Sarah Barrett is Placements Administrator at Lord Ashcroft International Business School. She talks about the value of the Business School's intern programme, which helps students get practical, real-world work experience.
My name is Sarah. You may not have met me yet as I only started as Placements Administrator for Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS) a couple of weeks before Christmas, but if you are a LAIBS student in Cambridge or Chelmsford, it is quite likely that you have already had an email from me or seen a post on the LAIBS Facebook page. Most recently I have been contacting students about the fantastic new LAIBS Intern Programme!
Although I am still technically the new girl in the office it doesn’t feel like it. The time is flying by and I am already hard at work contacting employers and students about work placement opportunities for LAIBS students, as well as promoting the LAIBS Intern Programme and the Undergraduate Research Assistant work experience opportunities.
My role is to support LAIBS students in a competitive market where a degree is no longer enough. Practical experience in the area you are interested in will make you stand out to prospective employers, which is where placements come in. Performing well in a placement can even lead to a job at the end of it. Moreover, a work placement is an opportunity for you to put the theory you have learned on your course into practice and develop a new set of skills. Statistically, students who have completed a work placement as part of their course go on to achieve higher grades and better degrees!
But getting a work placement or internship can be really competitive, particularly with the big multinational companies, and local internships and placements can be hard to find. I am here to help you. I am working to develop placement links with local companies, a couple of which have already agreed to take on LAIBS students this semester, including Worldpay (Cambridge) and SPDNS Nursecare (Chelmsford). We have also teamed up with Barclays bank and have loads of new opportunities in the pipeline. Keep an eye out on the LAIBS Facebook page and check your student email for new placement opportunities being advertised and detail of how to apply.
And it doesn’t stop there! Once I have received your application and it is shortlisted I can help you to prepare for your interview and where to go for practical advice. I will also be there to support you for the duration of the placement.
Whether you want a placement at a big multinational company or a small- to medium-sized local business, I will be providing information on how and when to apply, and what to do for the best chance of success. Information on national placements will be also be available soon so watch this space…
If you would like any tips or advice about applying for placements in the meantime, please get in touch.
My main advice to students thinking about a work placement is: ‘Go for it!’ It’s your chance to find out what you like, maybe more importantly what you don’t. It’s an opportunity for you to experience the working world and to realise your potential.
I hope that this is a good introduction to me, the type of thing that I do and the benefits of doing a work placement! I will continue to keep you posted.