take into consideration, when applying for your degree. There is one small downside at the moment; you are leaving all your friends to go on your year’s adventure, but I have found throughout first and second year so many more people are opting to take a year out!

To begin my initial search I went through for the ‘classic’ approach looking through the main job distributing sites such as ‘ratemyplacement’ and ‘milkround’ which advertise most of the larger firms placements. This is a great place to start your search and get your head around what is out there for you. Another place to look is Exeter’s ‘My Career Zone’ established connections with companies (local ones too) and there may be something more appealing to you on here. The application stage is slightly unnerving and takes a lot longer than you initially think. Most of the questions are competency based and once you get your head round them it will become in your second nature.

Although I started applying for placements at the start of October I am still in the application stage and progressing through some companies recruitment stages. I have applied and not been successful for L’Oreal, Unilever and Marks and Spencer and awaiting to hear from a number of other firms. Taking a placement and searching for jobs takes persistence and determination but I’m certain there is something out there for everyone and if you don’t get a placement that your heart is set on, it is most definitely not the end of the world!!

The main advice I can give you for the application stage is to use ‘MY CAREER ZONE’. They are a great help and will answer any queries or thoughts and guide you to ensure you have the strongest possible applications and your CV is at an employee standard.

I have managed to get through to the assessment day at Johnson and Johnson so I will let you know how this goes…