How do I go on placement?

Did you know that every year, Sheffield Hallam University offer over 23,000 placements and work with over 1,000 employers so you can find the right experience for you?

On this page you’ll learn more about different types of placements, as well as advice on how to secure the one that is best for you. 

What is a placement?

  • A period of work experience during your studies.  
  • They vary in length and could be for as short as a week, or last for several months
  • Year-long placements are called “sandwich” placements.
  • Your placement should ideally be paid, but this is not a legal requirement. 
  • 10 things you need to know about placements

What’s the difference between a placement and an internship?

Sometimes people use the words “placement” and “internship” interchangeably, but that’s not quite accurate:

  • Placements are generally an integrated, and related part of your studies, sometimes assessed. Keep in mind – they don’t necessarily have to be subject specific – you may want to explore and try something out.
  • Internships can last from 4 weeks to a year, and may be completely unrelated to your studies. Summer internships enable you to explore what working for the company would be like as a graduate, as well as contributing to your professional development. See our internships page for more information.

What else do I need to know about placement at Hallam?

We have a dedicated placement portal, Your Work Placement, which will tell you everything you need to know about undertaking a placement during your studies.

How do I find a placement?

  • Every year we advertise thousands of placement opportunities on Handshake. Employers advertising on Handshake are specifically targeting Hallam students, so that’s an excellent place to start.
  • Websites such as Milkround, Prospects, and TargetJobs are aimed a university students like yourself, meaning you don’t have to wade through irrelevant job adverts
  • Try sector specific sites, e.g, Gradcracker for STEM
  • You can work for yourself on an Enterprise Residency
  • Find your own (aka “self-sourcing”) placement

 Why should I find my own placement?

  • You have a particular role in mind
  • You have a specific organisation in mind
  • You want or need a placement in a specific location

This approach requires you to be proactive, do your research, to persevere, and plan. However, the result could be your ideal placement. If you do find your own sandwich year placement, you will need to check with your course that it is going to be suitable.

Whom could I approach for a placement?

Think about the type of industry and organisation you would like to work in and the type of role. Use Prospects to find information about different job roles. You can find organisations to contact by using:

  • LinkedIn - use keywords in the search box to find specific types of organisation, and narrow down by location
  • Online directories such as Yell, Thompsonlocal, Kompass
  • Graduate careers websites such as Prospects and TARGETjobs
  • Professional bodies and Skills Councils often have employer directories

Be selective - it is better to approach a number of carefully chosen companies. Employers know when you’ve sent the same CV to 50 other companies. 

Don't just go for big-name companies - small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have lots of opportunities and could offer a personal, more varied experience.

Who else could help?

If you know anyone who works in the industry you want to enter, ask to have a chat with them about their job and their company, and seek their advice. Do they have any connections you could approach? LinkedIn can help you find out who the people you know are connected with - you may already have some useful ‘second connections’.

Shall I just send the company an email?

Not yet! Research each company first, using their website and following them on LinkedIn and other social media they use. Find out about their business, what they do, what projects are they involved in, and who are their competitors?