On Tuesday night I attended Henley Business School poster fair held in the university’s student union. The idea of the poster fair was to give the returning placement students a chance to reflect on their past year working in the business environment and offer advice to second years considering apply.
Although I am currently in my final year and made the decision to not do a placement, speaking to the students and looking at their posters really made me feel that if I had the opportunity again I would reconsider making this choice. All of the students were extremely welcoming whether it was answering questions, giving advice, and to just generally talk about their time working. It actually ended up inspiring me to get the ball rolling when applying for graduate positions.
Moreover, there was such a huge range of employers, like Oracle, Walt Disney, and Microsoft for example. But it was not only just these large companies, but there were also smaller organisations as well and even placements abroad – which I hadn’t even considered!
I really felt that the placement poster fair gave second-year students the opportunity to talk about what working in a placement is really like and hearing it from their peers makes the whole situation far less intimidating.
From the students I spoke to there was not a negative thing to be said, and I found it interesting that everybody had different things that they enjoyed and took away from their experiences. They do truly care about what they had done.
After the two-hour fair we moved next door to start the awards show. This was the first year that Henley Business School has hosted this event and I thought it was a huge success! The careers staff had contacted employers to ask about their thoughts on the students and from this, and the posters created, they awarded the highest achieving students. There were also employers that came to see the awards ceremony and to spend some time speaking to their placement students. The awards given out were: overall placement of the year, the biggest impact during the placement year, best overall development, and best legacy during a placement year. These awards showcase a variety of different skills and show that the students really did leave their mark at the organisations they were working for. The general vibe in the room was filled with excitement, I think it felt like a way to add closure to their year in industry. These awards were a good way of rewarding those who represented the university and Henley Business School, because it is a massive achievement to be able to say they have done!
Overall, throughout the course of the evening, I was really pleased to be given the chance to talk to students about their time on the year abroad and see the awards ceremony. I think it is a really beneficial activity and to the students reading this thinking of applying next year – it is an evening definitely worth your time!