Praise’s Placement Experience
As an international student learning and applying for a placement amidst a global pandemic was a very unusual yet interesting journey. One I am glad I embarked on a stretching yet rewarding experience.
I am currently a 4th year BSc Accounting with IPE Student, this means that my 1st year was interrupted by the pandemic and in the space of a couple of days normal was redefined for me. I had to head home before the lockdown, learning went from face to face to virtual, adjusting was not the easiest of things, but there was no alternative. As the days went by, little by little, I found a rhythm and eventually 1st year ended. I knew although I had found a rhythm I could work with, I wanted to be back in my learning environment. I returned to Manchester after almost 6 months to begin 2nd year. So, this was a fully virtual year, the impact of COVID was greatly felt by organisations and so if anything, a greater majority of the firms I could do a placement with were downsizing and so this meant opportunities were slimmer and being international further reduced the places I could apply to as fewer firms had vacancies for international students.
However, as the days went by, I pushed regardless, trying to balance my second year modules with having to do placement applications. On many days, I failed at finding a balance but in the process, I learned prioritizing. I built structures to enable me to make it for my deadlines both academically and in relation to placement applications. In the end, after prayers, tears, sweat, sleepless nights, series of rejection letters, I did get a placement. It had happened in the most unconventional way through maximizing the different resources around, from placement mentors, to peer mentors, to academic advisors, to career events. The twists and turns have led me here and I am grateful, along the way I have worked with the most amazing set of people, I have learned communicating better and being resilient. I learned that being faithful in little opens the doorway for greater opportunities. At the end of the day, every employer wants someone who is teachable, it is not expected of you to know everything, but it is required of you to be willing to learn on the job and be flexible, asking questions and implementing quickly. More than we realise, people are willing to help, and no question is silly. In the end, there is one common goal, to see that the job is done with utmost excellence.
Although so much has changed between the years, I believe some things remained the same regardless. To the ones still looking for a placement, keep at it! It does get better, I promise. Remember, a rejection letter does not mean that you are failure, it only means that you are not the right fit for the company and in the end, you will get one where you are the right fit and you will be glad you waited. If you stop applying now, how would “your” firm get to meet and know you? To the one who has a received an offer letter, congratulations on your new role, make this a worthy investment. Give it your best, mediocrity is not an option. You worked hard to get here, just because you are here does not mean the work is over. It has only just begun but in a different capacity. Excellence is a moving target.
Written by current student, Praise