With my year at Banter Media coming to an end I thought it would be a great idea to share my experience with you all and give a bit of insight into what it’s like doing a placement.
First off… Hello! I’m Becca, a Graphic Design student at the University of Huddersfield. I’m currently doing a year long placement at Banter Media where my role is ‘Design Assistant.’ My typical day is managing social media and any design tasks that need doing.
Why I wanted to do a placement year
After deciding that I wanted to study Graphic Design at University, I knew that I needed to find somewhere that had the option of doing a placement year. In Art and Design courses I feel a placement is a great way to gain new knowledge and insight. It enables you to understand how the industry works and experience the real world outside of a classroom environment, something that University just can’t teach you. Not only that but it’s a great way to enhance your CV and maybe even add to your portfolio.
Getting my placement
When I first started applying for placements, looking back now, I was a bit naive. I thought it was going to be a breeze and that my tutors would be handing placements out to us on a silver platter. This wasn’t the case. Trying to get my placement was hard work involving lots of phone calls, emails and in some cases, rejections. Don’t get me wrong University does help a little bit, with things like your CV and covering letters, but you do have to do the majority of it on your own. However, I’m glad this was the case as it helped me to gain confidence and practise skills I hadn’t done before.
On The Job
I must admit that on my first day I was bit overwhelmed and anxious. But everyone at Banter Media was lovely and made me feel at home. The current placement students were still there, as they like us to have a crossover period, which I really appreciated. They were able to show us the ropes and help us understand what we would be doing first hand.
Before I started my placement, I thought the hardest thing for me would be the transition to a 9 to 5 job. I’m a student! I get up late, I go to bed late! But this wasn’t the case. Adapting to the real world was pretty easy for me and the commute gives me some free time to myself, although it is annoying when the train is full!
The biggest difference is clients. I’ve never had any of my own so I didn’t know what it would be like. Answering the phone and taking messages from them, emailing about work and meeting them face to face when they come in for meetings. Obviously I’m use to deadlines at University. But working in an agency your deadlines are for their clients work and it makes you conscious that you need to get it done. But don’t worry, there’s always someone to help you.
What I’ve learned
The main thing I’ve learned is how to organise myself. I was a pretty organised person before, but i’ve managed to improve that and been shown sites that i’ll be able to apply not only to my final year at University, but afterwards as well. I’ve been able to gain skills outside of Graphic Design and learn about other potential job roles I never thought about applying for.
For any of you who are thinking about doing a placement whether it be for a year or just for the summer, I highly recommend doing it. I’d like to share some tips that I’ve learnt along the way.
- Don’t Give up
Don’t get disheartened that you haven’t found a placement yet. I started applying pretty early on in my second year thinking I’d be getting one straight away. But this wasn’t the case. After a few months a lot of my friends had started to give up because they thought it was getting too late but I kept applying. All of a sudden I had an influx of people responding to me. It was only later on that I realised most agencies don’t start thinking about getting new students until the summer months.
Don’t choose a placement based on how much you’re going to be paid. Just because an agency is paying you, you might not like it there or in a role you don’t necessarily want to do. Try to choose an agency based on what they’re like and whether you feel they’re right for you. This can also be the case for any future career as well. For me personally, I only get paid travel expenses. But I’d rather have that and be somewhere I enjoy working, than be paid by an agency that I don’t enjoy working with.
- Get Involved
In team meetings you don’t always have to speak up but at least take some notes, they could come in handy at a later date. Pay an interest in what other people are doing as you might learn something. You’re not going to be there forever so ask questions, get involved and most importantly… have fun!
I hope that this blog post has helped.
Thanks for reading and good luck to those of you applying!