My name is Magic Sibanda. Yes,really my name is Magic. I am currently doing a degree in Events and Leisure Marketing at Bournemouth University, I also work part time at Student Works.
If you are studying at a UK university, then when you’re in the second year you can go on work placement for a whole year. It is advised that you start applying for jobs as early as possible in the academic year. Bigger companies normally have earlier closing dates and a strict process to apply so make a note, it can be a harder process to join these companies.
For me around November I started applying for a placement for me to start in September of the next year or earlier if they wanted me as we have the holidays in the Summer, I went to a few interviews. Things seemed to be looking up as I was getting emails and calls informing me that I had been taken through to the next stage or finding a placement. All my other friends at this stage had already been applying as well but not many of them were getting interviews let alone progressing to the next stage of the screening.
I had also heard about Student Works through my University as they offered work placements or support with finding one for you, but I did not initially contact them as I wanted to do it myself.
Instead I had been applying to various positions as I was not sure exactly what I wanted to do. Finally, a role that included the skills I already possessed and the ones I wanted to develop came up. The location was perfect, just a few minutes drive from my house. This would have allowed me to save on transport money and accommodation. Everything for the telephone and face to face interview went really well or so I thought.
I did not have the support of anyone like Student Works, to prepare me for an interview, and help me with questions to prepare and what to wear and much much more, so although I was early to the interview I did not follow a good dress code, had I used the services of Student Works I would not have had this issues as they help you all along the way.
Walking out of that building I knew that I didn't get the job.
Months went by, Easter holidays passed then as Summer was fast approaching I decided to get back on the horse and start applying to more places because my placement was meant to start in September. Now things had changed, I was spending months with no response from companies. At this point, my friends and course mates were posting that they had started their placement roles, so I was getting very anxious and worried.
Around October, I just needed to get a job and was applying for any job. I signed up with an agency that gave me few hours a week of work which was paid. Sometimes it would be handing flyers or cleaning. I simply was not making enough money, so I went online and started looking for jobs labeled ‘immediate start and no experience needed’. I came across a ‘marketing firm’ near my home and decided to apply. I got the job but it was not what they told me it would be in the interview and I felt very disappointed and alone so I decided to leave.
Two more months went by with no job. So Just before christmas, I got a job with a debt collection company to start in January. I filled in the placement forms for university and much to my surprise they accepted it as my placement vacancy. Five months in, the stress from the customer facing role and company culture started to take a toll on me.
With two months left for the placement year required time at my university, I contacted the
university to see if they could help me find a better placement and I was informed that if I couldn’t find a placement to do for the 10 remaining weeks I would not be able to go back to university for final year. At this point there was 12 weeks left before university started. This really stressed me out as I really need to complete this degree for my future education, employment and of course all of the money I had spent on doing a degree.
I then remembered Student Works, and placements within their company are usually 13x weeks or less, they were keen to take me on. The placements were unpaid as I was able to get funding through a scheme that was supported at my University to get money for the final weeks of my placement, Student Works were great and they completed all my forms for me and enabled me to work full time and also get money to cover my expenses.
I have now been at Student Works for 26 weeks and I even got offered a permanent job with them, I can honestly say that if you are ever stuck in finding a placement please consider going to Student Works or an agency directly to help you as they take away the stress, they do all your paperwork and can give you professional advice for interviews and much much more to assist you in your future. Do not make the same mistake as me and take a job for the money or convenience over somewhere that might not pay or pay that well but will offer you better future possibilities.
Student Works cover the whole of the UK and IRELAND giving you more choice for you.