A survival guide to work placements, by Jacob Rand (15)

Jacob Rand spent two weeks at Onespacemedia on a work placement from Melbourn Village College, learning the digital design ropes. Read his top tips for surviving agency life.

Work placements can be a daunting experience, especially when you're 15 and making your first steps out of school and into a commercial environment. Jacob Rand spent two weeks with the team at Onespacemedia and can now add Photoshop, Illustrator and CMS to his skills and leaves us having created his very own website.

It's been a pleasure giving Jacob a taste of working life and an insight into the mechanics of a digital design agency - we're sure he'll go far!

Here are Jacob's secrets to surviving a work placement.

Rule 1: Research
Make sure that you research the company and find out as much as you can about them and their latest projects.

Rule 2: Be smart
Even if the dress code is smart/casual you should always dress smartly on the first day to create a good first impression (and see what everyone else is wearing!).

Rule 3: Arrive on time!
Always check your hours so you can arrive on time. If you arrive early, go into the office instead of killing time.

Rule 4: Be yourself!
When you first arrive don’t be someone you're not. It’s better to be honest about what you can and can’t do so that your employer can see your strengths and weaknesses.

Rule 5: Work hard
When you first start your work experience you want to set the bar quite high to show what you can do, but don’t show all your skills off straight away - keep them up your sleeve so you can test them out and impress your employer!

Rule 6: Ask questions
Find out your colleagues roles and try to ask as many questions as possible; it's always good to find out what people are working on. Learn as much as you can by asking questions like “can you take me through that step by step?”

Rule 7: Attitude
Arrive happy and enthusiastic, ready to jump straight into the job and get things done. Always wear a smile when you come through the door.

Rule 8: Have fun!
You shouldn’t worry about anything, just enjoy the great experience!


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