As I approach the final two months of my industrial placement, I felt it would be beneficial to explain how to learn as much as possible whilst ‘out in the field’.

From the start of my time at Thomas Westcott, I have been subconsciously learning new skills every day. Whether you are carrying out accountancy work or making cups of tea, there is always something which can be taken into a future career. By challenging yourself and getting experience of different tasks, the year becomes much more enjoyable and valuable. Whilst many improvements come naturally, it is possible to aid your personal development by keeping a record of what you have learnt each week so that you can come back to it when required. Some people also set targets and goals to motivate themselves to achieve more whilst on placement. For Example, at the start of the year I wanted to ensure that I received exposure to accounts, audit and tax work whilst at Thomas Westcott. Fortunately, I have been able to experience all these different departments and have now changed my goals accordingly.

Another vital resource during your placement can be your work colleagues. If there other trainees in your office, the chances are that they had to learn on the job in similar fashion to you. They will understand that you are new to the job and will happily answer any questions you may have. The more senior members of staff are often also willing to share their knowledge and experience if you show your passion and interest towards the job. Your placement tutor can also be a massive help as they can play a pastoral role whilst ensuring that you get the most out of you sandwich year.

There is also the opportunity to keep studying during your industrial placement. Many of the larger organisations will sign you on to courses and exams which can give you exemptions after you graduate. This can also be useful for when you come back to University as you will not have to adapt back to studying at the start of your final year. Attending networking events can also be a hugely beneficial way of picking up new skills and meeting new people. Although there are many ways to benefit from your industrial placement, if you are enjoying it then you are probably learning without even noticing!