• Firstly, do you have a suitable opportunity?

Whatever the nature of the placement (other than work shadowing where a student’s contribution to your organisation will be minimal), it’s a good idea to give the student something defined to achieve. Having project outcomes to work towards will allow the student to add real value to your organisation while giving them practical experience. Examples might include:

A live brief for a group of students
A short placement

An industrial/sandwich/year-long placement

  • Having identified what you’d like a student to do, you need to find the right candidate!
  • Put together your job advert. Put yourself in the shoes of your perfect candidate…what will appeal to them about working with you? Make your requirements clear so that they know what’s on offer, and don’t forget details of salary (download National Minimum Wage rules relating to placements), length of placement and start date, working hours, details of how to apply and your closing date (this can always change depending on response rates).
  • Feel free to call us for a chat about your plans on 01443 482080. If you’re looking for a student or students from a particular course, we can put you in touch with our faculty-based Placement Officers.
  • If your requirements are less specific, promote your work experience opportunity to our students through our UniLife Connect online jobs (Login using the button in the top left hand corner of this screen). We welcome employers onto campus to talk directly to students, too – if you’d like to run a presentation, complete the 'Run a Workshop or Skills Session' form in the left hand menu.
  • Receive applications and undertake your chosen recruitment process. Appoint perfect placement student!

  • Prepping for Day One
  • Remember this might be your student’s first experience of your type of working environment and culture. Before their first day, set out your expectations, ideally in writing – dress code, your specific ‘office etiquette’, lunch arrangements and the like.

  • Day One of Placement
  • On day one, try to treat your student as you would any other new member of the team. Take them through your standard induction process – not forgetting Health and Safety considerations, rules of conduct, sickness reporting, your IT set up, accident/hazard reporting procedures, first aid arrangements and any job specific safety matters.
  • Introduce your placement student to a mentor or supervisor. They will feel much more confident if they know they have a dedicated point of contact for any concerns or questions.

  • Ongoing Management of the Placement
  • Remember that students will be accustomed to a certain level of supervision in their academic life, so it may be advisable to closely observe their activity at first. Ensure that the aims and objectives you have set for them are being met within your set deadlines.
  • The student may be obliged to keep a journal as a part of their course. This is a good way for them to keep track of their progress and reflect on their professional development. If you’d like some more information on this, download a sample journal template and guidance on completing a journal.
  • If the student is completing a year-long placement as a part of their course, you should expect some contact from academic staff who will organise to visit the student on your premises, at least once during their time with you.
  • If you have any issues which can’t be resolved in-house, contact us on 01443 482080.

  • End of Placement and Going Forward
  • Please do provide us - and your placement student – with thorough feedback on their performance and to us, of the placement process overall. Of course we hope (and expect) that your first experience of working with a placement student will have been positive and productive. If this is the case, please consider becoming one of our regular placement providers. This is a great way of developing a relationship with the University. If you think there are things that we could have done better, we want to know that too.
  • Many of our placement students maintain an association with their placement hosts on their return to their final year of study. Some might work within the organisation on a flexible, part-time basis alongside their academic commitments. The most successful students are quite often offered the opportunity to return to the organisation on a permanent basis upon graduation.

For more information: 

Information from the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills: Providing quality internships: guidance for employers and interns