The value of a placement year in marketing

The number of people attending university now has increased drastically in the past 50 years from just 2% to nearly 50%. At the same time, last year, the drop in recruitment of graduates was the biggest annual fall since 2009 and was substantially lower than expected. Although this could be due to the uncertainty of Brexit, it still makes graduate job prospects look rather dull.

However, don’t be disheartened. A placement year can be a huge step in making yourself stand out against the increasing competition. In the world of business, particularly in industries like marketing, I believe theory is simply not enough. It’s all about how you can put that theory into practice. As a present intern myself, I’m experiencing this first hand and have come up with a list of reasons why I believe a placement year could be crucial for future job security.

It increases your chances of getting a graduate job

54% of graduates hired by the ‘Top Undergraduate Employers’ consisted of previous placement students and interns. A lot of companies that provide placements will strongly consider their previous interns/placement students for future job vacancies. Ultimately, you’ve been working at that company and will know it a lot better than a new applicant. They’ve put time and resources into you so would consider this an advantage compared to other candidates.

It gives you evidence to back up your key skills 

A year in industry gives you a lot of opportunities to develop key employability skills, so you’re able to actually put context behind ‘good at working in teams’. You can include less generic skills as well that could help in getting the job you want post graduation.

It improves your fourth year grade

UK students who did a sandwich year are 12 times more likely to obtain a good degree than those who didn’t. Not only this but you will most likely improve your verbal and written skills during your time on placement as well as your self-confidence.

It creates contacts and allows you to test drive your career

You can meet all sorts of people during your year out- contacts that could be useful to you in your future career. Make the most of every opportunity and really put your all into it. It also gives you the chance to see if this really is the career path you want to go down. It’s a great opportunity to test drive the career you’re considering.

You can adjust to working life

It might not seem significant but it really is. Going from waking up (basically) whenever you wanted to and watching Netflix for hours on end to having a set routine can be a shock to the system. Doing a placement year can help you to adjust to the working life so when you graduate you feel fully prepared to get started and you know what it’s all about.

It could also help you out in fourth year as you’re so used to having a routine, you’ll find you’re probably a lot more productive and fit a lot more work in.

Why Banana Kick?

And of course, I couldn’t have secured myself a better placement than at BK. An agency is where I really wanted to be and after only 3 months, already know an agency is where I want to be in the future.

I work with some great and varying clients and when they tell you no one day is ever the same, I fully understand this now- one day I’m ordering 100 Die Hard DVDs, the next I’m helping to interview England rugby league players. I’ve been given real responsibility, been thrown into it all and not treated as an ‘intern’ but one of the team.

If you want to be an intern next year at BK, there’s under a week left to apply to our intern programme. Read more about it here: