Placement search essentials: patience and perseverance

So you’ve made some applications and feel you’re not getting very far very quickly.  Don’t worry! In our latest blog Maja Brzezinska, BA (Hons) Business Management, details her placement search, the moment she nearly gave up and why she’s glad she didn’t.

Placement student Maja Brzezinska

Hello! My name is Maja and I’m studying BA (Hons) Business Management, currently on placement with as a Marketing Assistant. I know how confused many of you feel right now – have a quick read on my placement struggle story from last year. Enjoy!

Don’t give up (so easily) on your placement search! I know it’s easy to say when you have your placement secured but believe me, I wasn’t so confident a few months ago! Let me guess, you went to (almost) all placement talks and you’re fascinated and overwhelmed at the same time, well I’ve been there! So many great opportunities, all you need to do is apply…? Not exactly… it’s time to realise the placement search is not as stress-free as you think it will be.

In May 2014 I thought that the easiest way would be to just give up on my placement search. I just wished it all to be over, to be honest – I had enough. I think everyone feels the same way at this stage. I applied to over 20 placements and received four interview invitations, which is not a bad score – believe me! I thought that every single interview went great. Even once I could literally smell my placement offer – I bet a lot of people had the same feeling before, and then a phone call: ‘Unfortunately’… you know the drill, right?

After a few rejections, hours of preparations, application forms and telephone interviews, I decided to take break and focus on my assignments. (Be careful – I have spent so much time on my placement search and preparation that I barely was able to keep up with my uni work!) I think it helped me to pull myself together again and just to clear my mind. After a few months, I had a final look at MMU’s placement vacancy system. As I’m studying Business Management, I mainly applied to business based roles, however that day I noticed a very interesting offer within a marketing department. I sent my CV and cover letter and after 10 minutes I got an email back inviting me to attend an interview!

Honestly, I went through so many difficult and exhausting interviews that I wasn’t scared anymore… well, maybe a little bit. I felt confident though as my previous interviews have given me lots of practice, even when you’re rejected it’s still excellent experience. I was able to improve my confidence, team work skills and professionalism. I learnt from my mistakes and on my very last interview I knew exactly what to do, to simply… impress. I was informed that I would have to wait about a month for the decision – imagine my surprised face when after two weeks I received a placement offer from! is the UK’s largest independent online beauty retailer offering well-known brands across the world such as Illamasqua. I do feel amazing working at as part of a team with such a wide responsibility and excellent opportunities. I’m now so glad that I didn’t get the previous placements as I can’t imagine myself elsewhere.

My top tip? I know it’s difficult to stand out – of course you should participate in additional activities in order to have an outstanding CV, but most importantly just be believable by being yourself. Employers want to see your personality and your passion – they want to see that you’re passionate about the business in the same way as they are!

One more thing! Don’t necessarily look for a placement in your ‘profession’ – search for other opportunities as well. I’ve now officially decided to do Business with Marketing in my final year!


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