For most undergraduate courses at CSU, you’ll have a practical placement. As a first-year, sometimes there is nothing scarier than the thought of going out into the workforce to test the knowledge you have learnt so far.
I’m here to tell you it’s not like that at all!
Placement is there to help you learn how to apply your knowledge to the real world, it can be fun, it’s sometimes challenging and an overall amazing experience to help kick-start your career and give you a feel for the field you’ll be working in when you graduate.
Over the course of my study, I’ve had to complete three placements. In my third and final one, I was able to get the most out of my time as I knew what I wanted to achieve and what I needed to learn in a practical environment.
So here are some tips to help you make the most of your placement:
Nothing will improve your work skills more than asking questions! It can be a little bit scary as you don’t want to sound silly or look like you don’t know anything, but clarifying a task or asking how to do something is perfectly fine. You will learn so much more by asking questions, and you can even ask about what areas you need to improve.
If you’re bored or don’t have anything to do, ask for a task! Employers want to know that you have initiative and confidence, and will love it when you ask for an extra task.
Show off your skills
Use this time to show your supervisor what you’re really good at. This is the time to be impressing and showing off your best skills. Maybe even volunteer to help out in areas that you know you love. This could be a future employer of yours, so you want to do your best!
Optimise your time
Coming into the office a little early and planning out your day can make your days so much easier. If you’re running on a schedule, you’re not only more organised for yourself, you’re showing your supervisor your planning and time management skills – something they will love! Getting into the office early also lets them know that you’re dedicated to your career.
Boost your resume
Use this time to add to your resume. This means participating in activities you wouldn’t normally, observing your supervisor or other colleagues, and do anything that you can put on your resume as experience!
It’s also a great opportunity to add a reference to your resume. If you have performed well, your supervisor should have no problem being a reference for you. This time is all about building your career.
Get into a routine
Being on placement is the best time to get the feel for working full-time. It gives you a taste of what life might be like after university, and can prepare you for the future. You may need to get up earlier than normal, pack lunch, and get home later, but it prepares you for what’s to come after graduation.
Workplace learning is an experience that you may not get to do again. Enjoy your time there, make friends, and make it a memorable and enjoyable experience. After all – this may be the gateway to a job after graduation!