Tips to help you on your professional placement
Starting a new job can be daunting, especially when you’re still a university student.
Stepping into the industry you’ve been studying for the past few years can be nerve wracking, even more than your coursework. Not to worry though, here are some tips to make that transition to work a breeze.
Starting off slow
While some workplaces will throw their placement students into the deep end, it’s usual to be given easier tasks from the get go, to build confidence before tackling more challenging projects. This is usual practice for all jobs. Remember, placements are six or 12 months long, there’s no rush!
Ask, ask, ask!
You’re a student and you’re there to learn! Don’t be embarrassed to ask questions, it’s expected and, especially at the start of your placement, it’s the best way to get help. Once you have the answer, jot it down so you can refer to it later.
Sure, you had a busy schedule before your placement, juggling uni, part-time work and other commitments; but getting used to a more regular, daily schedule can take its toll. Many students on placement (and new workers) report feeling tired during the first months of a job. The working week will take time to get used to, so rest up and take care of yourself.
‘Kind regards’ or ‘Yours sincerely’
Well you got the job but how do you approach tricky topics with colleagues? Is there a particular tone when speaking? This can be a tough one to crack. But don’t stress. Behaviours can vary depending on the role, so just observe others and follow their lead. If in doubt, ask for advice.
Student ID *******
Your placement will show up on your academic transcript and, for the icing on the cake, you still have access to all the student services available. Make sure you hold on to that treasured student concession card too!
Show me the money!
So, you’re finally making some coin. If you’re hired directly by the organisation, you’ll be dealing with their HR team for pay matters.
What you earn could also affect your Centrelink payments or other benefits; notifying them is a must. Make sure you grab an official status letter through Student HQ. If further documents are needed, the team here will vouch that you’re still a student.
Your academic supervisor will visit your workplace while you’re on placement. They can advise how to apply the theoretical knowledge you’ve picked up at uni to practical projects. So ask questions if you have any. Your academic supervisor is also your go-to person for any questions about assessments.
Keep in touch
If you’ve got a question during your placement that’s not to do with your academic supervisor, or you’re not sure who to ask, contact email@example.com.