Each year a number of third year BSc Government students undertake  on Work Placement in the New York State Assembly in Albany, New York.  Students are recipients of the Thomas Whalen Scholarship.  This scholarship was established in honour of the late Thomas Whalen, former Mayor of Albany and former Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Government.  The scholarship is open to BSc Government students and provides them with an opportunity to participate in US state government and the legislative process through a well-structured practical learning experience.  Students are assigned to Assembly Members and duties include responding to constituent mail, conducting research, preparation of statistical analysis, reporting on committee meetings and meeting with lobby groups with and on behalf of their Assembly Member. Students also have the chance to experience student life in the USA.  Students reside on the campus of the nearby College of Saint Rose while on Work Placement.  The College of Saint Rose offers academic and pastoral support to students and is the perfect ‘home away from home’.   

The Department of Government believes that Work Placement is an important element of the four-year degree. “We offer students many different opportunities to find interesting and rewarding Work Placements.  Whether students want to work in Ireland or abroad, the Department of Government has established an array of links that allow students to pursue their individual interests and goals.  Not only do work placements allow students to put their interest in politics to work in a practical setting, but they can also learn about career opportunities and develop contacts with people who can help them decide how to get the type of employment they seek” Fiona Buckley, Academic Director of the BSc Government Work Placement programme. 

For further information on the BSc Government degree and its Work Placement programme, please contact Dearbhail O’Callaghan, Work Placement Manager at +353 (0)21 4205161 or dearbhail.ocallaghan@ucc.ie

From left to right: Fiona Buckley (Department of Government Work Placement Coordinator), Assemblyman Felix Ortiz  (Brooklyn, NY), Joy Napier (Clonmel)

 

Emma Dwyer (Glanmire), third year student of the BSc Government, UCC, pictured on the floor of the New York State Assembly. 

 

From front to back: Aoife Ni Dhomhnaill (Bishopstown), Gráinne Donovan (Coachford), Emma Dwyer (Glanmire), Matthew Ryan (Wilton), Kate O’Keeffe (Youghal) and Joy Napier (Clonmel) all students of the BSc Government, UCC, pictured on the ‘Million Dollar Staircase’ in the New York State Assembly. 

BEFORE WORK PLACEMENT

Why is Work Placement important?
Placement is an important part of your course, as it gives you the chance to see what it is like to work in an area related to your degree. This will help you make more informed decisions about your career.

Your Placement will also help you to:

  • Put academic theory into practice in your chosen career area.
  • Broaden your knowledge base.
  • Gain an insight into your own personal abilities and aptitudes. 
  • Develop personal skills such as communication, team-working, problem-solving.
  • Get an inside view of the world of work and how it operates.
  • Understand new countries and cultures, if you work abroad.
  • Build your self-confidence.
  • Relate and apply the knowledge gained during Placement to your studies.
  • Be more mature and committed to your studies on return to college.
  • Enhance your CV and make it more attractive to employers.
  • Improve your employability, so that you are a 'work-ready' graduate.
  • Be considered for a graduate job with your Placement employer.   

Why do employers recruit Placement students?
Employers recognise that students are a valuable source of skilled labour. With a good knowledge of your course content and a genuine willingness to learn, they know that you can make a valuable contribution to their business.

Employers recruit students, because you: 

  • Bring in new ideas and look at 'old' problems with 'fresh eyes'.
  • Have good problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • Are up-to-date on new techniques and technologies. 
  • Are ideal to tackle one-off projects which might otherwise be put to one side.
  • Can help out during busy Summer holiday periods.
  • May be a future potential employee and they can 'screen' you during Placement.
  • Provide them with the opportunity to build closer links with the University.

Can I organise my own Placement?
Placement is organised by the Placement Officer responsible for your programme. However, you might like to organise your own Placement, particularly if you have contacts with employers through friends or family. You can do this, provided you meet the following criteria:

  • A letter confirming your job offer is received from the prospective employer.
  • The Placement is approved by the Department of Government.
  • The offer of Placement is for the required period of time.
  • The offer is secured before you get an offer of Placement through the Department of Government.

