Employability skills are the most important factor taken into account when businesses recruit graduates – 81 per cent of employers value these skills above degree subject (70 per cent) and class (46 per cent).
Work placements offer huge advantages to students, providing essential work-based skills and experience, enhancing study through real-world knowledge, providing the opportunity to make industry contacts, and helping to develop personal and professional confidence.
The Middlesex University work placements scheme is flexible, giving students two different 36-week options so that it works for them.
"The skills I have gained from this placement have equipped me to establish myself in marketing, branding and communications" - Inayat Patel, BA Marketing
For students who want one focused placement the best option is to take a 36-week placement during the third year. No fees are paid for this year and the final year of study is completed in a fourth year.
The opportunity for students to split their placement into two 18-week blocks allows them to complete their chosen degree in three years while making the most of the summer break. The first segment will be completed between years one and two, with the second between years two and three.
For students who want to enhance their employability skills while studying in their final year this option enables students to work one day per week for a total of 30 days in industry. Or the 30 days can be completed in a six-week block over the summer prior to commencing the final year.
It is important that students discuss placements with their lecturers and the University's Employability Service. Advice on what placement would suit a student's career goals, where to look for these opportunities, the requirements (such as CV writing and interview standards) and how to ace an assessment centre can all be found by talking to your academics and the employability team.
BA Marketing student Inayat Patel (pictured above with Middlesex University Employability Advisor Elaine Elson) took option three and worked at digital marketing agency The Play Studio in London over the summer.
"The placement offered an insight into a module, E-marketing, which I am undertaking during my third year," Inayat says. "It has made it easier, to grasp concepts and frameworks as I have seen them in practice, thus making the module a lot more comprehensible."
As well as enhancing his studies, the placement gave Inayat the chance to apply what he had learnt at Middlesex to real-world situations.
"I was able to measure the influence of the marketing literacy I have developed through my course via the quality of my work," he explains.
The experience has left him full of confidence for his future career in the industry.
"I want to be able to establish myself in marketing, branding and communications and I believe the skills and abilities I have gained from this placement have further equipped me to do so," he adds.