Finding suitable placements

  • First of all, be clear about why you’re doing work experience as this will help you judge whether or not a potential placement is suitable.  For example,  it may let you know exactly what you’re letting yourself in for in the job you’re progressing towards; it may give you some essential animal-handling skills or test the commitment and enthusiasm you’ll need to move up to the next level in your chosen career path.    
  • Do your homework – find out what’s available.  Find out if your institution has a database, check on-line and use contacts. For instance, if you have completed a placement at a small animal veterinary practice, one of the vets or nurses may have a contact at a mixed or large animal practice.

  • Before you make the approach to an employer, be clear in your own mind about some of the practical details:

    • Why do you want this placement?
    • How many days or weeks do you need to complete?
    • How many hours can you work in a day?
    • What kind of activities would you like to do?
    • What are you are expected to achieve through your placement. [If you need to achieve specific outcomes for a log book/portfolio/assignment make sure they are within the scope of the placement].
    • What about insurance? [Check with your institution].

  • Be organised – have your dates to hand when making your request and know what you can commit to. Making an arrangement and breaking it might result in that potential placement not being available for future students.

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