Can I go on an International Placement?
Most Placements are in Ireland, but some are abroad.  Each year, students go on international Placement and the main destinations are the US, UK, Belgium, Spain and Australia. Many organisations prefer students who have some ability in their language, but this is not always necessary. If you select a organisation abroad, make sure you can afford flights, accommodation deposit and living costs for the duration of your Placement. Also, you will have to buy travel insurance for the period of your trip. If you are going to a non EU destination, for example the US, you must apply for a Visa and there is a cost associated with this. Usually, international Placement organisations use telephone interviews. This will be a different experience to a face-to-face interview and you should be familiar with the guidelines for telephone interviews.

 

DURING WORK PLACEMENT

How much will I get paid?
Placements can be paid and unpaid.  For paid placements, there is no set rate of pay. However, the standard expectation is that you will be paid no less than the minimum state wage as agreed by the Government at the time of your placement. Ask your Placement Officer for the current rate. Some employers will pay more, which is entirely at their own discretion. Plan ahead and budget on the basis that you will receive the minimum state wage. If you are going on an international placement , make sure you can afford the extra costs involved. Once you receive the minimum state wage, your Placement Officer will not be in a position to recommend a higher wage for you.  For unpaid placements, students will be expected to work three days per week i.e. 22 – 24 hours per week and their employers will be advised not to expect these students to work longer than 24 hours per week.  At the beginning of an unpaid placement, students and their work placement supervisor should outline on which days of the week, the student should be present in the organisation.

What do I need to know about Health and Safety?

Background Information
Your safety and health on placement is covered by the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. This Act imposes duties on employers and employees and there are four main areas covered:

  • A safe place of work
  • Safe plant and equipment
  • Safe working procedures
  • Information, consultation and training

Every organisation must have a Safety Statement, which describes the programme of action in place to ensure the safety, health and welfare of employees. This document must be available for examination by employees.

Students on Work Placement

  • As a placement student, you are owed a duty of care like all other employees.
  • When you start work, your induction course will cover health and safety aspects of your workplace.
  • Ask to see a copy of the Safety Statement and read it carefully.
  • Be familiar with the safety rules, especially:
    • The layout of the building
    • The emergency evacuation plan
    • The location of fire-fighting equipment and how it works 
    •  First Aid arrangements
    • Relevant numbers to contact in an emergency
  • Make sure you have a complete set of Personal Protective Equipment (if relevant) and know how to use it.
  • If you identify a safety hazard, bring it to the attention of your work placement supervisor.
  • Avoid behaviour or activities that may harm you or others working with you.
  • If you experience incidents of bullying or harassment, report this to your work placement supervisor or, if necessary, to a higher authority in the organisation.
  • Finally:
    • Work safely
    • Never take risks
    • If not sure - ask
    • If still unsure, call your Placement Officer or Academic Supervisor
  • Remember that the provision of a safe, healthy workplace is a legal requirement and that managers and employees may be prosecuted for non-compliance.

What holidays will I be entitled to?
Your holiday entitlement is covered by the Organisation of Work Time Act 1997. For each month of placement, you will work up holiday leave.  Ask your Work Placement Supervisor or the Human Resources Department about your holiday entitlement, as well as the arrangements for how to book holiday leave. If it is normal practice for a organisation to have a holiday close-down during the Summer, then you may have no option but to take holidays at that time, along with all other employees.

What about time off if I have to repeat exams?

