The benefits of an undergraduate placement

Written by Penney Gordon-Lanes, Careers Consultant

Thinking about undertaking a placement year as part of your degree? Read on to find out if it’s really worth it!

Integrating a placement as part of your degree programmes is now an option across many programmes and can make a difference when competing for jobs, training and postgraduate qualifications.

Many of the employers that recruit graduates from The University of Manchester tell us that they value work experience and having completed a placement year could help candidates stand out!

Perhaps, you are unsure about doing a placement and share some of the concerns that other students have, which may include, the amount of time and effort involved in searching for and applying to opportunities, graduating later than peers, and trying to figure out if the experience really makes a difference to future employability!

Below, we hear from our students about the benefits of placements and some of the positive impact a placement has had upon their final year and beyond…

Our student perspective…

It’s a great stepping stone before getting a job after university as you will already have experience working with complex problems and using standard tools” (Jakub Pludowski, Intel)

I had the chance to learn about and improve my strengths and weaknesses…and learn a lot about problem-solving and task management from industry experts” (John Kadantot, Toyota)

The skills I gained during my placement year enabled me to stand out against the crowd in interviews and led me to obtain my dream PhD” (Fabianna Tennant, ApconiX)

By completing a placement, I got to learn key team working skills as well as see them applied in public settings, these became very useful when completing my 4th year group project.” (Charis Whyte, Siemens)

I got experience of corporate meetings and how a business works…it helped me understand what I want to do in the future” (Brandon Holmes, Airbus)

 “A placement gives you experience and an edge when you are applying for graduate roles” (Nick Bull, Reckitt Benckiser)

For me, incorporating a placement year abroad as part of my degree has been a true highlight of my undergraduate experience. During my time on placement, the experience that I gained was an invaluable addition and really complemented what I had been taught in practical classes on campus”. (Freya Cracknell, Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre)

Undertaking a placement can significantly increase your chances of securing opportunities when you graduate, in fact, the ISE Student Recruitment Survey 2021, highlighted the importance of work experience in getting a graduate job, with 60% of former interns and placement students getting hired into graduate roles in 2022!

If you’re still undecided about doing a placement, take a look at the ‘Do a Placement’ section on the Careers Service Website, and book an appointment with the Careers Service via CareerConnect, share your questions, talk through your concerns and access our expertise!

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