1. Be enthusiastic:
Even if you’re nervous, talk to people about your likes and their job roles and sound keen. You will get more from the placement if your hosts feel that they can interact with you and that you sound interested. If you’ve been set a task, don’t be afraid to ask if you’re not sure. It’s better than ploughing on regardless and wasting time. Asking questions also shows that you’re willing to learn.
2. Get out on client jobs:
Don’t stay in the office the whole time – if there’s an option to get out in the field, take it. A varied work experience placement is always better than doing the same thing at the same desk for days on end – that will different put you off!
3. Be useful:
There’s nothing worse for a someone than to be landed with a work experience placement who just sits there offering no comments or initiative – throw yourself into the work and try to ask what else you can do when finished with something. Try to be of genuine assistance during your time on placement.
4. Don’t get too familiar:
Even if your new temporary work mates are enjoying a bit of office “banter”, be cautious about joining in too much. Remember, they know each other and you’re still new to their social group. Fit in by asking questions and showing an interest in their topics of conversation if possible.
5. Don’t stay inside your comfort zone:
If you don’t stretch yourself you won’t know what you’re capable of. Be brave, take on tasks that involve things you wouldn’t normally have the courage to do.
6. Give feedback at the end.
When you’ve completed your placement, try to get a few minutes with your supervisor or manager and talk about how you’ve found. What did you like best? What have you learnt? Would you like to explore something in more detail as a possible future career?
Written by Simon Sloan, Operations Manager, hi-impact media