Work Experience for Economics: Sajni (21), Business Economics Student

GlaxoSmithKline Internship
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The below is the first of my interviews with work placement students I have worked with. They are all from varying backgrounds, and all have benefitted hugely from work experience. Of the 6 I’ve interviewed all of them had hardly anything bad to say about their work placement

Work Experience for Economics: How did you first find out about work placements and when?

I was introduced to various work placement opportunities by the Management School in second year. Attending careers fairs and talks given by different recruiters who visited my university helped. I found out about the option to do a work placement when applying for university, after completing my A Levels.

Work Experience for Economics: How did you go about researching work placements? 

I used different websites such as Rate my Placement and Target Jobs which are great. My university also helped with:

  • offering work placement modules to learn about different companies
  • advice from students who have already completed a work placement
  • mock interviews
  • support in developing my CV

I’d advise narrowing down the field you are interested in and sending out applications as early as possible, as deadlines for applying can be earlier than you would expect!

Work Experience for Economics 2

Work Experience for Economics: What were three bad things and three good things about your work placement?

  1. Meeting a wide variety of people
  2. Improving transferable skills such as communication and engagement.
  3. Gaining very specific knowledge about financial concepts

A downside to my work placement year was that I found my role to become repetitive near the end of the year. It was important for me to involve myself in other projects outside of my everyday role – I would recommend this.

Work Experience for Economics: Was working in an office very different to what you thought it’d be? And why?

This was my first time in an office environment and it was pretty much what I’d expected. I learned what was required to conduct myself in a professional environment, during meetings or when interacting with other employees.

Work Experience for Economics: How long is the perfect work placement?

I think that 10-12 months is the right amount of time to fully immerse yourself into the role and team and hopefully gives you enough time to get involved in projects outside of your role.

Work Experience for Economics: Was your work placement a valuable experience and why?

Definitely, not only did I acquire job-specific knowledge, but I developed soft skills that I can take with me throughout my career. I went back to university with a different perspective and approach to my studies.

If you don’t think work experience is for you? maybe you know exactly what you want to do already? If so, check out my post on the different types of apprenticeships

Work Experience for Economics: What % of your university class did a work placement

Around 30% of students in the Management School at university did a ‘Year in Industry’

Work Experience for Economics: Looking back in hindsight would you have done anything differently on your work placement?

I had a great year in hindsight, I feel that I could have spoken to more people across the business to understand how their business area operates.

If you like the above post, please do take a look at a previous post on the value of work experience

Or if you have any questions on work placements, or anything else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the ‘contact’ section


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