My placement year: the Leeds Internship Programme


Natalie Page is a  BSc Medical Sciences student at the University of Leeds.  Currently, she is undertaking a placement year on campus with the Work Placement Team based at the Careers Centre.  She explains the benefits of a placement year, and how taking on a role not directly related to her degree has developed many workplace  skills and experiences that she will be able to take forward beyond her degree.

This Campus Internship is part of the Leeds Internship Programme which offers exclusive, paid opportunities for University of Leeds students- you can sign up here to be the first to hear about new opportunities.

My Role

My role as Work Placement Administrator is essentially supporting the Work Placement Team at the Careers Centre on campus. The backbone of my job involves general administrative tasks like uploading internship vacancies, collating applications, arranging interviews and dealing with student enquiries, but I’m lucky to get involved in a lot of activities outside of this.

As an intern, you can get involved in a lot of different areas and at the Careers Centre there’s certainly a lot going on! The team I support all have different projects so I have a wide variety of work to do, such as helping to deliver the bi-annual Career and Volunteering Fairs, creating marketing material for student communication, and working with Zoe (our other intern) to organise the Leeds for Life Community Impact Awards in April.

My degree is completely different to the work I do day-to-day here at the Careers Centre, but has definitely come in handy for areas like data analysis, in which I’ve done a big project going through old Leeds Internship Programme data. I’ve loved having a break from my degree and entering the real world of work, the whole building have treated me as a member of staff rather than an student and I definitely feel prepared for the next round of job applications in my final year!

Placement Benefits

I can’t stress enough how valuable the opportunity to do a placement year is for a student. Not only are you faced with a real working environment, but the skills you’ll gain are vital for preparing you for the world beyond graduation. I’ve learnt more about marketing, business relationships, event planning and general admin, as well as skills like communication, team-working and managing your workload.

Working for the university has been nothing but a positive experience for me, including a decent salary, a standard 9-5 working day and generous holidays. Being on campus means I still get to access all the amazing opportunities here at Leeds, including continuing being part of committee of Dancesport Society, and staying in a city I now consider my home.  My line manager Mary has been so supportive, we have regular catch-ups about what I want to get out of the internship and which skills/ experience I want to develop further. I am having a fantastic experience doing a Campus Internship and really recommend it to anyone!

The Future

Next year I’m hoping to apply for the NHS Scientist Training Programme, which has been my aspiration since before university. Although my placement hasn’t been related to my degree, it’s really developed my employability skills and made me more confident to apply, and I’m more certain that that’s the career path I want to take.

This has also been the perfect opportunity to network and get to know all the exciting careers that are out there- I’ve even been able to chat with Leeds alumni who are now doing the NHS training programme. I’ve loved my placement year, but I am also looking forward to getting back into the lecture theatre and learning again. I can honestly say doing a placement year, even if it’s not related to future career aspirations, is an invaluable experience.

Interested in a placement right here on campus?

Campus Internships are starting to be advertised now- with start dates throughout the summer. Each year there are a number of opportunities advertised, from placement years to summer internships, working on exciting projects across various departments at the University. Previous roles have spanned spanned a number of areas including communications, events, facilities, library, residential services, careers and employability.

All roles are advertised on the Leeds Internship Programme on MyCareer and are only available to University of Leeds students- sign up here to be the first to hear about new opportunities.

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