Back to the books- how it feels to return to University after a placement year

Cat Smith

Cat Smith graduated from her BA Geography Degree at Leeds this summer.  She is now working for RateMyPlacement in their Marketing team, where she also spent her placement year.  Here she shares her tips on making the adjustment back to University life following a placement year.

It’s a year of early starts, hellish morning commutes and a seemingly never ending to- do lists. However, when your placement year comes to an end, it’s sometimes a scary thought adjusting back into life at university.

I completed placement year at in their marketing team. I had a grand total of two days off before making the journey back up to Leeds and re-entering the world of Harvard Referencing and daily battles in the union to grab the last meal deal.

Now a graduate and working full-time with the team I did my placement year with, I wanted to share with you some of the things I found helpful to keep up during my final year.

  1. Keep a routine

Whilst I could finally wave good- bye to the 6am alarms, I did find myself waking up a lot earlier naturally than I did before my placement year. I kept a routine up on weekdays, arriving at the library for about 10am, giving myself an hour for lunch and heading home about 4pm. Doing this everyday meant I stayed on top of my workload and avoided those dreaded all- night essay writing sessions. I found I was getting my work completed well in advance of deadlines too.

  1. Maintain your contact list

It might sound silly, but it’s very easy to forget the people you worked with, and many of them will be useful contacts to have in the future. This is easy to do with networking sites such as LinkedIn. As a result of liking someone’s job update, I was offered part- time work during my final year and was able to earn some extra money.

  1. Do all the things you couldn’t do whilst working

Being away from Leeds reminded me of all the things I should have done whilst I was in the city, but never bothered. I made a bucket list and ticked things off across the year. So whilst graduating was sad, I felt like I had made the most of what Leeds has to offer. Sunrise on the Cow and Calf rocks in Ilkley?! Check!

  1. Visit the Careers Centre

It can only ever be beneficial to talk to the Careers Centre and find out how to best present the work you have done on your CV, or discuss your next options. Doing this before work piles up is really useful and I went early on in the year to get a bit of help updating my CV.

  1. Use your lecturers

Going to see your lecturers as much as you see your manager at work might not go down too well, but when you do see them, structuring your meetings in the same way can help you get some really valuable feedback. Going in with a plan of what to talk about, and preparing questions as you would at work will ensure these meetings are as productive as possible.

Enjoy your final year- it only happens once!

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Filed under Advice, Networking, Work Experience

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