Careers and Employability Service
Services for current students

On placement


You've just heard back from an employer and you've secured yourself an internship or placement - now what?

There are lots of this you can do the make the most of your time during your internship. Some may come naturally and other not, so you will need to plan then into your time with your host organisation. 

Your next steps

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Making the most of your placement

Here are some things you can do on placement to help your future career planning:

  • Career choice - take time to reflect on what you're getting involved with and work out if you enjoy what you're doing. Do you think you could work in this environment long-term? 
  • Getting involved - the more involved with work and your colleagues you become, the more you will get from the whole experience. 
  • Networking - ensure you get to know lots of people in the organisation, as you never know when you might need to contact them after you leave. 
  • Shadowing and visits - ask those in slightly more senior positions if you could shadow them for a day or attend a client visit, so you can see how parts of the organisation operate. 
  • Skills development - consider looking at the skills you have before you start the internship and rank them out of then. Half way through, revisit them to see if you've improved. If you find any gaps or low score, ask your employer for their views and see f they can help you through training or a mentor.
  • Training - make the most of any training opportunities that arise and if they don't come up, why not ask if they can access them? 

Handling problems

There are a number of people who can help you with any problems that might occur during your placement. 

For work-related problems, we suggest you discuss the issues with your line manager in the first instance. If your host organisation has a HR department they may also be able to assist you depending on the nature of your query.

If your placement is an integrated part of your degree programme, you may have a Placement Tutor or Placement Coordinator who was involved in helping you to secure the placement. This individual may also be able to assist you.

On our blog 

Sinead Butler, second-year English and Philosophy student gives her advice on:

How to Impress on Your Internship in Five Easy Steps

Health and safety at work 

This is an important aspect of an internship. So, take time to be aware of health and safety policies.

Also be sure that you take a note of your responsibilities as an intern and ask for a briefing on your first day of your internship, if they don't automatically provide one. 

Living in a new location 

  • Safety - talk with those locally, such as your colleagues, local police and tourist information centres about areas that may not be be safe to visit. Also find out where places you would need in an emergency might be, such as doctors surgeries and police stations. 

  • Accommodation and travel - this may sound obvious, but planning how you will arrange these elements in advance of starting the internship will make life easier. 


Careers and Employability Service

University of Nottingham
Portland Building, Level D
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3680
fax: +44 (0) 115 951 3679