University of Essex students defy pandemic and secure record work placement year

  • Date

    Tue 12 Oct 21

Students walkthrough a sunlit Colchester campus

University of Essex students have defied the coronavirus pandemic and secured a record for work placement years.

There has been an increase of almost seven per cent from pre-pandemic levels, with students securing vital experience in leading organisations across the world.

University of Essex students defy pandemic and secure record work placement year

This is despite business uncertainty and the stringent travel restrictions imposed by governments.

This year more than 180 undergraduate students will be going out on placement across a range of highly competitive sectors.

Despite the hardships psychology student Julius Ayodeji secured an internship at investment bank Morgan Stanley – and even had his face projected onto New York’s iconic Times Square.

He has secured vital experience to bolster his studies and will return to the Colchester Campus to finish his third year after his internship finishes in Canary Wharf.

He was stunned to see his picture beamed onto the company’s headquarters and urged other students to take part in the scheme.

Julius from Gravesend, Kent, resident, 20, said: “My experience of working at Morgan Stanley has been very positive and enjoyable so far.

“This is mainly because of the kind culture, the diverse workforce, and the great professionals that I work with. From the very moment I started working there, I have been surrounded by warm individuals that constantly support me, and make sure that I am doing well.

“I am very grateful for these opportunities, although sometimes they have been very daunting.

“What makes my experience at Morgan Stanley so rewarding is that I am able to look back and see how I’ve improved on myself, in terms of overcoming nerves / doubts that I had before completing tasks in general, not just presenting.

“I would definitely encourage everyone to use the placement scheme, especially if you do not have much work experience.

“I genuinely believe that if I had not used the services offered by the placement scheme such as CV review, or my one-to-one sessions at the very start of my placement search, I would not have got this opportunity.”

Julius is not the only student to work at one of the world’s biggest companies.

They have also secured placements with other large organisations including Goldman Sachs, Linklaters, Unilever and Abellio Greater Anglia.

Whilst others are working in marine conservation in Greece, in learning support roles in schools and over sixty students are in roles within the NHS.

Daniel Fox, head of student development, said: “We are committed to ensuring every one of our students fulfils their potential and I would encourage all students to seek out, and get involved with, work experience opportunities.”

Employers wishing to offer a placement year to Essex students can contact the team on