My Year as a Placement Student at Slingshot
23rd March, 2017
The novelty of graduating university has decreased substantially this last decade. As the number of millennials attending university increases, the value of being a university graduate has dwarfed. If a post-graduate walked into an interview claiming they deserved the job role because he or she had a degree, employers would laugh and say ‘you and a million others’.
The only thing that’s increased from university are the expenses of attending the education system and the level of competition in finding a job post-graduation. 10 years ago, It was almost a guaranteed deal in finding a job after University – those graduates didn’t find themselves with their backs up against the wall like this contemporary generation does today.
As an undergraduate I’ve learnt that a degree simply doesn’t cut it anymore.
The real value lies within acquiring hands on, tangible experience through embarking on a placement year. Students need to be able to provide employers with sufficient evidence that both supports and reassures, you can get the job done.
One way or another, acquiring work experience is critical in the process of becoming employable; and I drew the most benefit is working in a smaller organisation.
I cannot stress enough how working in a smaller firm has affected my professional development for the better. My understanding on how the entire agency operates strengthened as I was an integral part of the team. In a big company, you become a cog in a piece of machinery and never truly achieve full awareness to your impact – having that lack of insight to your progression indefinitely detriments your experience as an intern.
The Key Thing I’ve learnt:
Passion over credential. I had zero experience prior to working with Slingshot and minimal knowledge on sponsorship, yet my passion to learn allowed me to develop quickly and become a valuable asset to the agency – drive can’t be bought, but knowledge can be taught.
The Top 3 Favourite Things about My Job:
- Numerous role opportunities. Operating within a small team provided me with the chance to perform every job role which offered me and understanding for what career I’d want to specialise in for the future.
- Creating relationships. Focusing on sales allowed me to build rapport with various clients and individuals both nationally and internationally that has not only helped me grow in confidence but has opened my world up to potential opportunity.
- Unrivalled insight. Working with a sponsorship agency that taps into all sectors meant that I’ve had the pleasure of working across various industries, which kept my experience interesting and refreshing. This allowed me to harness a much broader understanding of the realm of business.
What I Thought Before Work And Now:
I never expected to love work. It wasn’t until I began to see results that the obsession grew. From a sporting background myself, I was always competitive and those characteristics are easily transferable – the office is my new playground and my highs are found from achieving above and beyond from what is expected.
What I’ll miss the most:
Being pushed from my comfort zone. It wasn’t until Slingshot I realised my true potential. Being in an environment where I’m constantly motivated and expected to deliver helped me understand how vital it is to stay clear of what’s familiar or easy because you’ll never grow as an individual.
Although a degree certifies your knowledge in the field, applying your knowledge whilst earning a wealth of experience and building a vast network of contacts is critical to the early stages of your career. It’s ultimately what you do now that affects your future and Slingshot was my stepping stone.