Undergraduate Careers Coach, Comfort Asaolu, shares tips on how to leverage your work placement or internship.
Hear from the winners and runners-up of the WBS Placement Student of the Year Awards 2022.
For the second year running, we hosted the WBS Placement Student of the Year Awards, where 8 shortlisted applicants presented their placement year/year abroad experience in front of a judging panel.
All the shortlisted applicants undertook their placement year/year abroad during the 2021-2022 academic year and were asked to create a presentation based on how they went above and beyond during their placement year/year abroad, and how they feel their placement year/year abroad experience will leverage their future career.
The presentations were judged by the following panel; Donna Curtis (WBS Mentoring Programme Manager), Sam Jeffrey (WBS alum and last year’s WBS Placement Student of the Year Winner) and Morgan Gore (Early Careers Consultant from Jaguar Land Rover). The winners of the awards all received a place on the WBS mentoring scheme.
We caught up with some of the winners and runners-up to discuss their placement year/year abroad experiences.
Please introduce yourself, the course you’re studying and where you went on your placement year/year abroad.
Camelia: My name is Camelia El Alami, I come from Morocco and I study BSc International Management with Finance. As part of my year abroad, I did two study placements at Cornell University and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
Mustafa: My name is Mustafa Shahzaib, and I’m a fourth-year BSc Management with Digital Business student. I studied at Bocconi University and did a work placement at Leisure Leagues in Pakistan.
Lucie: My name is Lucie, a French fourth-year BSc International Management student. On my year abroad, I first went to the United States to study at Cornell University, and then flew to Taiwan to partake in online classes from Fudan University, Shanghai.
Please confirm which award you won.
Camelia: I won the placement year award for the study (full year) category.
Mustafa: I won the placement year award for the work and study abroad category.
Lucie: I was the runner-up for the placement year award for the study (full year) category.
Please tell us your favourite memory from your placement year/year abroad.
Camelia: My favourite memory was definitely going out of quarantine on the same day as the Chinese New Year's celebrations in Hong Kong I met all the cohort of HKUST exchange students at once and could not feel more grateful and welcomed.
Mustafa: My favourite memory would be the impromptu trip to Portofino with my friends from my semester abroad, and devouring the best pasta we have ever had.
Lucie: My favourite memory is probably when I went to Puerto Rico with all my friends during my semester studying at Cornell University. I experienced diving with turtles whilst taking my PADI Open Water exam which was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Please tell us how you feel your placement year/year abroad will impact your future career.
Camelia: My year abroad strongly developed my hard and soft skills which are crucial skills that I will require in my future career, especially adaptiveness, flexibility and intercultural awareness.
Mustafa: I believe the diverse skillset I have solidified over my year abroad will help me leverage many opportunities in my future career.
Lucie: On a year abroad, you are required to adapt, be curious, and become organised. It definitely changed the way I work and organise my daily life at university. I believe the skills I’ve developed will definitely help me in my future career.
Please provide your top tip on how to make the most of your placement year/year abroad opportunity.
Camelia: ‘Never give up’ is something I constantly told myself whilst on my year abroad. The challenges I faced made the experience even more unique and special, and all my hard work was certainly rewarded in the end!
Mustafa: I would suggest seizing every opportunity on your year abroad by fully immersing yourself in the local culture, company/university and expanding your network.
Lucie: The best tip I can give is to overcome any fear of failure. Failures are impossible to avoid and all the fear surrounding them can really negatively impact your experience. This realisation will help you to try things you’ve never done, meet people you never thought you would ever meet, and overcome challenges you might have thought crazy at first.
Every WBS Undergraduate* has the opportunity to take a placement year during their studies, if you would like to find out more about our courses on offer, download our Undergraduate brochure.
*Joint degree’s may differ, please refer to the partner department for placement information.