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Will a placement year help?

#1 Will a placement year help?
27/04/2012 19:32


I have a final interview with a top 5 insurance firm in their IT department; the placement will last for a year. Recently, I've been having doubts about taking a year out.. the reasons I want a year out are purely because I want to gain some real world business experience and take a break from studying.

Would this placement be beneficial in securing graduate management consulting jobs upon gradation? Or will they simply ask me why Insurance? Why not a placement in Consulting? (The reason I didn't get a placement in a consultancy firm is because I applied late). Also, bare in mind I have no real valuable experience on my CV and have failed to secure a summer internship.

The firms I wish to apply for upon graduation are the likes of Big 4, Accenture, PA, IBM, Mercer, etc


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#2 RE: Will a placement year help?
29/04/2012 13:06

Undergrad123 to Undergrad123 (#1)


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#3 RE: Will a placement year help?
29/04/2012 20:46

nbomb to Undergrad123 (#2)

From my perspective this is a no-brainer. Any industry experience you can get will be looked on favourably by management consultancies in their graduate recruitment. The nature of consulting means a wide set of skills and experiences are needed and anything you can do to get on your CV to make you stand out would be useful.

This is true for all graduate jobs, not just consulting, so would set you up well even if you decide to pursue an alternative career path.

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#4 RE: Will a placement year help?
30/04/2012 08:06

marsday to Undergrad123 (#1)

if you do this you need to consider a few points.

If this is during your undergraduate degree and its not a placement year as part of your course you'll going to get asked some probing questions about why you didnt do a degree with a formal placement year, and they will look closely at your performance record in that year. Be aware that a poor year out will reflect badly on you as showing poor judgement, not doing your research and of course showing poor performance in a commercial environment. But do well and it will certainly show you in the best possible light.

As for not going to a consulting firm, dont tell them you left it too late - come up with something more compelling such as you wanted to get some industry exposure before going into consulting etc.

All in all though I like your approach - just be sure to go back and finish that degree after the year, dont get tempted away by making some money and having a job and not getting your degree.

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#5 RE: Will a placement year help?
30/04/2012 11:33

abc123 to Undergrad123 (#1)

I took a year out as part of my undergraduate degree and worked in logistics/procurement at an FMCG. The experience was invaluable, and just learning the ropes of working in a professional environment will really help you when it comes to applying for a graduate role (especially if you University's reputation isn't as strong as other candidates). Also, I ran my own business for a short time while at University and this was seen in a very positive light - see if you can do something on the side while you are studying (without affecting your grades, of course).

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#6 RE: Will a placement year help?
01/05/2012 14:23

Undergrad123 to abc123 (#5)

Appreciate the advice guys, thank you!

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#7 RE: Will a placement year help?
08/05/2012 13:41

briankg88 to Undergrad123 (#6)

Thanks for sharing your advice.

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#8 RE: Will a placement year help?
11/05/2012 19:31

Undergrad123 to marsday (#4)

Hello again.

Just an update, I now possess an offer from the top 5 Insurance company in their IT department AND one for Kantar Worldpanel in operations. I just just wondering whether it matters which one I choose?

The insurance company will provide a slightly higher salary and work revolves around business analysis and project management, with loads of room to get involved in either one whilst the placement with Kantar is in a fixed area and they have admitted it will be fairy repetitive (Pretty much analyzing data and creating reports for big big clients i.e. coca cola).

Need help choosing which one to do now!

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#9 RE: Will a placement year help?
13/05/2012 20:29

abc123 to Undergrad123 (#8)

Absolutely go to insurance. Financial services experience is going to be very valuable, and you'll learn some valuable core skills in a BA and PM role.

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