4 things to know before starting your placement year.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

I finished my placement at the end of June 2013, aged 20. I tried my best to write regular updates because the whole aim of this blog was to give an unbiased and ‘real’ review of experiences to help other students who might go through the same thing.

I talk quite openly that my own placement experience was a tough one. Although I am not sure if I’ve ever really addressed it on the blog. The challenges and difficulties were one of the reasons I didn’t summarise my 12 months.

*you can read my placement year series right here*

The events industry is very small, and whilst it can be constructive to talk about issues from events with the aim to help other improve, nothing is gained from only highlighting the negative aspects.

Whilst difficult I learnt more than I ever could have hoped during my placement year, it was only through that experience that I knew operations wasn’t the path for me. My skills lie elsewhere!

It was those 12 months that made me determined to challenge myself during my final year and apply for the Eventice (and we all know how much I value that experience), it was 2014 where I put more time into this blog and won the National Blog Award for the best Events blog!

As many of you might be about to start your own placement experience I wanted to give you a few piece of advice/pointers.

It is an actual job. 

Which means you will have to do some tasks that you might not enjoy and sometimes this can be incredibly hard. If you haven’t worked a 9 to 5 job 5 days a week before, along with weekend events, the first few months might take a lot out of you. I’m sorry if I start to sound like your mother but honestly, a routine will help make the mornings easier. Don’t worry I’m not going to tell you to not go out on a school night – just try to get a few early(ish) nights in!

Mistakes happen to everyone. 

You will encounter days when you really don’t want to be there and you will, most likely, make some mistakes both big and small that will leave you doubting your own abilities. However, everyone makes mistakes, no matter what position or level people hold. And along with these days, you will also have some of the most exciting, rewarding and incredible ones.

You will gain an immense amount of knowledge and contacts, get to work on some incredible events and meet some of the nicest clients/colleagues/event professionals in the whole world – who will make doing the job one of the best!

Comparison gets you nowhere. 

The worst thing you can do on placement is to compare your experience to others! Everyone’s placement experience is different and whilst it may look like other people are having a better time with their placement you don’t know the level of responsibility they get or how they are treated within the company! Yes, they may get to work at a really cool well-known event – but doing what?

Seriously don’t worry about how others are getting on, concentrate on you.

Don’t let things fester. 

I think the hardest thing to do whilst on placement is to know how to deal with issues when they come up. In fact, this is still something I struggle with to this day. It is hard to tackle issues, especially when it involves people you work with daily.

This is most likely because you will never have had dealt with those type of issues before, plus they might be uncomfortable to talk about. My placement year involved some tough conversations about money I was owed after I left, and yes I still struggle with this today! BUT, with any problem you might face, you need to deal with it straight away. If you wait the problem with only grow bigger and cause you more stress.

Take the plunge and face the issue. It will never be as bad as you imagine!

Now if you’re about to start your placement year & are documenting it – please let me know! I really love reading these (a great example of a blog series is Cheyanne Dawson’s Placement Diary)


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