If you have to repeat exams, you must follow the procedures below:

  • Arrange a meeting with your Work Placement Supervisor immediately, to request and agree time off for study and for exam re-sits. At this stage, you should also agree the return date to work.
  • You are allowed one day's study leave plus the day of the exam, for each subject being repeated. These days are taken from your holiday entitlement. Any additional time taken must be agreed with your Work Placement Supervisor, Academic Supervisor and Placement Officer and this leave will be unpaid.
  • Blanket study leave is not allowed, regardless of the number of exams you have to repeat.
  • You are not, under any circumstances, allowed to study during work time.
  • Inform your Work Placement Supervisor as soon as you know the specific dates that you will need to take off for your re-sits. Remind your Work Placement Supervisor of these dates closer to the time.
  • You must return to work immediately after exams to complete your placement.

Will I have an exit interview with my employer?
At the end of Placement, you are encouraged to have an exit interview with your Work Placement Supervisor and/or a representative from the Human Resources Department.

This is an opportunity to get feedback on how you performed during placement and to give feedback on your placement experience. It is an ideal chance for your Work Placement Supervisor to discuss and complete the Student Performance Appraisal form, which evaluates your overall performance and which is used as part of your Academic Assessment . Your Work Placement Supervisor is asked to highlight the skills you have learned and to help you identify those that will benefit from further development.

This is also a good time to ask about future graduate vacancies and to express your interest in them. Make sure to ask your Work Placement Supervisor for permission to use his/her name as a referee on your CV. Agree that you will keep in touch, so that he/she will remember you, when it comes to giving a reference!

If you have a final year project that you could complete on behalf of your organisation, you should have discussed this with your Work Placement Supervisor during the placement visit. Now, at the exit interview, you can discuss it further and, if appropriate, agree on how to bring the project forward.

 

AFTER WORK PLACEMENT

Presentation
For most programmes, you are required to give a short presentation about your placement experience, either during the academic visit or, more usually, on your return to college. This presentation will form part of the academic assessment of your placement. Your Academic Supervisor will advise you of the specific requirements for your programme.

What is the Placement Debrief?
The Placement Officer will meet with you after you return to college to have a debriefing session on your placement. You will have a chance to give feedback on your company, the work you did, as well as your overall experience. This will be valuable in helping us develop the programme in the future.  At this meeting, you will be encouraged to relate and apply the knowledge gained during placement to your college studies and to build on the self-confidence you developed in the workplace.  Advice will be given on how to update your CV with your placement work experience, so that you have it ready to send to graduate employers. And you will be encouraged to think about what you would like to do after college and to consider your graduate options .

Why should I update my CV?
After you finish your placement, it is an ideal time to update your CV with your placement work experience. This may be the first job you have had that is relevant to your course. So, it is a very valuable addition to your CV and will be significant in attracting potential employers in the future.

To update your CV, look back through your Learning Journal and Self Assessment Essay to remind yourself of the skills and abilities you developed during placement. This will include skills that are specific to your course and also personal or 'transferable skills' e.g. communication or problem-solving skills. Summarise and highlight these skills, taking time to word the content carefully, so that it makes the most of your work experience.  Include your main duties and responsibilities, any training completed, achievements or recognition received as well as any initiatives taken by you in the workplace.

What is involved in Networking?
When you were in the workplace, we advised you to make the most of your placement , by getting to know the people in your team and also those in other departments in the business. This is what we call networking.  Over the past few months, you made many friends in your organisation and it is important to keep in touch with these people and to start off a network of contacts within your industry area. Often, your work colleagues are a valuable source of information on graduate jobs and may be of help to you in the future.  During the Exit Interview at the end of placement, you asked your Work Placement Supervisor for permission to use their name as a work referee on your CV. Keep in contact with this person, as you will want him/her to remember you, when it comes to giving a reference!  If you have a final year project that you could complete on behalf of your company, this is an excellent way to keep the contacts alive and to build on the good work relationships you developed during Placement.

What options do I have after I graduate?
Most students go on Work Placement at the end of third year and return to college for their final year. Once back on campus, it is time for you to think about what you would like to do after graduation - the main options are to look for a graduate job or to do further study.

