Placement year: half way through

​It’s hard to believe I’ve reached the halfway point of my industrial placement. It feels like just yesterday I wrote my first blog, telling you how nervous and excited I was about starting! Time really does fly when you’re having fun!

No week is ever the same

It’s difficult to describe a week in my life as a Chaser to you, as no week is ever the same, which actually makes it nearly impossible! But I’m going to give it a go because it’s important you know what it’s really like to be on placement. I want to show you that placement life can have a good balance of both work and fun.

Some parts of my week are consistent week in/week out. On Mondays we have our weekly meetings, where the whole team catch up and calls out any successes and problems they’ve had over the last week. We work together to plan how to reach our targets. On Wednesday mornings, I have a one-to-one with a more experienced Chaser, who makes suggestions on how I can improve, but also encourages me and tells me when I’m doing a good job. Then Wednesday afternoons, I send out a weekly email to motivate us and push us to work as hard as we can to meet or beat our target.

On Mondays and Thursdays, I attend an onsite fitness class to prepare for Yorkshire Warrior. I’m excited to see if Yorkshire Warrior lives up to its reputation. People have told me it’s a great work out but that you hurt quite a bit the next day. I think I should probably be more nervous than excited because I’ve seen how people walk the following day…

Day to day on placement

In terms of more general day to day goings on, I normally get into work for about 7.45am and start by printing out a list of everyone I need to speak to that day, making a note of exactly what it is I need to do for each of them. This really helps keep me focused as I know exactly what I have to achieve and most importantly, I don’t forget what I need to do because some days my memory really isn’t the best! I also really love crossing things off my list with my highlighter, it’s probably something to do with the sense of satisfaction I get when I see my workload physically shrinking!

Priorities

Once I’ve got my to-do list, the next thing I do is check my inbox. It’s important my inbox is up to date and that I send out any responses as promptly as possible. This gives me a better chance of recovering profit for the client. Responses can come in at any time and can vary massively in length and detail. It’s key that I stay organised, as it’s so easy for my priorities to change suddenly.

With my priorities changing so much on a daily basis, some days I don’t speak to everyone I need to, but the beauty of being a Chaser is that I pretty much set my own daily workload. Yes, I have a big list of companies that I need to speak to, but I don’t speak to them all every day (if I did I’d get nothing else done!). I get to decide when and how often I speak to the
companies.

Normally, I finish work at about half 5. I don’t like finishing too late, so I like to stay on top of everything and then prepare a bit, ready for the next day. I have been known to leave work at half 6, although two of those three occasions were when my housemates set off home without me because they didn’t realise I was still there…

Always laughing

Chasing can be quite fast-paced and intense at times, but that’s the way I like it. When I’m under pressure I tend to perform better as I know that I have deadlines to meet and everything has to be completed. Whereas when it’s more relaxed, it’s easier to lose track of time and it can be harder to stay focused. To be honest, even when I’m under pressure and up against tight deadlines, it’s always quite a relaxed atmosphere. Chasers are always laughing about something or other, whether we are laughing at someone who’s had a really bad week on Fantasy Football, or laughing at the person who put a ridiculous answer for the ‘brew round’ question and has to go brew up!

As you can probably tell, we’re quite a competitive bunch, so what better way to start the team night out than with an escape room? Sadly, Team Cheeseboard were defeated…

As you can see, it’s definitely not “all work and no play”. Being able to finish any time after 3pm, it makes it really easy to have that work/life balance everyone tells you is so important. After 6 months on placement, I can honestly say that people are right to tell us to have that balance. I love my job, but it really makes me appreciate the times I can let my hair down and grab a coffee with my friends or go out with my housemates.

I’m having so much fun this year, I’m doing things I never thought I’d be able to and I’m learning a lot. If you get the chance to do a placement, absolutely go for it.

Published by

Katy

Katy

I'm just about to start my 3rd year and I study ABFM. However this next year won't be spent at uni but in a company completing a work placement. I was course rep last year, and I was also Treasurer of Constantine College. In my free time, I spend time with my friends and go to different societies, it's important to make sure your uni experience is more than just studying and revision.