Hi, I am Tamsin, part of your Social Media Street Team for Herts and a current Biomedical Science student on my placement year within a hospital. I’m here today to give you food for thought from a students’ perspective, as someone who decided to go on placement myself.
Obviously anyone you ask will tell you placement’s can benefit you career wise by helping you gain experience but there are other aspects to consider. SO here are 5 for deciding whether to take a placement year:
Finances - For some a placement year is an excellent opportunity to make money with some companies offering paid positions of 17K however this is very dependent on your course. My placement is healthcare based which tend to be unpaid, as would many other subjects. Don’t forget you don’t pay tuition fees on a placement year and you can still claim for student finance support however for some working full time unpaid work can be a struggle, particularly if you still need travel to placement or live away from home. It will also be an extra year of maintenance loan (if required) that you’ll be liable to pay back once you earn over the threshold.
Time - Most (but not all) placements are full time work, for students with other commitments, e.g. part time-work, committee members or just those with commitments outside of university, it is a lot of time to dedicate yourself to. If you have a weekend job can you really commit to working a full week at placement and a weekend at work?
No idea what you want to do with your life?! - Although some people know what they want to do with their degree and know what they need to do to achieve it, for others it can all seem a bit confusing. Even if you aren’t completely sure of the path you want to take post-graduating, a placement year is a brilliant opportunity to test things out. I’d personally rather come out of a placement year knowing it was not what I wanted to do in the future than 20 years down the line.
What placements even are there? - Placements are literally everywhere, even though many great opportunities are advertised on the CareersHub, don’t rely on it, sometimes the best opportunities need to be sought out either through other advertising websites or even just through contacting the relevant people, especially if you’d prefer placements more towards your hometown. Remember to keep an open mind and start looking early, some placements require you to apply as early as January to start in September and don’t forget to attend all the events held at university, they are great places to network with professionals.
For me going on placement has only reinforced my enthusiasm for my degree and has enabled me to gain experience to help me with my career in the future, it’s opened up opportunities for part time work that I wouldn’t have accessed to before, but admittedly it has been a struggle in some aspects such as financially and I am sad that all my friends will have graduated by the time I return but overall I am still pleased that I chose to go on a placement. It can suck being a “full time worker” again while everyone else is at Cheeky Wednesday but it’s a sacrifice I had to make… at least there’s always the weekend.
You can find out more about placements at the University of Hertfordshire by clicking on the link.
A little bit about me… I’m Tamsin, a member of your new University Social Media Street Team. I currently have a lifestyle and beauty blog, and I am currently a second year Biomedical Science student. I’m a pretty bubbly person, so if you see me around say hi! Visit my blog if you like random posts about anything, from makeup to political matters and everything in between.