Sourcing Your Own Work Placement
Students are free to source their own Work Placement and you will be supported by the Work Placement Manager should you decide to do this. If you decide that this is something you would like to explore you must discuss it with your Work Placement Manager, ideally before you start serious discussions with any employer.
Things your Work Placement Manager will need to know:
- The Work Placement Manager will want to know what company/companies you are speaking to as they may already have an established relationship with them.
- If there is an established relationship, unless you have a personal contact with the company you should not contact them directly.
- You must supply the Work Placement Manager with a job description so that the academic directors of the programme can approve the work placement.
- You must supply the Work Placement Manager with contact details for your employer because the company or organisation will be contacted by UCC and the Work Placement Manager.
Things a Company will need to know:
Employers who participate in the Work Placement programme are required to treat students in the same way as they treat their other employees. A contract of employment exists between the employer and the student for the duration of the Work Placement.
Work Placements are accredited University modules and require you to complete practical work along with compulsory written components.
The employer must be open to receiving communication from and liaising with UCC as they may be asked to satisfy some or all of the following:
- Complete certain UCC mandated documentation.
- Take reasonable care of your Health, Welfare and Safety.
- Appraise your performance as part of the academic requirements.
- Facilitate a meeting with your Academic Mentor.
The Employer is also asked to assign a Workplace Mentor, who is a member of staff to oversee the work of the student and act as a supervisor to the student.
Tips for sourcing your own placement:
- Make sure you make a good first impression on the company with a good C.V.
- Send a cover letter introducing yourself and your degree programme to the employer, including an explanation of what you have to offer and why you are interested in that company/role.
- Send your application to a named contact in a company.
- Ask your Placement Manager whether there have been work placements in the company previously – the Placement Manager may be able to put you in contact with a previous work placement student.
- Use LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms to research the company and opportunities that might be advertised.
- Speak positively about your degree and UCC when you are connecting with contacts.
If you are thinking about using your own contacts or initiative to source your own Work Placement, please endeavour to do as early as possible in the Work Placement Process.
Hear from a student
"I was commuting to UCC from west cork and when the time came for work placement I wanted to try and source something closer to home. [Sourcing] my own placement allowed me to choose a workplace that aligned with my own values. It's turned out to be a great place to work and I get to live in a place that I love." - Lucy Edmunds, BA Psychology and Computing