Welcome to my first student blog post. I am a second-year BSc Management with Marketing student, drowning in work but loving every second of it. As you may know, the University of Bath’s School of Management is renowned for their various ‘thick’ and ‘thin’ sandwich degrees. The thick sandwich degree structure, entails is a ‘juicy’ year out working in an industry relevant to your course; an industrial placement. These placements are invaluable experiences that stand you in good stead for future graduate job applications.
In contrast, the thin-sandwich degree structure is ideal for students who wish to fulfil more work placements of a shorter timespan throughout their course period. These placements often take place over one semester. The University encourages students to enrol in a sandwich course structure and have established an incredible support system for the application process. This post will hopefully provide you with some inside details on how the thick sandwich degree Industrial Placement application process is carried out and possibly convince you to choose this type of degree.
A bit about the University of Bath support for placement students …
There are three fundamental elements that support the Industrial Placement Application Process; Mock Applications, lectures as part of your Personal Development Program (PDP), and a Placement Team specific to your course. In addition to these support systems, the University has a general Careers Centre and hosts many on-campus company presentations, events and Careers Fairs. All of these are great opportunities to take advantage of and are useful to you when seeking and applying for a placement; be sure to make the most of them if you come to Bath to study Management. Furthermore, if you are unsure of which company or industry you would like to work in they are geared to assist you and guide you.
It is currently the week of my mock interviews; the second stage of the mock application process. The first stage of this application process involves sending my CV and cover letter; which I worked on throughout my first year at University. The Placements Team sends feedback on CVs during the summer holidays, and this helped to ensure that I was prepared to start second year off with a stellar application just waiting to be sent out. My interview is tomorrow and I feel well prepared having attended the University Careers Fair where I spoke to my mock company to get an idea of what they look for in a prospective student. In addition, I have attended all of my course specific PDP sessions which are really good at helping to create that special cover letter, develop interview skills and guide you on how to be successful in the application process.
Interacting with Companies on campus…
Many PDP sessions are led by external speakers from various UK firms. These professionals aim to present their company principles and values while giving valuable tips for the application process ahead. I recently attended a Slimfast session on ‘Networking while on your placement’. Here I learnt some keys facts about the firm, developed my understanding of the importance of networking and how to go about it in a professional manner (as well as getting my hands on some great freebies).
In addition to these compulsory PDP sessions, we have many opportunities to attend various optional sessions. Some of the optional sessions which I attended include; a PwC Presentation on Psychometric Testing and a MARS presentation on why sustainability is a strong focus in their company. Your placements team works hard to ensure that there is something for everyone; they are persistent in posting about opportunities to ‘meet the firm’ at company presentations and networking events. A highlight from my second year so far has been the pizza and networking event arranged by the Placements Team wherein returning Industrial Placement students and students currently seeking placements were able to gain some personal insight and tips on company placements whilst socialising over pizza. A great way to network.
Get involved with societies that improve your employability…
Here at Bath, there is a diverse and exciting range of societies that have all sorts of weird and wonderful things to offer and can really help to boost your employability. Among these societies are the business-related ones such as The University of Bath Management Society, Enactus, Women in Business and Bath Entrepreneurs. These groups are geared to enhance your employability by sharing external company events and competitions and hosting speakers to stimulate your entrepreneurial mind. In addition, they hold socials in the beautiful City of Bath; so, there is a work hard/play hard mentality if that interests you.
For the entrepreneurs out there…
For those of you that are keen entrepreneurs, Bath Entrepreneurs and Enterprise Bath are two groups to look out for during your time at university. Enterprise Bath hold many entrepreneurial competitions such as Apps Crunch, The Business Plan Competition and Dragons’ Den. If you have a business or app idea that you would like to develop, be it in a group or individually, then these are just for you.
On that note, did you know that you can use your own business as your Industrial Placement! This has been done before and has proven to be an incredible hands-on experience in which you gain practical skills, immensely develop a business-like mind and create something of your own at the same time. Bath alumni Rob Huysinga did exactly this on his 6 month BBA placement where he co-founded the company Pan-N-Ice. Who knows, maybe this could be you one day.
Well, there you have it, insight on the Bath University Industrial Placement Process. I hope that this blog post assists you in understanding the ‘thick sandwich’ degree at Bath and for current students reading this; good luck with your applications!