Careers Advice

How to balance uni work with your placement search

With dissertation deadlines looming, or exams appearing on the horizon, balancing your university work with your placement search is key. One of ScotGrad’s Programme Managers, Kelly Barbour, shares her top tips.

Published: 24/02/2017

It’s essential to knuckle down in your studies to make sure you get the best results, but it’s also important to look forward and get your foot on the career ladder. By following the simple steps below, you can strike the perfect balance between academia and your placement search.

Make time

Squeezing in studying, coursework, social events and part-time jobs often means applying for graduate positions is left to one side. But by building in time for applications to your schedule, even if it’s only for half an hour, twice a week, will mean you can focus solely on your career for that time.  Mark it out in your diary and treat it as a break from your studies.

Once you’ve allocated the time you’re going to spend on your placement application, it’s important you make the most of it. Whether it’s reading up on different sectors you’re interested in, crafting the perfect CV, or checking out the latest placements, make sure you’re using your precious time wisely.

Goals = rewards

Set yourself goals for what you want to achieve and reward yourself when you accomplish them. Everybody is driven by incentives of some description, so by offering yourself a reward for completing tasks. Whether your reward is a watching an episode of your favourite show, lunch out, or even an extra 10 minutes scrolling through Instagram, make sure to treat yourself and stay motivated.

Focus your search

Think about what excites and interests you, where you want to work, where your skills lie, and where you see your career going. Once you have a clear handle on what you want to do, you can avoid wasting time and effort on applying for roles that might not be right for you.

Use university resources

Universities are not just where you go to for lectures, they are there to prepare you for the rest of your life, and as such, have excellent careers services. As well as having expert advisors on site, universities hold regular careers fairs, giving you the chance to meet employers and find out more about the variety of roles available. Set aside time to attend a careers fair and come say hello to the ScotGrad team.

Maximise your search

You can keep up-to-date with all of the latest available placements on the ScotGrad website, but to make sure you don’t miss the ideal role for you, sign up to receive our alerts and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.