A Placement Year To Remember

by Michal Zuk on 08/19/2020

If a year ago you asked me about what I believed my placement year would entail, my answer would not live up to what these past 12-months really delivered in terms of experience and personal development. On this journey I was taught more than I could imagine, with unique lessons occurring every day earning a spot in my memory as a truly challenging yet exciting opening chapter to my career.

As part of my Business Management degree at the University of Surrey, I had to find a placement that would provide me with more practical insight into what I was studying. In my eyes, it was a great opportunity to earn experience before graduating while also being a chance to earn some money for myself. The criteria in my search process was simple, apply to work in industries you are interested in and make sure it is a job that you would find beneficial to learn. After an ‘eye-opening’ job hunt process, I eventually stumbled across what would soon be the place I called work, L3Harris.

From the very first moment I arrived for my interview I fell in love with the London Training Centre, a newly built state-of-the-art facility with what I could only describe as devices that look like they have been plucked directly from sci-fi. After my interview, I remember calling my parents unable to contain my excitement about the prospects of working in the aviation industry. Lucky for me, that dream became reality and I soon was invited to become part of the L3Harris marketing team.

In my first month I was given more responsibility than I could ever imagine, taking on a valuable role in social media management as well as content creation. Additionally, I would find myself supporting the team in other activities including email marketing and internal communications. I led several campaigns, including one which provided me with the chance to interview seven Vice Presidents and General Managers. I rapidly began learning about the aviation industry and what L3Harris offers for its customers directly from the top ranks within the business. Whether it involved training courses, simulation products, flight data analysis or avionics I had to become familiar with them all to do my job efficiently. I understood the meaning of working for a truly global team while learning the ability to adjust my marketing skills for different audiences.

The year was certainly a challenging one to say the least. Previous work experience could never quite prepare me for what to expect from a job at such a large company like L3Harris. At times, the placement would push me to what I thought would be my limits. Yet every time I reached those so-called points, I somehow proved that I could surpass them and carry on going. This would not happen without the help of my amazing teammates and co-workers that would take time out of their day to support me and provide me with invaluable advice that I know I will carry with me beyond this placement.

It only seems like yesterday that this inexperienced 20-year-old student walked through the L3Harris doors, unaware of the emotional rollercoaster ahead of him. I am thankful for the opportunity given to me during this placement which helped me develop my skills, leadership, friendships and most importantly my confidence.

I am proud of my placement year at L3Harris, whether it was taking responsibility for mistakes, staying after work, or simply giving a hundred percent I know I gave it my all. Finally, to all my amazing people at L3Harris who had to deal with me throughout this year, thank you for your kindness and most importantly your patience!