An eye opener to the ‘REAL WORLD’ of work

Applying for a placement year next year? One thought on your mind, scared??

Hearing people in class going to America, London, Spain, Dublin you name it… Little old me sitting there thinking is Armagh too far away for me to travel??? (Thinking about this now, I laugh a LOT)

Having so much at home, family, friends etc I lived in a little bubble of my own, I couldn’t bare thinking about down south at the time never mind overseas! (Serious regret…. I advise to go as FAR away as you can!!)

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I was lucky to apply to my first placement, receive an interview and successfully get it, which isn’t always the case. If you don’t get accepted to your first placement don’t worry for ‘everything happens for a reason’. I learned this the hard way recently and I am still trying to discover the reason!

Whether it be deciding to go into final year without a placement year, a gap year to find yourself, a placement year you despise or a placement year you enjoy and potentially secure a future job with, ‘what is for you won’t go passed you’.

I spent my placement year in McKeevers Chemists, with the most amazing, inspirational woman. At the start the only thing the pair of us had in common was getting dressed up! (Ironic as I am a shopaholic)

Off I went in July, day one, this quiet little girl who sat by the window in the office (I usually can’t sit still or quiet unless there is circumstances). The office was that quiet you could literally hear a pin drop… I lasted about a month.

Monthly meetings began with my manager, I spilled the beans on the first meeting, why does nobody talk?? I explained how I wanted to be more involved, I wanted to get to know this quiet and intelligent woman who sat beside me (my manager), I wanted to get out and about to the different stores, organise events etc after all this is why we choose a sandwich course to get the placement experience!

Safe to say the manager was delighted to hear my response! My main concern was bringing Christmas cheer as you can see below, I had to get Santa to appear!!

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To think now within a year, I learned SO much about myself as an individual as well as learning so much about the marketing sector as a marketing assistant.

To top it off I have without a shadow of a doubt made a friend for life, and I truly mean this, I would call this woman my angel in disguise!!

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To all the second years considering a placement year next year, my advice to you would be look further than your front door, for that is my only regret of my third year choices! Yes, I absolutely loved my placement hands down, and I have learned SO much which I will benefit in the future. Looking back now, I had so many possible opportunities to experience, to name a few, different countries, cultures, languages etc you name it! AND I chose to stay at home!

I advise as a final year student now to;

***Be yourself***

There is only one you, and no other person is like you, and I am sure you are an amazing Individual!

My daddy always says, ‘if there was another Breige, there would be a hell lot of trouble’

                                                                            &

‘you don’t have to do anything but die’.

These two quotes really make me realise, if you are not happy in one place, there is another place full of people waiting to meet you!

Wherever next year may take you, I hope you smash it!

Breige Hollywood is a final year CAM student at Ulster University. She can be contacted on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/breige-hollywood-a7b035116/and Twitter @ HollywoodBreige

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