Many students nowadays are more interested in a summer placement rather than a summer holiday! They prepare fancy CVs and dress up for interviews long before they graduate- only to find a placement. But why? Why should one go and work while still a student, instead of taking it easy and enjoying the holidays? Is it "so important" to do a placement?

The answer varies from one person to another, and also from one profession to the other. Nowadays, for certain departments, it is compulsory fro students to complete at least one placement before they are able to graduate. The common belief anyway is that placement is on of the most important experiences in a student’s life to have a direct impact on his or her future professional career.Therefore instead of long hours on the beach many prefer running around in an office during summer!

What makes a placement indispensible is the fact that it is a unique opportunity for one to assess his or her personal abilities as well the general conditions and requirements of a professional job, prior to detachment of studentship. What is refferd to as the "reality shock" in literature, that is the dissatisfaction and disappointment experienced when the mismatch of one’s expectations from professional life and the actual conditions is high is usually minimised for those with a placement experience. 

From theory to practice

What is learned at school is ususaly at the theoretical level., rather than application The students read, study and learn references on a particular subject and gain an insight to the issue but usually they are not well capable of employing this knowledge to solve a real life problem. Although for certain deparments there are a lot of laboratory and pratical studies, most of these things are learned and thus forgotten since  the students do not actually "use and implement" these.While doing a placement, however, the students have the opportunity of implementing theoretical knowledge into practice, while everything is still fresh and vivid in their minds.

From school mate to colleague

Schoolmates are so special. One takes clasees together, have fun together, share lecture notes during exam periods, go to movies or to the beach afterwards, or skip class and laze, lying on  the grass in the garden. When it comes to being colleagues, things are different. First of all things are "serious" at work. One has to work as a team member, overcome problems together and manage to maintain good relationships with others while trying to excel in his or her position.Thats quite some responsibility on one’s shoulders. At school, you can always avoid someone who you dislike, or don’t get along well with- you have the freedom to choose your acquantainces.At work the choice is not yours. You have to face hierarchical order, you have get along with all your co-workers, even if you do not particularly like them. A placement is a valuable experience also in this aspect, before you gradute you will already know that communicaition with tohers requires other skills when you are at work.

From university culture to corporate culture

Juts like any university has its own rules, regulations and particular "way of life", so does every company have a "corporate culture" which defines life in this institution. Without any previous corporate experience, people may get tied up about how to act, what to wear, how to arrange personal relationships with others in such an environment. It is a real gain to get introduced to this whole new world while still a student, to tell the difference, to understand what will be expected from you when you are no longer a student. Moreover, a placement tells as much to a student about professional life as it tells about himself or herself. Then it will be easier to tell if corporate life is what one wants, if one will fit in, if one will be happy and to decide accordingly for the "right career".

From student indentity to worker identity

The major responsibilities of a university students are to attend classes, take notes, learn and get passing grades. In this instance one is responsible only to himself or herself. Whether you study or not, whether you pass or fail and repat the year, whether you manage to gradute, in fact, these are all up to you. Work life, on the other hand, is not so self-ruled. An employee is equally responsible to the employer as to self. The work achieved belongs not only to self but also to the deprtment, even company. Therefore it is necessary to accomplish assigned duties on time, effectively and in coherence with the other workers. This is the core responsibility of the "worker identity". 

From casual to official

In professional life the way you address people will change. Instead of casual language with words like "Abi, Abla, Kanka " you rather " Bey, Hanım, Bay, Bayan, etc". Not only the spoken language but also the written language and format will also become official. Some of the first things a student learns during a placement are how to conduct official telephone conversations, how to officially address someone, how to write an email, letter, petition or application in the official format. As their communication skill improve in these lines, students become better aware of the difference between private and professional life.  

From placement to full-time work

A placement is not only a preparatory step in gaining experience for work. In many cases it is also the bridge to a good job. Many students who have exhibited a noteworthy performance during their placements have gained the attention and appreciation of their superiors and thus have started their actual professional work life in the same company. We might consider a god placement like a healthy flirting period, which, in the end leads to a happy marriage! The best place to demonstrate your motivation, determination, abilities and capacity about work, is in fact work itself.

Stay in line

If you consider all the above mentioned facts, it is not hard to understand why many students choose to do aplacement instead of a holiday. However, one must not forget that too much of everything is bad for us.  


A comparison of Turkish university students with students from USA and EU

USA and EU


85% of the students graduate with an advanced level knowledge of English

15% of the students graduate with an advanced level knowledge of English

75% of the university students start working while still at school and gain work experience. In other words the students learn such concepts as work life, boss, salary, team, shift, etc by "doing".

10% of the university students start working while still at school and gain work experience. Turkish students either do not know such concepts as work life, boss, salary, team, shift, or have only textbook knowledge on these

60 % of the students attend various seminars, courses, sertificate trainings in diverse fields and develop their professional background and enrich their CVs.

Only 10 % of the students attend various seminars, courses, sertificate trainings in diverse fields and develop their professional background. Most students have very plain CVs.

80% of the students experience going/living/studying/working abroad

65% of university students have not even taken a plane. Only 9 % of the students experience going/living/studying/working abroad

Ref: ELT Yurt dışı Eğitim Hizmetleri