An informative case study from a past graduate about being on a human resources graduate scheme.

A Day in the life of a HR placement student at Corus

As I typed "Human Resource," into the vacancy box, the results were alarming in relation to the amount of HR placement positions available in the companies I was applying to. Whilst there were numerous positions available in functions such as Finance and Engineering, there only seemed to be a maximum of 2 placement vacancies in HR for these companies.

Is HR hard to get into? From my placement seeking experiences full commitment to both the subject and recruitment process is essential.

As far as getting the placement, I was put through a stringent assessment process, which in itself was a great learning curve and preparation for the graduate recruitment process when I finish my degree. This included; registration form, application form, verbal and numerical tests, a 30-40min competency test, then followed by an assessment centre that included a presentation, group tasks, and a final interview with my potential employer.

To date my internship has been really busy with lots to do. I have experienced a great deal of job satisfaction however when a project is finished to a high standard, or even when completing daily tasks. The main reason behind this is that every week has a new challenge, and I am constantly working on new projects whilst at the same time doing ad-hoc day-to-day activities. For instance, only last week we held a major Graduate event at our central training centre; a two-day event for 69 graduates already in the company to allow them the chance to network, discuss and benchmark how their careers are progressing. This event meant I got the chance with my colleague to coordinate the event from start to finish. Even when it did finish there were still plenty of areas to analyse on how we could improve it for next time. It is only when I was involved with the core of the event, I realised exactly how much work and commitment is involved. Being involved in such projects is when skills are picked up that are difficult to learn in a lecture room. These skills can involve being able to communicate effectively to different types of employees in the company - whether they are a fellow placement person, or a senior HR manager. I have found that, in HR in particular, employees are a central point of communication meaning this skill is vital.

Corus in particular have been very good at giving me a high level of responsibility and it is only from that, that I am able to develop as much as I have. One of my other projects has been to produce "E-zines" which are electronic magazines sent as emails to graduates, placements, and career services. This was my complete responsibility and where I had the chance to show my creativity whilst concentrating on the brief, which was to keep graduates/placements students, informed of all the events and on-goings of Corus.

In addition, at the same time, on an ongoing basis I have been working on a website called "Quickplace", the objective of which is to Improve availability of information and written communications from the Corus Graduate Recruitment team onto a website for all UK graduate coordinators. With limited experience, but enough enthusiasm and willingness to learn new concepts, I was able to implement new strategies, and ideas, which were very motivating when put in place.

As far as office to field work ratio, I must admit the majority of work is done at my desk. I have however already taken the opportunity to travel around the UK, attending career fairs in London representing Corus, as well as going to Universities as part of my research on certain projects. As mentioned earlier I have also been out of the office at various Corus training and development events and have site visits in the near future. In addition, I am hoping to work abroad at another Corus site, for a week, during my internship that will also further my development.

Although, my learning curve has been due to my own commitment and enthusiasm for me to take advantage of such an opportunity, most of this would not have been possible without the support and guidance of my supervisors as well as their belief in my capabilities when delegating responsibilities to a placement student.