How to transition back to studying after a placement year
07 April 2022

Taking a full year away from WBS after your second year of study through the form of a placement year can be a truly amazing experience; and potentially lead to securing a graduate-level role with any companies that you work with as well.

But what does WBS CareersPlus do for those students whilst they are out on a placement year in order to assist them with their transitional process and remain connected throughout the year? Chris Knight, Placement Relationships Manager from CareersPlus discusses this further below…

In term 1 during the autumn period, a member of the WBS CareersPlus Placements team conducts a check-in with students to see how they are getting on in their placement so far. This is after a member of the Coaching team conducts a preparation session with the students prior to them embarking on their placement year and discussing ways on how to best leverage their year away, from an employability perspective.

During these check-ins, ongoing careers support is offered to all students and it’s important to note, that any students who are out on a placement year, still have full access to the CareersPlus service whilst they are away. With our hybrid service offering, students are now also able to attend relevant workshops, appointments and employer events virtually, so don’t have to worry about travelling to campus (unless they would really like to!).

In term 2, during the spring period (approximately halfway through their placement year), the team organise an annual event for those out on a placement year in collaboration with the WBS Undergraduate Programme team. This event has historically taken place either virtually (during the pandemic) or at our offices in The Shard, London. 2022’s event was out first hybrid event that was hosted and branded our ‘Student Engagement Day’. This event typically consists of allowing students to undertake the following activities:

  • Network with their peers and any key WBS staff, thus allowing them to expand their network prior to returning to WBS later in the year
  • Gain valuable information on WBS updates, including within the areas of student experience, undergraduate programme team updates and module information for final year
  • Participating in a careers session that involves the students discussing their placement year experience so far and how to best leverage this
  • Learning more about the reflective assignment which is completed as a part of a placement year and liaising with key academic lecturers
  • Hearing from final year students during a panel Q&A about their transitional process and networking with these students accordingly

“I found that attending the Student Engagement Day really helped me to feel connected with Warwick despite being in the industry for the year! Hearing general campus developments and updates, as well as key information on our courses, modules and assessments filled me with confidence that I am prepared for the return to final year. 

Considering many other peers will be graduating this year I found it really comforting to have the opportunity to meet and network with the rest of the Placement cohort. Not only will this help to have familiar faces when integrating back into our final year but also to act as an additional channel of support throughout the remainder of our Placements.  

Most importantly for me, I feel that the day helped me to take note of key opportunities I want to maximise throughout the next 6 months. From the careers teams tips on utilising learning portals, networking and plans to stay with our companies in the future, to hearing from WBS Placement Finalists and the ways in which they enhanced their own experiences on their Placements and how they have complemented the return to final year.” 

Charlotte Smith, BSc Management with Marketing

CRM Associate, DTC Marketing, Samsung Electronics 

“I found the WBS student engagement day to be extremely beneficial. Networking with the other placement students allowed me to feel much more comfortable going into next year knowing there will be people I have developed connections with beforehand. Having familiar faces in my first seminars and lectures will help me re-integrate back into uni-life much faster! Overall, I met some great people and made some great connections. It was a great experience.” 

Diogo Santos, BSc Management

Wealth and Personal Banking Industrial Placement, HSBC

Following on from the spring term event which is hosted, students are encouraged to use the CareersPlus service as often as they like over the remainder of their placement year, whether this be through the form of appointments, workshops or attending employer events.

Additionally, all students are invited to join an MS teams placements channel throughout the year, which can allow them to liaise with one another online and any key WBS staff as well. In collaboration with the WBS Undergraduate Programme team, students then typically attend a welcome back/returner’s event at the beginning of October, prior to launching themselves into their final year.

If you are a current student out on placement year you can contact the WBS CareersPlus team at any time throughout the entire year, including during vacation periods at wbs.ug.careers@warwick.ac.uk.

Alternatively, if you would like to find out more about doing a placement year and how the WBS CareersPlus team can support you in finding a placement opportunity please reach out to them using the contact details above.