Why a Degree With a Placement Year is Better

Why a Degree With a Placement Year is Better

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Updated November 27, 2020 Updated November 27

Sponsored by Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University

Students looking for their first job fresh out of university without any prior work experience can find themselves ensnared in a vicious catch-22. The graduate job market is so competitive that recruiters hiring for entry level jobs often expect graduates to have prior work experience, but how can you get prior work experience if every position requires it? Well, the easiest way to beat this gridlock is to choose a degree with a placement year.

Work experience is a barrier to getting a graduate job in many places around the world. In the US, for example, a survey of 200 recruiters interviewed by USA Today found that work experience is more important than your grades and hobbies in the graduate hiring process. The survey concluded that while a high grade point average could increase your chances of landing an interview, it won’t be enough to get you a job. In the decision-making process, 91 percent of employers actually said they valued interview performance more than your grade point average.

The growing need for students to leave university with work experience is one of the main reasons why Nottingham Business School include the option of a placement year with many of there undergraduate and postgraduate programs. If you are, for example, interested in finance, economics, management or marketing, Nottingham Business School will allow you to incorporate a year long placement as part of your degree. In the past, Nottingham Business School students have gone on to intern and work for organizations such as Freightliner Ltd, Adidas AG India, and Allied Telesis.

Placement years can be a win-win situation for both students and recruiters. Your year spent working for an organization will see you enhance your job prospects, earn a paycheck of £14,000 (on average) and potentially even receive employer sponsorship for your final year at university. Companies benefit from them too, as recruiters sometimes see placement years as extended interviews, providing an opportunity to try out a candidate for a year and retain the right talent for their organisation.

This is what happened to Akshansh Bhatnagar, a Nottingham Business School student who landed a hot PR and Branding intern role at Adidas to supplement his studies in MSc Branding and Advertising.

Akshansh said: “I got a golden chance to have industry exposure and relate it to my studies for a better understanding of the world of work. My responsibility is to deal with brand activation and planning events for the company.

“I always wanted to use my masters knowledge in an international company which gave me global exposure in a practical setting.”

In the same vein Tran Anh Khoa, a MSc Management and Global Supply Chain Management student secured a role as a Supply Chain Planner at BSH Hausgeräte GmbH in Milton Keynes.

Tran said: “The year-long work placement was a unique feature of the degree that was not offered by other business schools. After I graduate, my plan is to immigrate to Canada. I believe the degree will definitely make me more employable. Employers will see that not only do I have a combined-degree but also crucially, experience from a work placement to add to my CV.”

Of course, you won’t be left looking for a placement without any help and support. The university has a dedicated employability team who can help with job searching, CV writing, interview preparation and skill building activities.

To help you find a placement, Nottingham Business School works with thousands of businesses based around the world and run their own Professional Placement Scheme.

As one of the biggest recruiters in the region, Nottingham Trent University often recruits their own students for placements in marketing, information systems, finance, construction management and more. The university also offers placement opportunities at The Hive, an entrepreneurship center, giving students the possibility to use their placement year to start kick start their business ideas.

This article was originally published in January 2018 . It was last updated in January 2020

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