In my first semester I studied abroad in Madrid. This was a fantastic experience, which not only gave me memories to last a lifetime, but also helped me learn a lot about myself and gave me a lot of useful skills. It’s also something that looks great on your CV, and I thought that this combined with having done a professional placement would really help my CV stand out once I’m looking for jobs once I’ve graduated. I also felt that this would be a lot more beneficial this semester, as it would give me practical experience in the same role I want to work in once graduated.
Getting a Placement
My course (Media) designates the second semester of third year for an optional placement, so I took this opportunity. RGU are great with finding you a placement – there was about 15 placement options I applied to that were exclusive to RGU students, and I managed to get three interviews from this. The process is easy – I updated my CV, and a member of the placement team helped me adapt it to stand out to recruiters by giving me tips on its contents and layout. After this, it was just a case of sending my CV to all the companies on InPlace. I applied in November, got an interview shortly and by December my January placement was all sorted – it was really simple. There’s also the option to source your own placement, but the benefit of the selection they give you is that it is only for RGU students, whereas other placements you have to compete against a much larger pool of applicants.
I managed to get a placement in the university, doing Digital Marketing at the Union, with another student. Throughout the 3 months I’ve spent at the Union, I’ve expanded my skillset and gained valuable experience in a professional office environment.
My role has included a variety of tasks, but one of the most prominent activities I’ve undertaken is planning, filming, and editing short form videos, mainly tailored towards Instagram and TikTok. Whilst most of these videos are filmed on my phone, I’ve learnt to use other equipment, such as a gimbal camera stabilizer and microphones on top of learning to use my phone to the greatest of its capabilities. In addition to this, I’ve became more accustomed to using the Adobe Suite, mainly Premier Pro to edit the videos, as well as in copywriting, as I’ve also overseen writing the copy for these videos before they go up.
I’ve also done Graphic Design work, mostly to be included in videos, but also done part for the Union Instagram. This helped me further my skills in Photoshop, which was one my main aims when I started my placement.
The bonus of placement is learning a lot of things that you wouldn’t necessarily learn in a lecture or seminar, especially how a real business functions. Implementing what you’ve learnt, and combining this with other things learnt on the job is where real progression comes from. One good example of this has been use of social media. I’ve learnt to write copy that is appealing to the audience, whilst also fitting into the needs of the organisation, as well as being approved by higher-ups to ensure that everything going out is appropriate in the eyes of the organisation.
Working in a professional office environment has also been a good experience. Not only has it given me a clearer idea of the field I want to go into in the future, having to follow a schedule to create and post content, as well as having to interact with colleagues in a friendly and professional manner is something that will no doubt make the transition to a graduate job easier
Overall, I feel that the three months on placement have taught me more than I could have imagined, and I can’t recommend it enough to anyone. The team was fantastic and were very willing to help me learn and give me things to do to improve my skills.
The experience has been fantastic and allowed me to put a lot of skills and theory learnt in class into practice, which has meant all these skills have been improved. I feel this has enhanced my employability, and I hope that the extra experience I can now include on my CV will help me stand out when I start looking for graduate jobs.