My name’s Liam and I’m a third year student studying IT Management for Business (ITMB), at the moment I’m working for Credit Suisse in London and I’m here to write about my experience on my placement year!
I moved down after my exams in June and starting working straight away – you might think that’s a little early but I was easily distracted by the excitement of it all, plus I’ll have a nice long break before final year to look forward to! My current role is Technical Analyst and it has quite a broad range of possibilities depending on which part of the business you choose to join; my day to day involves creating reports that directors high in the company will use to make decisions, simplifying internal processes using the training I’ve had from uni and supporting various projects in a team spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
It’s not all work, work, work though – you definitely get the opportunity to enjoy everything London has to offer whether that’s going out, spending the day exploring or just relaxing with friends. In Canary Wharf there’s always the chance to go out for a few drinks after work and if you want to go out properly there’s all types of bars/restaurants across the city you can choose from; no matter how you like to spend your free time you can guarantee there’s a way to do that in London, and maybe some things you can’t do elsewhere too.
As I write this blog I am looking at pictures (you’ll take many, trust me) from the last couple of weeks to remind myself what I’ve done in the evenings/weekends and I can’t help but smile; with work I have been on a treasure hunt across Central London, team drinks and I also took part in another team’s bowling night. I mentioned earlier that there are things in London you can’t find elsewhere and that really came to light for me last week – I was fortunate enough to get tickets to the Apple Music Festival with a friend and we managed to win for four free concerts in a week, we had a blast!
I am from Manchester originally and I chose to live with my parents in first and second year so moving to London was a bit of a culture shock, I wasn’t expecting it before I moved but I think it probably hits everyone a little bit at first. For me I think the key to getting out of that was just to throw myself into every social opportunity that came my way, establishing your circle of friends and reminding myself “You’re in London! This is incredible!”. It’s not like anywhere else in the country and that takes some getting used to, but it’s an experience I would recommend to anyone!
If you’re thinking of doing a placement it’s probably time to start applying, a few companies open their applications just before the academic year starts and it looks good if you’re on the ball with your application. Get someone to check your CV before you send it off. A lecturer will probably help if you ask them to and we have a great careers service at uni that will as well, most companies will want you to do a series of tests before they interview you and you can find loads of free versions online for you to practice with.
Throughout the process make sure you speak to your course mates as well because you probably won’t be the only one thinking about a placement, you might end up at separate companies but if you end up in the same city finding somewhere to live will be so much easier as you can pair up!
I applied quite early as I knew the companies that I really wanted – this meant I could apply to those companies last and use the other companies as a practice. If I didn’t get the earlier ones I was okay with it, but I got interview practice with real recruiters and received their real feedback too.
Definitely worth thinking about!