York St John University students return from Placement Year

Published: 28/10/2019

The first students experiencing a Placement Year return to York St John ready to take on their career.

Students at Year in Industry event in Temple Hall

Students across the Business and Computing programmes have celebrated their return to York St John after undertaking a Placement Year. As the first cohort in the University to take part in this element of study, the students recognised this landmark moment with a showcase event on campus.

Presenting their fantastic achievements to peers and others across the University, students were able to highlight their experiences and the skills they have learnt during their Placement Year.

Taking place in between their second and third year of study, returning students have been able to explore potential career paths well before graduation, with placements in IT, project management, marketing, recruitment and web and systems development. Whilst giving students this invaluable insight into working-life, the Placement Year has also given them the knowledge of a working environment and the opportunity to increase their confidence, ultimately getting a head start in today’s job market.

With the support of the Careers, Placements and Student Opportunities Team, students can take advantage of a range of services in their second year including timetabled placement preparation sessions, opportunities to engage with employers, guest speakers and former placement students and 1-1 guidance. The timetabled sessions include support with CV and cover letter writing, interview techniques, identifying placement opportunities and professional conduct. Once students have secured their Placement Year, support from the University continues right the way through their employment.

Fran Pluta, Placements Advisor of York St John explained: “A Placement Year gives students an exciting insight into the industry they are passionate about. As well as learning new skills, it’s an opportunity for students to get paid, normally between £15 - £20k a year, and enhance their graduate employment prospects. By engaging with the Careers, Placements and Student Opportunities Team, we can help students find their perfect role and give them the support they need to develop skills along the way. Due to the size of York St John, support can be tailored to suit them too. This continued support allows students to experience the recruitment process, build a professional network and even secure themselves a job in time for completing their degree”. 

Research by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) in their Development Survey 2019 states that 87% of respondents agreed that students who had completed an internship or placement had better skills than those who did not have this experience. Furthermore, the ISE Annual Recruitment Survey 2018 found that employers rehired an average of 52% of their interns and 43% of their summer placement students.

The students completing their Placement Year and showcasing their time in employment were:

Alice Foster, Dean Court Hotel (pictured)
Jasmine Hardisty, Cummins Engineering (pictured)
Faith Osayi, Jacobs Engineering (pictured)
Bethan McKeating, RejuvaMed Skin Clinic (pictured)
Sophia Robinson, Gravitas Recruitment (pictured)
Laura Pahnke, Cyclops Electronics (pictured)
Maddie Pink, Enterprise Rent a Car
Rafal Chmiel, PureNet Solutions
Jonathan Trapp, YSJ ILE

Students taking part in a Placement Year have the chance to work with companies anywhere in the UK, with the potential for students to venture overseas too. With the second cohort of Placement Year students rising from nine students to forty, students this year are with employers such as Rolls Royce, IBM, Jacobs Engineering, Enterprise Rent a Car, Audit Partnership, Grant Thornton and GSK.

Business Management student, Sophia Robinson added: “I found my Placement Year completely invaluable. With the support of the University and after searching a few job fairs, I secured a job at Gravitas Recruitment where I was a Recruitment Consultant in Leeds. From the word go, I began learning the vital skills which will see me through my career. From managing a 360-market to following sales strategies and building relationships with internal and external stakeholders, my time at Gravitas has given me a real insight into the recruitment industry. For anyone thinking about the Placement Year, I couldn’t recommend it enough – I spent the year getting paid, strengthening my knowledge of business management and I’ve even secured myself a graduate job for after I’ve finished my final year at University.”

In addition to supporting those taking part in a Placement Year from Business and Computing programmes, the Careers, Placements and Student Opportunities Team are now offering an ‘Opt-In’ Placement Year available for first year students joining undergraduate courses from September 2019. Students can find out about these services and more by keeping up to date with upcoming events, visiting LaunchPad and looking at the Careers, Placements and Opportunities webpage.

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