Hi guys! I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas. Slightly weird post this time as I’m actually writing this from the UK nearing the end of my incredibly long Christmas/semester break. I am definitely so excited to be returning to Vienna next week.
Towards the end of last semester, I started applying for industrial placements to add in to my course before returning to Sheffield for my final year. The main reason I picked the IBM course at Sheffield was actually because it was the only University I could find that offered the opportunity to complete both a year abroad and a placement. I was so surprised to find out that I’ll be only the 2nd person on this course to do both, so I just thought I would share my experience of the application process with you all to encourage you to consider doing the same as me!
So, I started applying for placements towards the end of November which was fairly hard to manage with my final exams of the semester, but definitely doable. To be honest, most of the application deadlines weren’t until the end of December/January so it worked out perfectly with the holidays. If you’re worried you won’t be able to attend interview/assessment centres due to being abroad, don’t be! These days most of the application process is carried out online and I was therefore able to do telephone interviews and videos whilst in Vienna. Although, even if you do need to fly back, the company tends to pay for your travel expenses. Logistically, there have been no issues for me during this whole process (if anything the long holiday has been ideal!). Throughout the whole recruitment process I was able to talk about my experiences abroad, which was so helpful. Not only was I able to talk about my interest in international business, but also my ability to work in multicultural groups which is definitely a selling point.
Now comes the bragging… but I promise I’m only mentioning it to show you all how amazing the year abroad looks on your CV and application. I was lucky enough to be offered a Marketing placement at the FMCG Giant Unilever. Some of you might be reading that with a blank expression, but I’m sure you’re all familiar with Ben & Jerry’s, Dove, Lynx, Marmite, Persil, Domestos and PG Tips, to name a few! Well, Unilever owns all of those brands. I was also invited to the final stages for Microsoft, Hyundai, Bosch and Panasonic but was unable to accept these due to my place at Unilever. So, my advice to all of you considering doing IBM instead of another normal Business Management course – please do! Not only will you have the most amazing time but you’ll also make yourself much more employable.
I should also add that I also took the decision to work for a year in a junior office role before attending University and I also do some temporary office work in the summer holidays – I have been working at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles during my semester break. It’s therefore also a good idea to make the most of your time away from Uni to gain some valuable work experience. Don’t underestimate how important work experience is for a Business undergraduate’s CV.
Sorry to deviate away from the usual study abroad blog post, but I thought it might be something interesting to share with anyone that was considering a year in industry, like me.
I will keep you updated with how the next semester goes as much as possible!