Do something that “sparks joy”!
Name: Samiha Shimla
Course: BSc Business and Mathematics
Placement Position: Business Development Assistant
Location: Aston University Research and Knowledge Exchange, Birmingham, UK
Preparing for the Hunt
Getting a placement can be challenging, lengthy and test your resolve. While some students have their placement secured within a few months into second year, it may to take forever for others. I am going to share with you, my personal experience with obtaining a placement over the next year and render you with advice and suggestions that I have deemed valuable.
Before you get sprung into the job hunting and application process, it is essential to bear in mind that you have to take it at your own pace. You will come across students on campus who would have secured an internship quite quickly, while you might be going through lots of rejection. You must have faith in yourself and believe that success will come to you at your own pace. Once you have ingrained this in yourself, the road to securing placement becomes less jarring.
Now that you are at university, you will have so many new experiences, and while many will say, “Enjoy your first year, first-year doesn’t matter”, it is vital to make this year count. Go have fun and enjoy your time but squeeze in some activities as well. At Aston, you will need to prepare a CV for one of your modules. I encourage taking this opportunity to brush up your CV and add the essential skills and activities as you gain them along the way. The Careers and Placements team are cooperative, and they can provide you with invaluable pointers. You will have seminars during lectures but definitely go and book an appointment. You will be amazed by the makeover you get for your CV.
However, if you have finished first year and preparing to start applications for placement, have your CV reviewed during summer holidays or at the commencement of the new term in September. Placement applications open as early as last week of August. Most of the larger renowned companies open their applications early and hence close them soon as well. It will be more straightforward for you to get started sooner if your CV is already tiptop.
Don’t wait too long to get started with your applications. Have a go at it as soon as possible. No matter which year you are in, join one of the societies that are career-focused. I have been a member of Aston Women in Business Society for two consecutive years. Attend the careers fair, take a chance of interacting and networking with employers when they drop in. This gives you a better shot at getting to learn about the company, and most of all, this is my most precious piece of advice: Try and discover which field you want to work in. I feel it is vital to do something that “sparks joy”. This will make you eager to learn new things. You will be able to contribute more to your workplace, work more effectively. Rather than dreading going to work, you will be looking forward to it.
Keep an eye out for my next blog for more encouraging and enlightening advice!