Yippeeeeee! I’ve done it, I’ve sorted out my placement. Next year I will be living in Greece, working for Archipelagos- institute of marine conservation, and working on a documentary film production placement. But it hasn’t always been an entirely smooth ride…
The first stage was writing my CV. Stupidly I had somehow deleted my CV from a few years ago which meant starting from scratch. Don’t delete your CV, ever!! I had to dig around and find all my certificates, which took a long while, but finally it was done. Next I began to worry because all of the placements that I seemed to get emails for were based in labs, and as a zoologist this wasn’t for me. I began to do some research and spoke to some current placement students. There seemed like an amazing opportunity in the Seychelles, but I knew I couldn’t apply until February so I decided to keep looking incase of some others. After speaking to my placement mentor, I applied to the same placement she had done, an amazing opportunity in science media. This placement seemed perfect for me because it would give me the start in science media that I need. It was based in the UK, something I had not considered, and it had a salary of around £17, 500, something I could not turn down! However, it was not meant to be and unfortunately I got rejected. Maybe it was a blessing, because if I had not lost that placement I may not have the amazing opportunity that is now laid out in front of me.
I found out about Archipelagos because a student is currently placed there. They have a range of different placements from marine conservation to fine art to law placements. You don’t even have to be a science student. The documentary film production placement jumped out at me and I had to apply. They approved my application and I had a very nice interview with one of their scientists. A week later I got that all-important confirmation email!
A lot of you may be looking at doing a placement year, so here are a few pointers. First of all, I didn’t apply for a placement year via UCAS. In my interview, I got offered the chance to be enrolled on the course without changing my grade offer. If this happens to you, TAKE IT! Secondly, in order to continue onto the course in 2nd year, you need an average of 60% or higher, so work hard. Thirdly, if in your first year you decide that you actually would like to be on the course, this is easily arranged, many of my friends chose this. Or on the other hand, it is also easy to opt off. Finally, I strongly advise everyone to go for a placement. It looks amazing on your CV, and will definitely help you get jobs later in life. Furthermore, it will mature you and give you life experiences others wont have had.
Over and out