Placement year and 4th year uni life

So it’s time to reflect on my university experience. I’m now 2 years graduated (crazy – time flies!) and I’m about to tell you a little bit about my final 2 years at uni.

I am now part of the RGU Alumni; my name is Emma and I graduated in 2016 with a 1st Class Honours in Management with Marketing. During my course, I was fortunate enough to do a full-time 1-year placement with oil and gas operator TOTAL, where I worked as a Buyer in the Contracts and Procurement department. This was in my 3rd year of university – I got to stay on for an extra 3 months over summer before going into 4th year, and my lovely manager gave me a Grade A for my placement. I worked in a team of great people, and there were loads of fun work outings – from attending Perth Races, to sitting in one of the corporate boxes at Pittodrie stadium, I really got to experience it all. 4 years on, and I still keep in touch with my former colleagues. I can’t emphasise enough how much I learned on my placement year – even being exposed to working in an office environment taught me loads!

Perth Races with Total

September 2015 came; it was time to adjust to university life again. Goodbye full-time wage, hello head full of books, revision and journal articles. The reality of 4th year uni and dissertation time had really hit me. Despite this, I was actually really excited to be back at RGU so I could see my uni friends every day again.

Graduation ball

Weirdly I would say 4th year was actually my favourite year at uni. The social aspect of it is great – although weekends and late nights (and some early mornings) are spent in the library, everyone is in the same boat. It strangely is quite fun and more bearable when you know all of your uni friends will also be in the library. So although there will be stressful times, there will also be lots of fun memories! When you’ve worked so hard on an essay or on exam revision, it makes that barbecue or night out at the weekend very well deserved and even more appreciated!

Evening Express graduation day photo

Some useful tips and advice I’d give for 4th years are:

  • Develop a good relationship with your dissertation supervisor from the beginning; show your enthusiasm and act keen, and use all of the meetings constructively. The supervisor’s feedback is incredibly useful – after all, they are the ones who’ll be marking your work so take it all on board and make the changes.
  • Stay calm and still have a social life! Plan a day off as there is no point wasting a night by just procrastinating, have one night doing whatever makes you happy then get back to it the next day!
  • Be organised and make lists to divide your time. I always found it useful to allocate my time to different assignments or exam revision in a Monday-Friday fashion.
  • Don’t get too stressed out about what your other classmates are saying. Everyone works at their own pace and it’s not a big deal if you’ve tackled an essay in a slightly different way, or somebody else is further ahead than you. Focus on your own work!
  • If you believe in yourself, you can achieve. There will be a lot of up’s and down’s, but try to stay positive. Focus on the end goal, and it will feel amazing on graduation day and at graduation ball.

Oh, and one last thing before I finish, absolutely do study abroad in 2nd year when you get the opportunity. Now, looking back, that is definitely my biggest regret. I went travelling after I graduated and the experience you get from embracing a new culture and lifestyle and being completely out of your comfort zone is unreal. It will give you so much life experience, which no job in your home city can give you!!


Thanks for reading


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