If you are interested in getting a job, the Career Services office organises a number of events on campus, such as the Job Roadshows, which runs from November through to February and the Recruitment Fairs, which are held in October and March. At these events, you can meet employers and get information on graduate vacancies or graduate training programmes. Applications for some training courses must be made in early October, so it is important that you find out about these well in advance. Alternatively, if you are interested in postgraduate study, the Careers Service organises a Postgrad Fair in February, where you can get details on all the relevant courses available in Ireland. We also give a presentation on Postgrad Options in the US, which is held in early October. Applications for courses in the US or UK must be made in late October/ early November.  For most courses in Ireland, applications are made in February.

 

SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH A DISABILITY

Disability Support Service
If you are registered with the Disability Support Service (DSS), you might like to get some help and advice, as you participate in the Work Placement process.  

Your Work Placement Manager will work closely with the Disability Support Service to help you prepare for Work Placement and support you during your placement. You can get additional help in the following areas: 

  • Disclosing your disability to a potential employer
  • Preparing for the workplace

 

Individual guidance and support is available to you at each stage of the Placement process. Also, the Disability Support Service supports employers with advice and information on disability issues.

For further information please contact your placement supervisor or the Disability Support Office.

Benefits to the Organisation

  • Motivated, committed and loyal employee, bringing fresh thinking and ideas to the organisation.
  • Skilled assistance at peak times of the year, when permanent staff are on holiday.
  • Work placement fosters closer links between the university and organisation, providing an increased awareness of current academic developments in the political science and business disciplines.
  • Opportunity to assess student's potential for future employment.

Placement Process 
A dedicated Work Placement Manager is assigned to the BSc Government within in the Department.  The recruitment process is as follows:

  • Interested organisations contact the Work Placement Coordinator with details of the role(s) they wish to fill outlining the following details:-
    • Company Name
    • Job Type
    • Job Description
    • Location
    • Wage
    • Application Deadline
    • Start Date
  • Details of each opportunity are circulated within the class.
  • CVs of interested students are forwarded electronically to the organisation.
  • The organisation shortlists and interviews.

Students are allowed to apply for several organisations but are instructed to accept the first firm offer of placement made to them via the Work Placement Manager.  Organisations are advised to interview as soon as possible after receipt of CVs, as students maybe placed elsewhere in the intervening period.  The Department of Government will organise all interviews and provide interview rooms for those employers who wish to use the facilities.

Placement Offers to Students

  • All work placement offers must be made via the Work Placement Coordinator.
  • Once a firm offer of work placement has been made to a student, that student's name is removed from all other work placement positions.
  • Following the offer of work placement, the organisation will issue a contract directly to the student.
  • During work placement, the student will be considered an employee and will be subject to the terms and conditions of the organisation.

Employers’ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the benefits of recruiting a Work Placement student?
Each year, approximately 1200 students are placed with a network of over 700 employers, both at home and abroad. This reflects the positive relationship between UCC and industry, on a local, national and international level, with many employers hiring their placement students after graduation.

Students provide a valuable source of skilled labour for businesses as well as a flexible solution to recruitment needs. They:

  • bring in new ideas and look at 'old' problems with 'fresh eyes'.
  • have good problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • are up-to-date on new techniques and technologies.
  • bring in enthusiasm, energy and specialist skills.
  • are ideal to tackle one-off projects which might otherwise be put to one side.
  • can help out during busy Summer holiday periods.
  • provide a cost-effective solution to your recruitment needs without adding a permanent payroll cost.
  • may be future potential employees and you can screen them during placement.
  • provide you with the opportunity to build closer links with the university.

