My Year In Industry

Wow hi – feel like I haven’t blogged in ages lool! It’s been a while. Just thought I’d do a quick reflection on my Year in Industry and touch on some key things I’ve done/learnt.
Firstly for those that don’t know, a Year in Industry is when you (an undergraduate student) takes a year out to do a placement in between the penultimate and final year. Alternatives to this include a year abroad, year in enterprise or just a year out. Depending on what your uni/course offers.
For my placement, I worked 11 months doing delegate sales for business events. Doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing but I really enjoyed and learnt a lot from it. For me I like to find and take advantage of positives so a lot came out of those 11 months. Some of my revenue targets looked absolutely impossible, but opening myself to new challenges were an exciting part of the job. The working life in itself was a big eye opener. Very different from doing a full time job here and there or even a two month internship. There was a serious trade of between living your best life during the summer when most placements start and committing to the routine of a 9-5. Partying on a Sunday or midweek motives? Not for someone like me who likes sleep and has to wake up at 6.30am the next morning. But you do get used to your way of working around this.
I could probably make a very long list of the little things I’ve picked up and learnt from the work place experience. A huge one is the importance of Microsoft Excel! Can’t stress how useful this is. If you’re not too clued up on using Excel please try and learn even if it’s just the basics. But also the small things like writing/signing off emails, adapting communication structures to who whoever you’re speaking to or just organisational and time management skills that are essential to life. Again the list goes on.
It is tough though, you’ll be doing real work contributing to yours and other peoples’ livelihoods. For me if I wasn’t meeting sales targets, someone would be standing on my head and they did. Then again, that’s real life!
If you read our post ‘More Than Just a First Class’ – which I’m sure you did. You’ll recall us mentioning that the job market can be brutal. So experiences like placements, internships, years abroad, etc really help to add content to your CV and talking points for interviews. Might be worth asking anyone you know for some you know that’s done a relevant year out for advice/help if this is something you’re interested in. Your uni and careers service should also aid you with this. Organisations like RateMyPlacement and the Bright Network come in really handy too. But if in doubt give the RealTalk Blog Team a shout!
This year I got to travel which I loved. I went to Barcelona twice, Amsterdam, Portugal, Prague and Athens. Certainly couldn’t have done that whilst at uni and having friends also doing placement year out also helped. I loved being able to get out of the UK and explore other scenes even if it was just a weekend stay.
Can’t forget to mention that The RealTalk Blog started this year! It’s not been an easy ride. But I’m always grateful to everyone who reads, writes and supports the platform honestly. We’ve achieved some commendable milestones including our first year anniversary in October! None of which would have been made possible without you. Much love for you all.
Back to my main point though, my year out allowed me to do these things and more, that I wouldn’t have been able to do in university which I’m very proud of. This year has helped me to get a taste of the real world. The world after uni. The world of early nights, rush hours and intense hour long meetings. But also of personal and professional growth, making amazing new friends and a great network for the future.
My advice to anyone in a penultimate year of uni – or even in earlier than that – considering a year out? Go for it! Fight through the applications and rejections (if any) – take a step out of your comfort zone and try something new. Dare to be different!
Love always,
The RealTalk Team

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