Why do a placement year? Nicole, KCL International Management student and Global Placements Ambassador tells her story!

We love to celebrate students who embrace their career journey every step of the way, whether that’s big or small. Today we have the pleasure of welcoming Nicole Fleischer to blog about her placement year journey.

Nicole smiling at the laptop and her desk
Image used with permission from Nicole

Hi! My name is Nicole Fleischer, I am a 4th year International Management student and Global Placements ambassador. Having gone through the application process and experience of a placement year, I am here to tell you everything you need to know as you get started on this journey!


What Does a Placement Year Mean for Me?

Having a placement year means that your management degree is extended by a year, as your third year will be spent working a year in the industry. So, you’ll have two years building your study foundation at King’s, based in London, go off on your year in industry, then return to London for your final year of study. The type of work experience you wish to have is completely up to you, although we recommend a business opportunity that will enhance your studies and it needs to last at least 9 months.


Why You Should Do It 

Haven’t fully decided whether a placement year is the right choice for you? Fair enough, it’s a big decision to make! Personally, the idea of going off on placement had given me a lot of doubts, but now that I have lived out the experience, I am so grateful I had the chance to do it. I came out of the internship with a new outlook on my career, developed skills and broadened opportunities. In my eyes, there are three key reasons as to why you should take a placement year…

Professional Development: You will experience being held accountable for your work and see through a variety of tasks. This type of hands-on work is the best way to learn! Work experience is a perfect opportunity for you to explore different business areas and industries, unravelling the next best step for your career.

Career Prospects & Networking: If the work experience is a good fit for both you and the employer, there is usually a possibility to convert the role into a full-time position once you graduate from university. Imagine graduating with a job lined up – the dream! Not only that, you’ll be building a network of incredibly talented individuals along the way.

Personal Skills: The most challenging, out-of-your-comfort-zone experiences tend to be the ones where you grow and learn the most. Entering a professional working environment, you develop key interpersonal and hard skills that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to at university.

person putting a pin on a world map
Photo courtesy from LonelyPlanet on Unsplash

Still not convinced? Here’s My Experience!

In my first year of university, I took the time to explore a variety of modules and business areas, discovering that I’m most interested in marketing and sales. During my second year, it was time for me to think about what I wanted to do with my placement year. I applied to many different internships directly through company websites, but also through student work-opportunity organisations such as SEO London (highly recommended!). On this site, I discovered a summer insight week opportunity at Google in their European headquarters. I began the application thinking “why not, it’s worth a shot”. Long story short, after many interviews, I completed the insight week over the summer and converted it into a business internship for my year abroad. This process is also common in consulting and finance industries.

During my internship, I was part of the Google Customer Solutions (sales) team for the Spanish and Portuguese market. During that time, I had the opportunity to manage my own portfolio of 60 small-medium size businesses, consulting and advising them on how to best integrate Google Ads Solutions to their business models. Additionally, I had the chance to work on a marketing and analytical based project. All of these tactical work experiences and training sessions amounted to my immense learning curve and all of the interpersonal teamwork, communication and leadership skills developed.

Read more about Nicole’s placement at Google from this blogpost!

My internship, unfortunately, coincided with COVID-19 in March 2020, which meant working remotely, but nonetheless, I was able to create a strong network with extremely talented and motivating individuals. As I returned to university, I was able to implement what I had learned to my studies, as I took on the Consultancy Project and sales-specific modules. After the internship ended, I was able to successfully convert it into a full-time position upon graduating from university, and I absolutely cannot wait to get back to the team!


How to Get Started & Resources Available

Liking the sound of the placement year? Here’s what you need to know:

  • It is your responsibility to find the work opportunity, but don’t worry because the King’s Global Placements Team is here to help you. Their fantastic program has many resources to support you from day one. Start reading more info on their website. 
  • Business Management and Economic & Management students can now also apply to add a placement year to their degree programs starting in autumn 2021
  • If you’re a prospective student interested in a placement year and would like some more information or ask specific questions, get in touch with the Global Placements team: global-placements@kcl.ac.uk


I hope you leave this site thinking “well if Nicole did it, then I could probably do it too” … and for when you’re actually on your placement year – at Google they would say, remember that you are here because you were chosen to be, so give it your all and show them what you’re made of!

Good luck!


Author: Nicole Fleischer

Edited by Laura Pätäri