Speak to your dedicated Work Placement Partner who will have built strong relationships with organisations in your industry area and will support you throughout the process. They will send out opportunities and placement adverts to your group so make sure you are checking your university emails for the regular updates.
Speak to your academics and course tutors. They will have their own links with organisations that may be able to offer you a placement. Go and have a chat with them to see what they can suggest.
Utilise Careers Connect, the university's student vacancy system. Placements are part of schemes on this system, which will enable you to search for specific placements appropriate to your course or industry.
Connect with your favourite companies on your socials including
LinkedIn. Interact with them by liking and commenting on the posts that interest you. This will help you start to network to create a relationship with them before you ask them for a work placement opportunity. Connecting with them across social media also creates stronger networks for when you are ready to look for graduate employment.
Have a look at our guidance on creating a Linkedin and social media profile.
Attend Careers Fairs and employer talks We have industry specific events, general volunteering or career events and employer in the foyer. You can meet potential employers for real-life engagement in these situations.
If you are interested in gaining a placement with a particular organisation, check their website for more information first, and then if they do not offer a ‘formal’ work placement scheme then make enquiries with them directly to discuss the possibility of undertaking a work placement with them – if you don’t ask, you don’t get!
It is much easier to find yourself an opportunity when you know what you want to do. If you aren’t sure, speak with your academic tutor or with a careers advisor first. You may be interested in working with a specific company whose values and ethos matches yours. If this is the case, you can be flexible with what you are willing to do with them. You may also find that if you branch out, opportunities you hadn’t thought of considering will become available. It is important that you find a work placement which will fulfill the assessment criteria in the module which requires you to go out on work placement, so make sure that this is your priority.
Once you have an idea of what you are looking for, try using employer directories and professional bodies to find companies that interest you and those that are in a location that you can reach.
Firstly, write a brief introduce yourself, who you are, what you are studying and what you are looking for in terms of a short 30- 70 hour placement, a sandwich placement, 10 week internship, etc.
Secondly, explain your interest in the company, the role itself and explain how this relates to your career aspirations. Give the employer some further reasons to take an interest in you (your interests and skills, other work experience or relevant training) remembering to relate this to the placement requested.
Finally, your closing paragraph should include your availability and that you have attached your CV. Your tone should be professional and ensure that you show your willingness to provide further information if needed and that you hope to hear from them soon.
Due to the fact that professionals are often busy and maybe away from their desks for periods of time, it is common not to receive a response to your email within the first week. It is important not to be disheartened by this and to ensure that you follow up with either another email, or a phone call. If you get a 'no' it's vital that you keep going as this is completely normal and part of the process of eventually gaining a work placement.
Get your CV ready! Some opportunities are more competitive than others, so make sure you use our CV guidance to help you get yours in it’s best condition.