Think Outside the ‘Capital City’ Box
Ahh, London – the home of her majesty the Queen, Big Ben and the four billion red buses. It’s no secret that the capital city is full of opportunities – whether it’s finding the best tasting burgers in the country, or finding industrial placements. When it comes to making key decisions about where you should look for your year in industry, we understand the difficulty that comes with selecting the location of your work experience.
You will find many headquarters of corporate and well-known organisations amidst the hustle and bustle of London. Do not let this deceive you. Most, if not all of those companies have offices across the country; offices which still include that dream role, with all the perks and that ecstasy-inducing salary (not to mention the lower cost of living).
Have you ever asked yourself, why not explore outside of London? Or, why shouldn’t you at least consider a regional placement, one close to your university or home?
RateMyPlacement are here to help you make the right decisions – so check out our reasons as to why YOU should consider a placement year outside of the capital city…
Cost of Living
We will go with the obvious one first!
Did you know the average rent of one room per month of a two-bedroom flat in London is around £650.00, that’s £7,800 for 12 months not including bills, Wi-Fi, and council tax?
- Did we mention your travel card? If you’re in Zone 2-3 that’s another £150.00 a month, not including the late night Uber home from across the city after a Friday night dance.
- Forgot to make lunch four times this week? Easily rack up a £40.00 bill on average, oh and if you want a coffee – that’s another £2.80 – £3.00 – and we all know one coffee a week isn’t going to keep our feet moving.
- Wooh, you’ve made it to Friday – that £10.00 cocktail sure is tasty!! After a few, or five (well who knows how many), you’re covered in mint and brown sugar, and your bank account is empty, (it’s honestly done that easily!)
Now, we aren’t saying it isn’t doable, we are just showing you it’s not cheap.
If you look at rent prices in Bristol: a three-bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost you under £500.00 and your one-month travel is £66.00 – now we’re no Mozart, but those prices are starting to sound like music to our ears.
The question here is, are you willing to scrape by just to live in London when you can gain the same skillset, networks and opportunities elsewhere.
Don’t be fooled into thinking all the best jobs are in London. In fact, in the southern region alone there are over 200 opportunities with the likes of IBM, EY, PwC, L’Oréal and more.
You might be concerned that the offices aren’t as big, or as splendid, and that it’s not the headquarters of the business – again, we want to show you otherwise.
- Smaller office = better networking opportunities. With a smaller office you have a better chance of meeting more people in the business and get to familiarise yourself with teams who work outside of your immediate remit to provide a great service.
- A smaller office also means that more people are likely to know who you are!
- Your role won’t change because you don’t work in the HQ of the company. If you want a placement year in marketing getting a role outside of the headquarters does not mean you will not be doing the same things – it most probably will be for a different audience but will comprise of the same skillset, projects and developmental opportunities.
(Tom van Raalte, BSC (hons) Politics with Economics student, University of Bath)
Have you ever considered a local SME?
SME: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are non-subsidiary, independent firms which employ fewer than a given number of employees. This number varies across countries. The most frequent upper limit designating an SME is 250 employees, as in the European Union.
RateMyPlacement may be bias when talking about SME’s (because we love SME’s), however, there are a bundle of benefits of working for a small to medium-sized company. You will find them scattered across the country meaning you don’t have to relocate to access their opportunities. Here’s just a few reasons why we believe SMEs are amazing:
- You’re most likely going to be sat three tables down from the CEO – yes, scary at first, but it means you get the chance to network with the founders of the company as well as the newest members of the team.
- The ‘all hands on deck’ policy. If help is needed, individuals from every and any team get involved to ensure that their projects are a success. As a result, it provides you with the opportunity to learn all aspects of a business and be exposed to elements which you might not have considered before your placement.
- You can leave a lasting impact because you become an instrumental part of the business. Whilst working at the company you will help them to successfully deliver strategies and projects that will enable them grow, adapt to fast changing business needs and be reputable – sounds pretty important to us!
With regional and SME placements outside of London there is a mass of benefits which will still give you access to all of the amazing graduate jobs on offer and a skillset which is second to none. Think outside of the ‘capital city’ box and explore avenues just as respected closer to home or university.