Choosing the right placement for you

Both provide equally valuable work experience opportunities but there can be differences in the type of work you’ll have to do. Let’s look at them side by side.

Benefits of SMEs

  • In a smaller company you’re more likely to experience a hands on approach which will mean you’ll be exposed to a more diverse range of activities which could see you develop more skills. It could also mean being given more responsibility and more involvement in the day to day running of a business.
  • SMEs also often have a less hierarchical structure than larger organisations, offering more opportunities to work directly with senior managers. You have the opportunity to make a bigger impression and you’ll be exposed to a wider range of tasks over which to take initiative.

Benefits of large organisations

  • Because of increased resources, placements with larger companies tend to be more structured and you’ll often be able to rotate through different parts of the business. You might also get to take advantage of extensive training and development schemes and gain additional, vocationally relevant qualifications.
  • Working with a bigger brand means a more recognizable name on your CV alongside other perks like the opportunity to travel. It’s also possible that large organisations offer a more structured system of mentoring, feedback and review which will help you evolve.

Ideally you can obtain work experience at both types of companies, exposing yourself to all your options, so that when the time comes you can make an informed decision on what’s right for you.