Preparing for a placement at college or university

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Health Assured team

23 December 2022

The thought of an upcoming placement can bring up a range of emotions. This might be your first taste of workplace life, which is a big step to take. You might feel apprehensive about this new experience, or maybe you’re excited to put the things you’ve learnt into practice.

As with all new things, your placement will take some time to get used to. So we’ve put together some tips to help you prepare for your placement below.

Get in touch 

Before your placement starts, start a conversation with the person at the organisation you’ll be working with. Drop them an email or give them a call before your start date. Doing this will provide an opportunity to ask any questions you might have, introduce yourself and break the ice before you arrive.

Research the organisation 

Do your research ahead of time and familiarise yourself with the organisation you’ll be joining. Visit their website, browse their LinkedIn profile and look at the kinds of things they do. The more you can get accustomed to the organisation, the more comfortable you’ll feel when you arrive.

Think about what you might need 

The type of placement you’ve chosen will impact what you need to prepare ahead of the day. Think about the clothes you might need to wear or if there’s any equipment you’ll need to bring with you. Preparing these things in advance will help you feel more at ease, allowing you to start looking forward to what’s to come.

Plan your journey 

The last thing you need to be worried about on your first day of placement is how to get there. Plan your journey ahead of time and try to do a practice run before the day if you can. Every small preparation you can make will ease your nerves, allowing you to remain calm and focused on enjoying the experience.

Ask questions

 When you start your placement, don’t be afraid to ask away. No question is a silly question, and if you’re thinking it, someone else probably is too. Asking questions helps you understand how things work and increases connections with others.

Try your best

Remember that you can only try your best. This is likely the first time you’ve done something like this before, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s going to take you some time to get used to these new ways of working. Pushing yourself out of your comfort is a good thing, it will help you grow, learn and gain new experiences. 

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