BA Economics and Geography 2015
The decision to undertake a year in industry was an obvious choice. Although the various application processes were time-consuming, my perseverance and determination led me to secure a 12 month placement working for NHS England as an Analyst. Having recently completed this placement, it is hard to quantify how much I have developed; both personally and professionally.
My main areas of responsibility were varied, and increased throughout the year, working both individually and as part of a team. Projects I worked on were either on-going throughout the year, or were one-off publications. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to work on some high-profile projects throughout my placement, which gave me a fantastic insight into the professional ‘world of work’.
I would recommend (taking a year in industry) to anyone who is keen to develop their professional skills, which will inevitably aid their graduate job search in the final year of university.
Although I was a confident communicator before starting my placement, this year has enabled me to hugely improve my professional communication skills, and this will be invaluable when applying for graduate jobs throughout my final year in Leeds University Business School (LUBS). My interpersonal skills have also benefitted from this placement year. I have learnt the importance of communicating clearly and concisely via email and phone, and although remaining professional is imperative, many have complimented me on my friendly, approachable and bubbly personality this year. I have been fortunate enough to work alongside colleagues who are enthusiastic about their work, able to teach me skills from their previous experiences in the civil service, and offer help and guidance wherever they can. I am extremely lucky that a lot of these colleagues have now become good friends.
The varied nature of my work allowed me to develop existing, and learn new, technical and applied skills. The most important of these was becoming confident and competent in using Excel. The vast capabilities of this software meant that I was able to learn some complex data-handling and analytical techniques, which I will now be able to apply both in my final year and future job roles. Another aspect of placement which is aiding me significantly during my final year is my improved work ethic. Before starting placement, I was always good at motivating myself and sticking to deadlines, however the deadlines you are faced with whilst on placement are of a different nature and ever-changing, therefore your time management skills and capabilities are substantially improved.
Having the opportunity within the Business School to undertake a placement year is something that I am so glad I took advantage of, and I would recommend it to anyone who is keen to develop their professional skills, which will inevitably aid their graduate job search in the final year of university. The support from LUBS has been extremely useful throughout, especially during the application process; there are careers fairs you can attend, company presentations and skills workshops too. Through taking full advantage of these facilities, and also the connections the Business School has established with potential employers over the years, you have a huge advantage over other applicants from other universities.