If you are eligible to take part in the University of London Business Placement scheme this year and are interested in applying, then who better to advise you than a former participant? Here, Walden, who completed a successful business placement with Grant Thornton Vietnam (Limited), shares his top tips for acing your application and getting the most out of your experience.
1. Be clear on what you hope to gain from this business placement opportunity
Firstly, you need to understand more about the firm that you are applying to, and what they do. What about this company appeals to you (be it their prestige, the services they provide/the work that they do/their values etc.)? You will need to do some thorough research, starting with the company’s website so you can clearly state your reasons for applying.
Next, you need to capture the employer’s attention. An interesting way to start is with a story. What got you interested in this field? What are your career ambitions and how can this opportunity help you achieve them? What makes you a good fit for this employer? If relevant, you could also mention how completing an international placement may also benefit your learning experience.
2. Create a good CV
Watch the webinars circulated by the University and use the Careers resources in the ‘Support and Development’ tab of the Student Portal. On your CV, do not just pen down what your previous role was, you need to go further to explain what you did and the positive impact your work had. Formatting matters too, make sure it is consistent - every single detail counts!
3. Prepare for the interview
Again, read the interview skills resources the University sends you and make use of all the guidance on the Student Portal. Research more on the role and prepare to answer technical questions. Remember to ask your own questions at the end of the interview to show you are genuinely interested. If you’re doing a video interview, make sure the laptop mic is in good condition, that you are well lit, and rehearse speaking confidently! Be sure to highlight the relevance of the skill-sets you have gained through previous work experiences/co-curricular activities to the potential employer, and say how these skills can be applied to the role.
4. Heed the advice of previous participants
Listen to the lessons learned in previous years as shared in the webinars. You can also try and connect with fellow business placement alumni and take on board any advice they have. Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
5. How to do I get the most out of the business placement if I’m successful?
Ask questions, be willing to learn and don’t forget to have fun!
The fact that you are reading this means that you are willing to take a step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourselves. I hope this has been useful and I sincerely wish you all the best!