I’m Maxim, a student from the Management School studying BSc Marketing. When I first came to York I wasn’t sure about doing a placement, but I changed my mind after learning about all the benefits.
Since I already had work experience at marketing agencies, I wanted to switch it up and explore slightly different options. I thought a placement year was perfect for this. I applied for external placements and got to the assessment center stage for a few but didn’t secure the positions. This resulted in a drop in motivation. I “gave up” with my placement search and found a house to live in for the next year of study.
However, later on in the year, the careers and employability team advertised a placement in York, which looked interesting. It was perfect as I was able to live in the house that we rented whilst completing a placement year.
Applying for placements
I decided to be quite independent when applying for placement year positions. However, I did book a couple of one-to-ones with the careers and employability team so they could check through my CV, which I did find really useful. They particularly helped me with the format of my CV and tailoring it to specific jobs.
One of the main ways that I found placement opportunities was through the emails that the employability team sent me. They were very helpful in that respect too!
At the start of the placement it was a lot of desk work such as research which I did find quite monotonous. However, it has picked up a lot. At the moment I am trying to understand the mindset and perceptions of students towards a placement year. This involves meeting students at different places on campus, which I really enjoy.
I really like the fact that my placement is only a 10 minute walk from my house which allows me to be quite flexible. To add to this flexibility, there is a flexi time policy which in a way gives me freedom to work the hours which suit me best. I also really like the culture of the organisation. Everybody is really chatty and I have made some good friends on my placement.
I have found that I would prefer a role that is more focused on creative marketing such as designing graphics or implementing a marketing campaign. However, I chose this placement to experience more of an HR role, so I can’t complain.
I really enjoyed being part of the Student Internship Bureau Celebration Evening. This allowed me to see the work that internship students did over the summer which I found very interesting. This event has motivated me to apply to more work experience opportunities and try more new things.
What I’ve learned
I’ve learned a lot on my placement in York. Firstly, I’ve been able to apply what I’ve learned on my course to real situations. For example, one of my essays was about research methods, and covered a lot of methodological theory. However, on my placement I put this into practice and actually carried out different research methods. This has shown me that, in research, not everything goes to plan!
Secondly, I have adapted to ‘normal people’ hours meaning that I am now able to wake up at 8am and not be tired throughout the day. It’s small, but it was a big shock at first, especially when I was operating on student hours, usually waking up mid-day!
I have also learned business etiquette: how to speak to different people on different levels, how to respond professionally to emails, how to answer the phone and so on.
Studying at York
There are many reasons why I chose York. Firstly, my family home is in Doncaster. An hour’s drive is easy, but at the same time I feel far away enough to be independent (I should probably go visit soon…).
Secondly, I really like the campus community feel and that everything is so close. I could roll out of bed at 8.45 and be at my 9am lecture! My house is a 5 minute walk into uni and a 20 minute walk into town and there’s so much to do. I think the student nights are great and I feel safe walking on the streets in town at any time – makes a change from Doncaster!
Finally, I feel like having a degree from the University of York will make me stand out as it is known for being a very prestigious university. There’s only around 25 students on my course, meaning that our lectures are quite small classes. Most of the lectures know us by name and are willing to help one-on-one. We are treated as individuals, and this has helped me massively.