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Finding the right placement for you

What you need from a placement is equally as important as what your employer needs from you. ScotGrad Programme Manager for Graduate Engagement, Kelly Barbour, discusses some things to consider when applying for your placement.

Published: 30/11/2016

While an interview is all about showing why you are right for the role, you also have to consider if the placement is the right fit for you. Some background work will make sure you’re looking for the most suitable role for you, your development and career aspirations. Here are a couple of things to contemplate before applying for your placement:

Type of work experience

Depending on your free time and the stage you’re at in your education, you will have to consider what type of placement will work best for you.

Are you looking for a full time graduate role? Or a summer placement between semesters?

Each will have their own benefits and both will look impressive on your CV.

Career aspirations

The career you want to pursue after your studies should influence the placement you are looking for. ScotGrad works with a range of organisations across many sectors, with new roles every week – sign up for placement alerts to ensure your hear about them first.

Whether you know exactly what you want to do, or just have a vague idea, a ScotGrad placement should enhance the skills you’ve already got as well as develop some new ones.

Current skills and skill gaps

Assess your current strengths and weaknesses and make a note of the skills you would like to improve during your placement. For example, transferrable skills such as team-building, communication, leadership, or organisation are important as well as sector specific knowledge and activities.

While looking for a placement, keep these in mind and consider if the placement will help you achieve your goals.

Personal preferences

How you work, what you enjoy and the support you are looking for in your placement are all things to think about when looking for work experience.

For example, if you enjoy working in a team and interacting with people, you might want to avoid roles that would mean you’re on your own for long periods of time. Or if you learn best with support from senior colleagues, look for a placement with a mentoring element.


You will need to consider the feasibility of fitting the placement into your life. For example, things to consider are:

  • Where is it? Can you get there by public transport or will you need to drive? If it’s further away, are you in a position to be able to relocate closer to the organisation?
  • How long can you commit? Are you looking for a short-term three month role or are you available for a longer 12 month contract?

If you’re looking for further inspiration, check out our success stories of ScotGrad Associates who have found their ideal placement. Ready to get started? View out current placement opportunities.