18 October 2023

Why Should You Do a Placement With an SME?

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Choosing the right company is one of the most important factors that you’ll consider when searching for a placement.

We all want to gain industry knowledge, transferable skills and real-life experience, and a small to medium-sized company is the perfect place for that! We both work for SMEs, RMP Enterprise and ProspectSoft, and we’re here to tell you why working for an SME is so great.

1. You’re treated as a permanent employee & you’ll have real responsibilities

Right from the start, you are thrown in at the deep end with real responsibility. You’re given tasks that influence the business’ reputation and development, and your skills are hugely valued.

The glamorous events at a big organisation are appealing, but your unique and individual attributes may not be as greatly recognised.

If you’re looking to get by your placement year with making the odd tea and coffee, working for an SME is probably not for you.

The great thing is that you’re treated as a permanent employee and your co-workers respect you as a placement student, providing you with an instant sense of belonging and the responsibility to match.

2. Exposure to different departments

Within larger companies, they might have placement students for each department. They will usually have their own set tasks to be getting on with, with little opportunity to work elsewhere. 

However, smaller companies are more than happy for you to work in various departments, and it’s a great way for you to build up your skills – make the most of your year and take every opportunity that’s available to you. 

Dipping your toes in all different departments means you’ll be able to gain better knowledge of the firm as a whole, improving your performance within the business. It will also help you decide what areas you’d like to go into after you graduate!

3. Personal growth is greatly valued

Managers and directors at SME’s want to ensure that you gain the most out of your placement. They offer genuine support to ensure that you reach your full potential.

Weekly meetings, monthly appraisals and one-to-one time with your managers ensure that your growth as an individual is guaranteed.

As mentioned, you’re often given the opportunity to try and learn new things to enhance your skill set, especially in areas you’ve never dived into before. This will all contribute to you leaving your placement with much more confidence and a wide set of skills.

4. You’ll get to know everyone in the company

No more awkward corridor or tea-making encounters… working for an SME means that getting to know everyone in the company is a lot easier.

There tends to be more of a family environment, which you might not get in a larger company. What you really don’t want is to be working with someone you’ve never even spoken to!

If we haven’t convinced you yet, take a look at our Top 10 Small to Medium Employers page where you can read 100’s of real student reviews of their experience with an SME! 

So if you want some actual responsibility, flexibility in your work and some real-world experience, an SME is the company for you!

We’re both loving our placements with RateMyPlacement and ProspectSoft so far, and wish you the best of luck in your search.

Working for an SME enables you to build solid relationships with employees