2. How is the Work Placement organised?
A dedicated Placement Officer is assigned to the BSc Government within the Department of Government.  Placement Managers are responsible for the management and development of placement programmes.  The role of the placement officer is to help students to secure work experience relevant to their course, to build skills to enhance their employability and personal development and to enable them to successfully implement their career decisions. The core activities include:

  • managing the placement programme and endeavouring to place all students in the participating classes.
  • meeting student classes to deliver presentations on placement process, CV Writing, Interview Technique.
  • delivering workplace-skills workshops and seminars to student classes.
  • identifying, establishing and maintaining good working relations with employers.
  • working with other placement officers to ensure co-ordinated approach to interaction with employers.
  • liaising with employers to discuss their requirements for students.
  • ensuring comprehensive and up-to-date employer and vacancy information is available to students.
  • co-ordinating circulation of CVs to employers and facilitating the interview process.
  • Providing one-to-one guidance interviews to students.
  • liaising with employers during placement to ensure all is satisfactory.
  • providing ongoing support for the student while on placement.
  • visiting the student and employer during placement, where appropriate.
  • liaising with the academic department on the management of the programme.
  • facilitating meetings between employers and academic staff, to identify potential linkages in the context of Research and Development and innovation/technology transfer.
  • preparing publications and information materials in consultation with the academic department.
  • Researching and preparing reports and statistics for the use of students, the university and other interested parties.

Once you have identified a need for a student, you must complete a Placement Requirements Form, providing details of the role(s) they wish to fill.  The details required are:

  • Organisation Name                                                 
  • Job Type
  • Job Description
  • Location
  • Pay
  • Application Deadline
  • Start Date

Details of each opportunity are circulated within the class.  Students submit required application material to the placement officer on or before the application deadline.  CVs of interested students are forwarded electronically to the work placement organisation.  The organisation shortlists and interviews.  Students are allowed to apply for several organisations but are instructed to accept the first firm offer of placement made to them via the placement officer.  Organisations are advised to interview as soon as possible after receipt of CVs, as students maybe placed elsewhere in the intervening period.  The Department of Government will organise all interviews and provide interview rooms for those employers who wish to use these facilities.  Students are given advice on how to prepare for interview. We ask employers to fill out an Interview Feedback Sheet for each student and to return it to the placement officer, who will discuss it with the student after the interview.

3. How should I make an offer of placement to a student?
All work placement offers must be made via the placement officer.  Once a firm offer of work placement has been made to a student, that student's name is removed from all other work placement positions.  Following the offer of work placement, the organisation will send a contract directly to the student, with a copy to the Department of Government.

4. What is the usual pay for students?
There is no set rate of pay for placement. It varies, depending on the industry sector, the size of the organisation and its location. The placement officer will advise you of the going rate for your industry and location and for the student group that interests you.  However, the expectation is that employers will pay no less than the minimum state wage as agreed by the Government at the time of recruiting the student.  

5. Can I recruit an international student?
UCC welcomes over 2000 international students from 75 countries across the globe, with the number of foreign students representing 12% of the overall student population. The presence of international students greatly enriches the University as a whole.  These students follow a range of courses at undergraduate and postgraduate.

6. Who should I nominate as Work Placement Supervisor for the student?
Before the student starts placement, we ask you to nominate a person, who will agree to act as Work Placement Supervisor to the student during placement.  The role of the work placement supervisor forms an integral part of the process and is an important element in ensuring the success of the placement.  Placements are 14 weeks in duration, so it is important that the person can commit the time to supervising and monitoring the work of the student during this period.  We ask the employer to provide a safe place of work for the student in line with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and to satisfactorily complete a Health and Safety Checklist for the placement officer.  We send the work placement supervisor a Placement Handbook, which contains practical information on all matters related to Placement.

