The benefits of doing a year in industry as part of your degree

Mathew Norvall, Resourcing Partner at Gazprom Energy, tells us why completing a 12 month work placement during university is so beneficial to undergraduates.


 With the record amount of young people opting to attend university these days, there has never been a more important time to consider industrial placements as part of your course. Gaining an excellent education is very important, but you also need to be mindful of what happens after university and what will set you apart from all the other graduates who will enter the same jobs market at the same time as you. An industrial placement, or ‘year in industry’ gives you the advantage as you have gained commercial experience, as well as a degree.

To me, the obvious benefit of your placement is you are in a real working environment, putting all the theory you have learned into practice, learning how to build relationships, working as a team, and essentially ‘test-driving’ your chosen profession or industry. By the end of your placement you will have invaluable experience and tangible skills to showcase to prospective employers at the end of your university education.  You may even secure a job offer from your placement employer.

Another benefit is simply having a break from the relentless routine of studying, exams and partying! Although the work you do during your placement will almost always be extremely busy, it is often a welcome change in routine and will send you into your final year focussed and refreshed.

As a Resourcing Partner, seeing industrial placements on graduate CVs is always a positive indicator for the reasons I mention earlier. I believe that doing a placement as part of your degree will be worth your while, and you will have fun along the way too!

Top tips for your industrial placement:

  • Make a positive, lasting impressing by working hard, arriving on time every day and getting involved in activities outside your role where possible
  • Keep a diary – I can’t recommend this enough! Your university may make this a requirement but if not keep one anyway so you can look back on your progress and dig out great examples for job interviews after you graduate.
  • Keep in touch with your team or manager, even if you haven’t secured a job to go back to because you never know when something will open up. They may even move to a different company and be looking for a great graduate to join them!

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