Placement Student Opportunities in the UK

Placement Student Opportunities in the UK

The Box EMEA Placement Students scheme is relatively new but growing rapidly in numbers and popularity. To give more of an insight into this exciting programme, I want to share my experiences thus far as the current Recruitment Generalist Placement Student in EMEA.

How did you feel before joining Box?

Before I started working at Box, I was in the same position as many other students – apprehensive and nervous about working a full time, corporate job for the first time. My previous work experiences had been in retail or hospitality so this would be a big change from what I was used to.

However, my worries were quickly dissolved thanks to Box's extensive pre-hire activities. Having the chance to meet my fellow placement students frequently before day one really reassured me that others were in the same position I was. In these pre-hire sessions, we were given a book about tips for working for the first time in a corporate setting and to familiarize ourselves with what to expect. Both these seemingly small activities boosted my excitement for my first day! Going in on day one, I was a bit nervous, but all the Boxers I have met are so supportive and understanding made me feel as though I belonged, it really feels like they are rooting for you to succeed!

How has the experience been working from home as a placement student?

Working from home while my other friends were going into an office did concern me. I thought, “How would I meet other team members and build connections?” Although fully remote, Box's culture really shone through and, even working completely virtually, I immediately felt like part of the team. The next cohort of students are likely to have more of a hybrid approach to working from the start, both in-office and virtually.

The Box core values are very present in a Boxer's everyday work, and you notice them right away. They're embedded from the beginning in the onboarding process and Boxers truly live by them, you can feel it in the team atmosphere. I felt comfortable asking questions as Boxers are so willing to help - even if I did feel silly sometimes! Within my first three weeks, I had met everyone I would be working with, the heads of all departments and even up to the VP of Recruiting, David Moore. Having these conversations meant that as part of my role, when I needed to speak to managers, it was much less daunting.

Georgina Schild, the previous EMEA Recruitment placement student headed up my day-to-day onboarding process. Having her onboarding support was incredibly useful and made me feel as though I had a friend in the team from the get-go. We would also have frequent team meetings with my manager and the catch-up calls have created a strong team relationship where I feel supported, which is especially important to me in my early career.

What has your experience been like so far?

I have loved working at Box so far! When Georgina left, I was worried that I would feel out of my depth, but really it just gave the opportunity to learn on my own. I have shifted into feeling more like a real member of the team, having my own responsibilities, creating my own projects and implementing changes to my day-to-day tasks to make them more efficient. You can catch me scheduling interviews for EMEA, sourcing candidates and even running the Green Team ERC (Employee Resource Community) with my fellow placement students - which is almost becoming a tradition year on year!

Don't get me wrong, I still make mistakes and sometimes take on too much at a time - I really like being busy - but communicating these are key. Usually, the mistakes which I thought were huge problems were very minor in comparison. I've learnt to take risks, fail fast and GSD in my first few weeks! Something to keep in mind, if you like being busy like I do, is that there will be some down time especially during the first few months. This is a great time to learn as much as possible about Box, the role and the community - it's not like university where you are busy with meetings all the time. I found this time was great to decide on some of my own projects.

How do you feel about going into the office?

With COVID restrictions decreasing in the UK, the return to office is on everyone's mind. The great part about a hybrid environment is that Box is very flexible with returning to office. This is great for someone with potentially longer commutes!

I’m looking forward to the in-office experience working in London and enjoying the perks and benefits such as free snacks and lunches! There will also be a lot of opportunity for in-office events this year which will bring teams together.

What advice would you give to other prospective placement students?

If you are looking for a placement, I would say without a doubt to apply to Box. This opportunity has been incredibly eye-opening and enriching, especially when looking towards developing my longer-term career aspirations. I would love other people to be able to experience it too.

With regards to advice, I would say to make the most of the pre-hire sessions and get to know the other students. Also, be sure to read the 'How to go to Work' book if you are nervous about working for the first time. I can promise you that these will put you at ease and make you feel ready to jump into work at Box.

Lastly, make sure you take on all the opportunities given to you. This will really help immerse you in the team and in your role. There are always ways for you to help, you just have to ask!

Check out our FAQs for UK Placement Students on the career site and stay tuned for when our vacancies get released for next year!