Welcome to the working world.

Goodbye lie ins, going to sleep at silly o clock, and hello 6 am starts, 10 pm bedtime and a lifestyle with routine.

The working world isn’t what I had it cut out to be if I’m going to be honest. I thought I would be enjoying the perks of being a working adult and having £’s to spend without having to work out how much I had left to spend per week until the next loan drops (maybe that’s just me!). However, I was not completely prepared for the amount of work and learning I was about to take on or how tired I would feel in the first few weeks of my placement. Gone were the days when I could go to sleep whenever I wanted without a care about tomorrow. I knew now that I had to be on the ball at work the next day, so waking up feeling exhausted was not the best idea when every day brought new knowledge and new experiences.

Challenge aside, the amount of real world business knowledge I am learning is hugely fulfilling because I know that I am learning useful skills that I wouldn’t learn from textbooks or lectures. It also feels good to know that what I learn this year will help me once I graduate and will put me in a better position to apply for graduate roles.  Having this year of experience will help you more than you could imagine. Not only does it put experience on your CV that employers look for, it will increase your confidence, allow you to have a feel for what it is like working in that work environment that you are interested in, and it will motivate you to do even better in your final year once you are back at uni. I have been told that many students struggle in their first job after they graduate because they have to adjust to a working environment which is very different to the university environment. Therefore having this year before you graduate can only be an advantage.

Working life is a massive eye opener for a uni student and placement year is an opportunity to experience this and what is to come after you graduate. After two years at uni I personally felt that I needed a change of scene and placement year has allowed me to do that. This year is the opportunity to try out a possible career path, in a new place with new people. It gives you the opportunity to meet new people and network, and get to know about other’s experiences and career journeys. For a student, working a 9 to 5 job takes you out of your comfort zone but what better way to push yourself and prepare. Personally I have realised it is better to take the plunge now and try to find your feet in the working world than when you are a graduate with higher expectations to live up to.

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