Before starting my placement I didn’t think the world of work would be much of a change from working my part time job while at university. How wrong was I?
The biggest change is definitely the more consistent structure of working 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday. Before, I was used to a timetable which had long gaps between classes and changed each semester which allowed me to then pick up shifts in my part time job wherever I could. It was difficult at first but the new and more stable structure definitely feels better and I believe it helps with concentration and productivity as you know between 9am and 5pm you need to be in a mind set to work.
The work load is also completely different. Rather than being assigned essays and tests from lecturers I constantly have different work requests coming to me and I need to be able to prioritise. University deadlines are a lot more relaxed than work deadlines. I need to ensure that everything that needs done gets done to the standard required and within the timescales set as my work now affects other people and other areas of the business rather than just my grade at the end of the year.
After just three months this placement has already given me a much more realistic view of how a business works and puts a lot of the theory from university into practice. I definitely believe I will return to university for fourth year with a different view on what I’ll be learning as I can relate it back to experiences from this year and imagine how it may affect other areas too.
One bit of advice I would give is to get a diary and make sure you take notes of everything because it's so easy to get completely swamped and lose track of what you need to do. And also make time to talk to those in different areas of the business, to broaden your understanding and expand your network.