The Career Hub is an extended work placement programme that provides Level 3 students with structured and substantial industry experience. As a growing part of their full-time GC course, this element of their qualification provides excellent work opportunities in businesses around the county. The placement is one day a week for the duration of the year, giving students the chance to gain experience and confidence in the world of work.
We caught up with Rhia Hill, who had a placement at Hazlewoods Accounting during her Business Level 3 course at the College.
How did you get involved with the Career Hub work placement?
Before the second year of my Business Level 3 course, I was approached by the careers team following a conversation with one of my tutors about my future career. They had been approached by Hazlewoods regarding a placement opportunity to do with the new GDPR legislation, and so the careers team and the business tutors liaised to find the best fit for the role, and thought it would suit me.
How did you get your work placement?
I was shortlisted alongside some other candidates that they thought would appreciate the opportunity. I then attended an interview at Hazlewoods with their Risk Administrator. It wasn’t just a given that I’d get the placement, it was important for all parties involved that the placement was a right for both, so we were interviewed as you would a real job.
What was your role?
My role was to assist the Risk team in the implementation of GDPR. I loved it because it was so varied, I don’t think I ever had a day that was the same as the previous one. Towards the end of the placement, I was able to attend the Risk Committee meetings to present our findings, as well as creating the training materials, working alongside the marketing team.
How did the work placement work alongside your course?
Part of my course involved undertaking 80 hours of Continuous Professional Development (CPD), so I had one day a week scheduled to accommodate my work placement. The way the rest of my timetable was set up allowed me to offer extra time on a different day if needed. Hazlewoods were also able to support the units that I was doing at college by giving me different work to supplement what I was learning as well as enabling me to hot-desk in different departments to give me exposure to how various teams operate.
What were the benefits to you personally in undertaking a work placement?
The main benefit for me personally was that I was able to network and improve skills required for an office based career, which meant that I earned a training contract with Hazlewoods after my placement ended. I now work for Hazlewoods as an AAT trainee.
What support did you get during your placement?
I was considered part of the company, and so I had the same support as any other employee. In addition, you have all of the support from the college – your tutors, your mentor, the careers team. You also have support from those you work with at your placement. They know that you’re there to learn and are more than happy to help facilitate this.
What are your 3 top tips for when doing a work placement?
- You get out what you put in. If you don’t value the opportunity you’ve been given, you won’t get the same chances as someone who does.
- Ask questions. Whilst no question is a stupid question, listen to the answer you’re given, learn from it, and apply it. Answers to the questions you ask may be useful in later life, so you may be learning life skills not just job skills.
- Make friends! You’re going to be spending time with the people you work with, so you might as well make it as pleasant as possible. Also, you never know when connections and contacts will come in handy.
Why would you recommend others to do a work placement?
You learn things that you’d never learn at a Saturday job or in a classroom. You meet people that you may never have done without it. You could open doors that you thought were closed and locked for you. Why wouldn’t you want to?
What did you do after your work placement had finished?
After my placement, I started my 28 month AAT training contract with Hazlewoods. I hope to be qualified in two to three years and train as a chartered accountant in the next five to seven years.
For more information on the Career Hub, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01452 563220