Last week I was tasked with writing a blog post for Burningred, not something I expected to do but it was still interesting. I had free range on what I could write about so I decided to write about the importance of going on a placement if you are a student, and I wrote this from my personal expedience here. Writing it made me realise why work placements are such a benefit if you take the time to do them.
“Going on a work placement may seem a bit of a bore to a fair amount of students my age, a chore that seems unnecessary and pointless as you will be working for most of your lives anyway. That is a valid point, but by going on a work placement you already give yourself an advantage over the rest of the playing field for a number of reasons, the first being you already have an insight to the world of work.
Getting an insight to the world of work has been useful. It has shown me a good glimpse of what life will be like after education, so will be less of a shock when the work happens for real. I have found that you tend to have to work at a fast pace as well as being thoughtful with your designs when working here in the design industry. Additionally, I have found out that some clients can be rather picky over elements with a design but at the end of the day we have to cater for them and what they want. I am lucky in the sense that I want to do a job that is creative when I leave university, so I know it will not be as monotonous as other places of work could be as well.
The second great thing about a work placement is that you learn new skills within the trade. You might think you are great in whatever trade you are working towards, but by going on a placement with experienced designers I have picked up tips and other useful information and skills that I now know will be able to help me in my future practice. For me this has ranged from improving my computer skills on Adobe Illustrator to having a better understanding about camera work and photo shoots. An improvement in skills can be applied in wherever you go and whatever trade you do, or are interested in. This is one huge benefit of a work placement, and I would recommend in trying to develop your skills as much as possible while working with professionals.
Contacts, are also a very helpful element that you may gain after the placement. If you make a good impression, the people you are working with during your time on placement can easily give you links into the industry or even write a positive reference about you, adding to your employability after education. In addition to this, an obvious point, but still an important one, because of your experience you can tell future employers on your CV that you’ve had this previous participation and will immediately seem more employable to them over anyone who has no previous experience.
A less obvious and final point is that by working with people I have never met, I have improved my techniques when it comes to social interactions with strangers, a key life skill that everyday occurrences will throw at you. Anyone without a decent set of life skills will find it difficult to progress in life and what they wish to achieve.
Hopefully these points can show you the importance and benefits of a placement, even if you have to get up early in the mornings and miss a couple of nights out”.