Tom Millbrow gained a BA in Business Studies from the University of Hertfordshire. He completed a 12-month industrial placement at IBM UK as part of his course
My time at IBM in the role of industrial trainee involved assisting a large team of senior colleagues. Tasks included liaising with company clients, producing statistics and running meetings.
IBM trained me in a number of areas, and I was also given the opportunity to take part in extra-curricular activities to give something back to the local community. Examples included mentoring a local school student and co-running the 'green pioneers' team to improve the environmental initiatives in my office.
I decided to do a placement to improve my employability. I understand that employers are looking for a combination of academic and professional skills during the selection process, so a placement can really help. It also offers you the chance to trial a particular career path, earn money and apply learning to real-life situations.
Completing a placement year at IBM (and an additional 12-week summer internship) enabled me to secure a graduate role at Deloitte; I believe that without the experiences from my placement to talk about in my interview, this would have been a much harder, if not impossible, task.
Get the most out of work experience by building a number of contacts in all areas of the business. It's also beneficial to take advantage of the learning opportunities presented to you and try as many experiences as possible. And, of course, work hard − many placement companies may offer graduate roles!
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