17 October 2023

A Placement Student’s Experience of The Application Process

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It’s deadline season and applications are flying around all over the place! 

Stressed that you’ve not started yet? Sent loads of applications off and haven’t heard back? Keep getting rejected? 

It’s tough. But don’t worry. Our very own placement student, Anna, is here to answer your worries and reassure you that everything will be okay!

“I’ve applied for loads of placements and haven’t heard back yet”

Firstly, don’t panic. While it can feel like everyone else in the world has already secured a placement, this is often NOT true. I didn’t hear back from my first company until Feb! 

I only started attending multiple different assessment centres by April. Moral of the story is every placement journey and every company is different. You will hear back – especially if you keep applying!

“How do I prioritise when applying for placements and completing uni work?”

Now this one is unavoidable. To make sure you’re the right fit, most companies will ask you to make presentations. This takes time and effort. Meanwhile uni still expects those group projects and essays in. 

My advice is to be uber organised and plan your day to the hour if you have to! Make sure you are aware of uni deadlines ahead of time and get these out of the way as most placements look for a 2:1.

Once those are done, dedicate an hour a day for placement work (it shouldn’t take this long but breaking it up into chunks will seriously help).

Planning ahead will mean you should be able to enjoy your evenings with less worries – although maybe not if it is the day before an interview. 😉

“I haven’t got any work experience!”

Even if you’ve never had a professional job before, you’ll have relevant work experience that could be VITAL in securing that dream role. Luckily for you, we wrote a blog recently about 5 ways to show off your skills.

Top tip! If you’re applying for a Marketing role, it’s likely that prospective employers will ask which brands you follow and any marketing campaigns you loved. They’ll also be interested in current knowledge of TikTok trends. So get clued up.

“I haven’t even started applying yet – I am too late”

Trust us, you’re not too late.

70% of students we asked on social media hadn’t started applying for their placement or internship roles yet.

Put aside some time to look at the current roles open now. Natwest, EY, TUI and L’Oréal are just a few of the 570 live jobs that are calling your name.

Tight for time or don’t see any that take your fancy? That’s okay. There’s still lots of roles you can apply for in February.

“I keep getting rejected”

Sometimes, you may be pipped at the post for a role you really wanted – it can feel really tough, we know.

It’s so important to push through. By April, I was the one turning down placements because they weren’t right for me – so the tables can really turn. Speaking as someone who has been in your shoes, keep applying and the right one will come along eventually.

“I’ve heard back from a few different placements and I don’t know who to choose”

I have been there! Two of my assessment centre dates clashed so I had to turn one down. While it was a hard choice, ultimately I went with the one who I enjoyed my interview with the most.

Reading through reviews on RateMyPlacement will also really help. Hearing from people who have experienced the role is incredibly important as you get a real insight into what you would be doing on-the-job and what the company is actually like!

So what are you waiting for?

Just remember, everyone is in the same boat. Perseverance is key and in a year, you could be thriving in your dream placement.