Hello and welcome back to my blog. My name is Chris, and I am currently doing a 12-month work placement at Alcentra in London as part of my Economics course.

Something that I think is worth discussing is all of the opportunities outside of the day-to-day work that come with doing a placement. A placement is in most cases totally unique, unlike any module you study where there may be 200 others being taught exactly the same as you; you will likely be the only student in the team, and as such what you learn will, in the best way, St Pauls Cathedral domebe totally up to you. In my opinion this is what sets this course apart, that everyone gets a slightly different experience based on the company you work for and the people you work with. I’d therefore like to take a moment to discuss some of the fabulous opportunities available to you.

One thing I hadn’t realised before starting placement was the number of conferences I would be able to attend. In September last year there was the Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan Loan Market conferences. These were all day events with a plethora of speakers on various topics including Macro and industry specific outlooks as well as keynote speakers including Jamie Dimon, Zak Brown and Rory Stewart. Whilst a lot of the learning you will do on placement comes from the day to day job, conferences provide an opportunity to hear some different perspectives on the market as well as, of course, networking opportunities.

Networking opportunities:
Perhaps the most obvious, but something that should not be underestimated, is networking opportunities. We recently had a University of Bath HSS Placement networking event which was a great opportunity to cat London buildings at night with their lights on ch up with other people on our course. This was organised by the University and free to attend for all. Additionally, I also recently attended a networking event set up by other people on my course which was for people whose Placement was within the Asset Management space. Both events were very interesting also to compare experiences on placement with my fellow students. One thing to note: I was contacted via email about both of these events so a top tip is to always be checking your university email for events such as these.

Another great thing to do on placement is to catch up with your colleagues over a cup of tea of coffee. Even if this is only for half an hour, it is always good to get to know your colleagues better as well as them being able to give you advice based on their experiences of working at the company. Roof terrace balcony with a sunset In terms of getting to know people, the reality is that you are going to be spending a lot of time working with the people in your team, so to know what they’re interested in outside of work is always good for a quick chat. On the experience side, you will meet many successful people in your year of placement, so to discuss with them they’re career path can be very interesting, and to find out any tips they can give you as you are starting out in your career.

Work social events:
A final thing I would like to touch on is work organised social events. The most well know of these, of course, is the office Christmas Party. Similar to the Coffee point above, it is a great way to meet more of the people you work with on a daily basis, in a more informal setting. Take this as an opportunity to get to know them better on a personal level, naturally, the better you get on with your colleagues, the better you will work together. Around Christmas time I also went with my team to the Morgan Stanley Lev Fin Christmas Quiz (which we won) and this was another opportunity to do something fun at the end of the year. What I am trying to say is that on placement year you will never be short of opportunities to get involved in things with your colleagues, so seize every opportunity that comes your way and make sure you make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

Posted in: Department of Economics, Placements


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