In today’s world, having a placement is becoming more and more important to getting your first graduate job, with many top employers expecting it as standard. However, your placement options are not limited to the UK, you can spend a year working abroad and get that edge (and maybe take one step closer to conquering the world). But what is it like doing a placement in a completely different country? Culture interviews Benjamin Hero who spent a year in Malaysia for his placement as an Industry Liaison Officer at the University of Malaya.

Q.   Why did you choose to do a placement?

A.    I wanted to push myself and give myself an experience that would put me in an environment where I would grow and learn at a rapid pace. There is no greater challenge than leaving your comfort zone for a place, which is over 6,000 miles away.

Q.   How have you enjoyed working this year?

A.    I loved the fact that I was working in such a different environment like Malaysia. I enjoyed meeting people from such a different walk of life from mine. I made lifelong friends with my work colleagues. Working in Malaysia has really opened my eyes to the possibilities of life.

Q.   What is a typical day like?

A.    A typical day would consist of waking up and doing my daily morning exercises before going to work. I had a magnificent walk to work, which has such a gorgeous tropical feel to it. When I reached the office I would be tasked with very important and time-critical work. Since I was working at the University of Malaya, all my work was at the highest standard possible. After work, I would make my way home where I would do a variety of evening activities ranging from hitting the gym, visiting local market shops to joining tours by the local people.

Q.   How has it/it not benefitted you?

A.    Travelling to Malaysia has given me incalculable benefits. The experience alone has made me a smarter and wiser person. Literally every aspect of my life was improved by travelling abroad. It was challenging, but it was a worthwhile challenge.

Q.   Would you recommend other students to do a placement year?

A.    Undergoing a placement abroad is not for everyone. If you do feel however that a placement abroad is for you then I would wholeheartedly recommend it. A placement abroad can provide you with benefits, which you could never gain from a local placement.

Q.   What are your plans after university?

A.    After I graduate, I want to continue my mission to spread knowledge and motivation to others by growing my keynote and motivational speaking business. I believe that knowledge can fundamentally change anybody’s life.

There you have it! Doing a placement abroad can be a unique opportunity for you to develop as a professional person and boost your sense of global awareness, skills highly sought after by most employers. If Benjamin can enjoy it, so can you!

Jonathan Smith


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