Published: 03 May 2017

Ten unexpected benefits of undertaking a Professional Training placement

A Professional Training placement offers students unique access to the world of work. Discover our list of the top ten unexpected benefits that can be gained from undertaking a placement.

A Professional Training placement provides invaluable opportunities to develop transferrable skills, put your degree into practice and enhance your employability. While there are numerous anticipated advantages, such as developing interpersonal and team working skills, boosting your CV and forming industry links, there are also many surprising benefits that can be gained from a placement.


A year in a professional setting is a steep learning curve which opens your eyes to the real world and gives you an insight to what the working world is like on both a personal and professional scale. - Hana Bibi, LLB Law with International Relations


At the University of Surrey, we have one of the largest Professional Training placement programmes in the world, with over 2,300 partner organisations in the UK and overseas who collaborate with us to provide our students with fundamental skills. Our emphasis on providing students with real-world experience is ensuring that Surrey students graduate with enhanced prospects and incredible employment opportunities.


Here is our list of the top ten unexpected benefits that can be gained from undertaking a Professional Training placement:

1. Social skills

Undertaking a placement enables you to grow your social skills by engaging with different people across various levels of an organisation. Working alongside unfamiliar people in a professional setting helps you to develop your ability to make friends and form connections, and learn how to communicate effectively in the workplace. A placement significantly develops your social confidence in and out of the workplace.

Going on a Professional Training placement greatly improved my confidence and social skills, as I had to engage with people from all backgrounds, ranging from members of the general public to a Queen’s Counsel. - Cameron McCoig, LLB Law


2. The ability to speak in front of an audience

Our partner organisations endeavour to treat students on placement as valued employees, and the benefit of this is that you will gain experience in expressing your professional opinions and presenting your ideas. It is not uncommon for placement students to be asked to give presentations. Learning to present information clearly and confidently is a key skill to getting your message across that will benefit your future career, regardless of your area of work.

On placement I was required to write monthly reports and give monthly presentations on the status of my projects. This really boosted my confidence in presenting and improved my report writing skills. - Sharvari Raut, MEng Chemical Engineering


3. Self-awareness

Undertaking a placement allows you to really put your skills to the test and discover which aspects of work you thrive at and which aspects you find more challenging. This enables you to accurately identify your strengths and weaknesses. Developing self-awareness of your abilities is a crucial benefit of a placement, as it allows you to play to your strengths and evaluate how you could improve your weaker areas.

I would definitely recommend a Professional Training placement. Not only is it a welcome break from studying, but the individual learning and self-development you have to do is astonishing. - Emily Jeffreys, BSc Business Management


4. Work-ethic

Gaining experience in industry means that you will be challenged to step up and take responsibility for your own work. Due to this, a placement inspires a strong work ethic. Having a good work ethic is central to the development of a successful career and the experience gained during a placement will encourage you to maintain a positive attitude, be self-motivated, and work as a team player - all key skills for your future career.

Working as a professional is very different to being a student, as other people are relying on your ability to complete your work – and there are no days where you are able to come in at 2pm! The Professional Training placement gives you a different kind of work ethic which is invaluable in your studies and in the professional workplace. - Dan Jackson BSc Financial Mathematics


 5. Resilience

Throughout your placement, you will overcome new challenges and solve problems; this helps you to develop resilience. Resilience is a key ability in life that will enable you to approach new challenges with a pragmatic outlook, deal with stress effectively, and respond proactively to daily pressures.


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