Project placements boost your professional self-confidence

Mille Lade, a student of media studies, did a project placement that gave her extremely useful experience of strategic planning, copywriting and marketing. But best of all, it gave her much more professional self-confidence.

Mille had a Bachelor’s degree in media studies, but didn’t know how to use her knowledge in practice. So doing a project placement was one of her top priorities when she started her Master’s degree programme.

“I seized the chance to join the labour market and get away from school,” she says, explaining that: “It’s so hard to figure out what you’re actually capable of when you’re studying courses that don’t seem to have any practical application.”

So Mille did two project placements – first as a strategic planner at an advertising agency; and then as a copywriter at the shopping portal. She is glad that she has tried working in two different industries during her degree programme:

“When you’re a student, it’s sometimes difficult to know what kind of jobs you can actually do. I’ve realised that I probably need a bit more experience before working in the advertising industry; but on the other hand I thought that working as a copywriter was a great success.”

Project placements include feedback

You will not be expected to be an expert during your project placement. In other words, it’s OK to make mistakes, ask questions and learn from your experiences. Mille Lade emphasises the importance of teamwork during project placements:

“Even during my job interview, I made it clear that I was going to need some feedback during my placement. Feedback is vital – it prevents you from hiding in a corner, and makes you feel appreciated.”

A project placement usually lasts four to six months, so it’s important that you make the most of this short period of time.  Being part of a workplace on an equal footing with everyone else in the company has really boosted Mille Lade’s self-confidence.

“I used to feel really insecure, but now I feel much more confident. Now I know that my skills are useful in the real world, and I know that the work I’ve done must be good because the company is happy to publish it,” she says, adding that “Feeling appreciated has made a world of difference to me.”

From project placement to getting a job

Mille Lade’s advice to students considering a project placement is:

“Just do it! Keep an open mind, and tell your company what you need to help you develop your skills. Remember that it’s not just a question of them helping you – you’re adding value to the company, as well.”

An increase in professional self-confidence is not the only thing that Mille Lade has gained from her latest project placement. She is still working for as a student assistant while writing her Master’s thesis on blogging and marketing. And she adds with a smile: “As things are looking now, I will hopefully have a full-time job by August too. And that’s just awesome! Many of my fellow students are envious because it means that I can concentrate fully on my Master’s thesis.”