Why You Shouldn’t Panic if you Don’t Have a Placement

IT’S A POSITION MANY OF US ARE IN, HAVE BEEN IN, OR WILL BE IN. THE PLACEMENT HUNT. HOURS SPENT REFRESHING OUR INBOXES AND JUSTIFYING TO GRILLING INTERVIEW PANELS AS TO WHY WE ARE PERFECT FOR THAT ROLE. BY FEAR NOT, DON’T GIVE UP. IMI BYERS GOES ON TO EXPLAIN WHY…

I probably checked my e-mail about 370 times a day only to be met with no responses from my placement applications. None. Only a few from sports direct trying to tease me into buying some new fancy colourful socks, (which trust me.. It’s been hard to resist).

It’s that time of a year that many of us have experienced or will experience. The nerve-wracking placement application/interview/assessment phase. Gone are the winter months of spending endless hours filling in applications and online tests. Enter the hours spent preparing for interviews and nervously refreshing our inboxes with the excited anticipation of a successful application.

I started my placement search surprisingly early compared to the majority of people on my course. I smugly believed that this would give me a heads up and a better chance of securing a role. I was wrong. Despite slaving over each application for hours and individually tailoring each CV and covering letter to better suit the role, I was met with bitter rejection and disappointment. On the rare occasions I made it to the assessment day and interview stages, but by the beginning of April, none had been successful.

ASSESSMENT DAYS AND INTERVIEWS

The assessment days and interviews had been varied. On two occasions, I left confident that I had performed my best and was perfectly suited for the place. I had loved the working atmosphere, got on with all of the interviewers and current placement students and had enough to talk about in my interview. Unfortunately, none of these were met with success. In fact, both of the companies had no intention of sending me an e-mail informing me that I DIDN’T get the role, thus prolonging my hope and hesitation in applying for more roles. In my opinion, this is one of the rudest things a company can do.

In hindsight, I now am pleased that I didn’t get accepted for the job role and have convinced myself that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it there anyway.

The other assessment day, it was clear from the start that it wasn’t my cup of tea. I found the working atmosphere claustrophobic and judgemental. The office wasn’t in a particularly enchanting area, and the interviewers seemed keen to pick out on every imperfection and flaw I presented. I am now, however, despite a horrible experience, pleased that I had the opportunity to realise that there are some working atmospheres that I would not like to work in, whatever the pay.

DEALING WITH THE DREADED REJECTION

At the end of March I had basically given up hope. I was down to checking my inbox only 200 times a day and had begun to consider the idea of only taking a four week placement instead of a year. I was sick of trying to sell myself at interviews only to be met with rejection. I was also sick with different companies reluctance to contact me about my rejection. It was then, that I had one last call for an interview. One last bash.

On that day, I gave it my all and decided that if I didn’t get the role, it was their problem and not mine (I’m perfect, obviously). I left feeling relieved that I would no longer subject myself to a nerve-wracking interview process. By the time I got home, I was met with missed calls where I had been only hours before. Convinced it was because I forgot something, I rang back straight away, dreading the idea of having to return. Behold, it was finally a placement offer I had been waiting for. Not only is this placement one I know I will enjoy, but everyone on the team seemed friendly and interested in taking on new members. Relieved and pleased doesn’t even describe it.

So my message I guess, to all of you students sick of applying, interviewing and rejection, is keep trying. Companies that don’t get back to you are rude and you don’t want to work for them anyway. Know that every rejection is a way of realising that it wasn’t the right role for you. The right placement is just around the corner, I promise.

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