Expectations of a placement student

By Victoria Fawcus-Robinson, Events Administrator, Merlin Events London

@MerlinEvents on Twitter  

For many business professionals who hear the word student, often an image of a dawdling, sleep- deprived teenager springs to mind. This is a perception that many students who are about to embark on a placement year are desperately trying to change. With competition fierce to secure a placement with a respected company, it is crucial for the candidate to exceed the expectations of the interviewer immediately.

However, what a business must not forget is the high expectations the student will have of the company. The decision to sign away a year of your life, which will unquestionably impact all areas of remaining university study, is not one to be taken lightly. The placement student will see the role as a two-way deal; their hard work in return for the employer’s support and training.

Often, the student will be sitting on two years of industry knowledge and so will expect more than the role of tea or copy girl (although we do all enjoy a cup of tea in the office!). An understanding of the working practices of an organisation is a priority to be gained.

Students expect to acquire further training throughout the year, benefitting learning and development to enhance knowledge and skills. At Merlin Events this includes a year role as an Event Administrator with 6 months focused on event operations and 6 months in event sales, so an all-round experience is gained.

Completion of a placement year not only helps the student to realise the relationship between theoretical concepts learned in the lecture halls and the practical situations that are encountered, but opens doors to new opportunities and networks. If a company entrusts their placement student with challenges, which the student in return takes full advantage of, the future employability of the next generation of business professionals will dramatically increase; something all generations are currently weary of.

I am excited to throw myself into the ‘Merlin way’ – were your expectations of your placement year met?

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