7. What is the role of the Work Placement Supervisor?
We ask the employer to nominate a person, who will agree to act as work placement supervisor to the student during placement. The role of the supervisor forms an integral part of the process and is an important element in ensuring the success of the placement.  Ideally, the work placement supervisor will:

  • Give the student a short induction course on company codes and practices.
  • Prepare a work programme of tasks, activities and training and agree this with the student.
  • Agree with the student, at the beginning, the goals they have set about what they hope to achieve from their placement.
  • Provide work experience compatible with the student's knowledge and experience.
  • Arrange a work email address, for the student, where appropriate.
  • Arrange weekly meetings with the student to discuss progress and sign the Learning Journal.
  • By means of the Learning Journal, assist the student to reflect on their experience and to develop a realistic understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • Encourage the student to think things out for themselves and to use their own initiative.
  • Help the student to make full use of the work experience and to take responsibility for their own progress.
  • Encourage the student to attend company training courses, where appropriate, to develop skills that are related to their course as well as general skills for personal development.
  • Encourage the student to find out about company activities outside their own department and to relate these to the areas in which they work.
  • Supervise and monitor the progress of the student and provide sufficient instruction to maximize their contribution during placement.
  • Facilitate the Three-Way Meeting which usually takes place half way through the placement period.
  • Approve and sign the student's Learning Journal, to ensure that they meet with organisation’s policy on confidential information.
  • Complete the Student Performance Appraisal which is your evaluation of the performance of the student and which will be used as part of their academic assessment.
  • Notify the College Tutor and the Placement Officer of any problems, in particular of any aspects of student performance that are unsatisfactory.

8. What about Confidentiality?
At the beginning of the work placement, it is essential that the organisation makes clear to the student the areas of work regarded as confidential and any other specific requirements it may wish to be respected.  Usually, a confidentiality clause is incorporated into the student's contract.  Students are considered employees of the organisation, and are subject to the organisation’s disciplinary policy and procedures.  These should be outlined to students at the start of work placement.

9. Should I offer Induction and Training?
Placement students should be provided with the same induction and training as you give to other new employees, in compliance with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.  The work placement supervisor should inform personnel in the relevant department and in Human Resources about the student's start date and their agreed work role. If possible, the team who will be working closely with the student, should be available on the start date to meet them and to introduce them to the workplace.  We appreciate the time and effort that you take in training our students, both in skills that are related to their course and in general skills areas for their personal development. If there are training opportunities available, please let the student know about them and encourage them to take part. All work-related training is valuable and will enrich their placement experience.

10. What documentation is involved?
For most courses, placement is a formal and academically accredited (this placement is worth 10 credits) part of the student's course and they are assessed by their College Tutor, in consultation with the relevant academic department.

The grade is based on a number of criteria, one of which involves preparing documents for submission to the academic department. We ask you to check, approve and sign these documents to ensure that they meet with the organisation’s policy on confidential information. Please approve and sign the following documents:

  • Learning Journal - sign this weekly for the student. The student writes up the Journal each day, detailing work in progress, training completed and skills learned.
  • Student Performance Appraisal - - complete this at the end of Placement. It is your evaluation of the student's performance and will be used as part of their academic assessment. Ideally, it should be completed in consultation with the student as part of an exit interview.
  • Presentation - approve the content of the presentation, which the student delivers on return to college.

11. Why does the College Tutor visit?
Each placement student is assigned an College Tutor, who is normally a member of staff in the academic department.  The College Tutor will normally make a visit to the workplace, to meet with the student and the employer and the visit will usually be half way through the placement period.  The purpose of the visit is to review the student's progress and to make an initial evaluation of their performance on placement. For international placements, a visit may not always be practical and in this case, the College Tutor will normally contact both you and the student by telephone instead.  The College Tutor will complete a report – Visit Form - after the visit, on the basis of the discussion with you and the student and this will be used as part of their academic assessment.  The visit is also an opportunity for you to discuss non-placement matters with the academic member of staff, such as projects for final year students, research and development activities in collaboration with UCC or technology transfer initiatives/innovation.

12. What if there are problems during placement?
We anticipate that the placement experience will be a positive one for you and for the student. However, sometimes, problems do arise.  Students are subject to organisational disciplinary policy and procedures.  Please contact the College Tutor if problems persist.

