Why consider a paid gap year placement?
In today’s competitive environment, strong academic results are rarely sufficient. You are probably a high achieving student with a clutch of A*’s at GCSE and expecting A’s and A* at A ‘level. You think this is sufficient to gain you a place at a first class university. You may be right. But you need to think broader than this. Because this will not necessarily be enough when it comes to securing an internship or graduate position at a premier employer.
“There are thousands of students who will excel in their A-levels, attend top-notch universities and pursue an impressive string of extracurricular activities. Add to this those international students who also speak several languages fluently. Without something to differentiate yourself, you will look like one of many able students.”
You therefore need to pull ahead early. You need to stand out from the others. You need to differentiate yourself. The one thing that employers value is work experience. However this does not include bar work, working in a shop or in a ski resort. It means working in a responsible job in a corporate environment.
A 6-8 month work experience placement will make your CV or application form stand out from the crowd and differentiate you from others. Also the work experience and skills you will have gained will provide you with a head start at any interview, giving you lots of examples to draw from. It will basically put you ahead of the game. All initial interviews are competency based. This means they want you to provide real examples of when you showed initiative, when you worked under pressure, when you worked in a team, etc. Being able to draw from 6 months in a working environment will provide you with superior examples of theses skills and competencies allowing you to outshine other candidates.
Gain an early advantage
In addition, if you decide you enjoy the industry and company you have worked for in your gap year, this will give you an inbuilt advantage with them when it comes to the fierce competition around summer placements and gradate roles.
“It is far less competitive to gain a gap year place with one of the leading global organisations listed,
than it is to gain a graduate role with them when there are so many more applicants per role.”
In addition, the work experience advantage you will have built into your CV at 18, will give you an immediate competitive advantage in securing summer and spring internships over other candidates, which will in turn leave you better positioned for those final graduate roles. It will also provide you something substantive for your personal statement on your UCAS form and again make you look different from others, increasing your chances of securing a place at a leading university.
Who offers PAID gap year placements?
Irrespective of what you plan to study at university, any of the gap year placements listed below will be of enormous value to you, so do not worry too much about which industry they are in. They will give you invaluable long-term work experience in a corporate environment, enhancing your skills and your CV. They will also pay you very well, funding any travel plans you may have.
Be aware that many firms will require you to complete online tests before they review your application form. Therefore it is vital you gain some practice before you attempt the real thing. Take a look HERE for advice and practice papers.
Information on: INTERVIEWING SKILLS
Information on: WRITING A CV AND COVERING LETTER
information on: ASSESSMENT CENTRES
Volunteering Matters PlacementUK Wide
Cambridge Consultants: Technology Scholarship SchemeUK Wide
Raleigh International: International Citizen Service (ICS)UK Wide
The Bolivian Express Gap Year PlacementBolivia
EY Smart Futures Gap Year PlacementUK Wide
Schroders Gap Year PlacementLondon