13. What if you have concerns about the performance or approach of the student?
If you are not happy with the performance of the student or with their approach to their work, we ask you to talk to the student about this. If the problem persists, we will support you in implementing your own internal disciplinary procedures, just as you would for any other employee. Please let the placement officer and the work placement supervisor know about any problems and the disciplinary procedures you are following.  If the problem still persists, the placement officer and/or college tutor will visit the workplace to address the problem and to help in identifying an appropriate remedy. If, despite these interventions, the problem continues, UCC will support any decision you make to terminate the student's employment. Termination of employment under these circumstances may result in the student failing the placement. 

14.What if the student has concerns about their placement?
Some students experience difficulties with their work or place of employment. If a problem arises, we ask the student to talk to their work placement supervisor. If the problem persists, we ask the student to contact the placement officer and the college tutor. We will contact you on behalf of the student and arrange a meeting to address the problem.

15. Will I do an Exit Interview with the student?
We appreciate the time and effort that you take with our students on placement and hope that it will be a positive experience for all involved.  At the end of placement, we encourage you to have an exit interview with the student and to review the experience from both your perspectives. This is an ideal opportunity to discuss and complete the Student Performance Appraisal and to talk about the student's overall performance. It is a chance to highlight the skills the student has learned and to identify those that will benefit from further development.  We advise students to ask you about future graduate vacancies, so this is a good time to talk about this. The student will ask for permission to use your name as a referee on their CV and we appreciate your support in this respect. We also encourage them to keep in touch with you, so that you will remember them when it comes to the time to give a reference.  The student may have a final year project that they could complete on your behalf and this is an excellent way to build on the work relationship you have developed during placement.

16. Can the student do a final year project for our organisation?
For some courses, students are required to do a final year project, which can be theoretical or alternatively, based on a real organisation situation.  If your placement student is doing one of these courses, it is an ideal opportunity for you to offer a suitable project that he/she can carry out on your behalf.  We encourage the student to discuss this with you and with their college tutor during the three-way meeting. They are also advised to be proactive in coming up with ideas for potential projects that would be of benefit to you and of interest to themselves.  The college tutor will let you know the required criteria in order for the work to qualify as a suitable project for the student. Later, at the exit interview, you can discuss this further with the student and, if appropriate, agree on how to bring the project forward.

17. What about a work reference for the student?
At the exit interview, the student will ask for permission to use the work placement supervisor’s name as a referee on their CV.  This may be the first job the student has had that is relevant to their course. So, it is a very valuable addition to their CV and will be significant in attracting potential employers in the future.  We encourage students to keep in touch with you, so that you will remember them, when it comes to the time to giving the reference!

18. When can I give feedback on the placement programme?
We ask employers to give us feedback to identify any obvious shortcomings in the student's prior knowledge. The academic department will use your feedback to critically examine course content and to change it, where appropriate, so that it meets the requirements of industry.  We also invite your comments about the management of the placement programme, the method of selecting students, the visit by the college tutor and other areas.  We appreciate your feedback as it contributes to the further development of our Placement programmes.

19. What Graduate Recruitment activities are on campus?
If you were happy with your placement student and would like to consider them for a graduate job, we encourage you to discuss this at the exit interview. Keep in touch with the student when they return to college and to let them know of graduate vacancies that arise.  UCC’s Careers Service organises a number of graduate recruitment events on campus, such as the Milk-round, which runs from November through to February and the Recruitment Fairs, which are held in October and March. At these events, you can meet final year and post-graduate students and promote your graduate vacancies or graduate training programmes to them.  To find out more about these activities, visit the Careers Service site at www.ucc.ie/careers.

For placement forms and further information please contact:

 

Dearbhail O’Callaghan

Work Placement Manager

College of Business & Law

University College Cork

2 Brighton Villas

Western Road

Cork

Ireland

 

Email: dearbhail.ocallaghan@ucc.ie

Tel: 00 353 (0)21 4205161

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