For a graduate, experience at relevant agencies can really distinguish you from others, espescially for placements and for junior design positions, I have noticed a strong trend for those needing graduates with 1-2 years experience.
When a friend recently told me that after being on the dole since graduation with sporadic and short placements over the Summer, he was giving up and going to work a bar job until july, when he'll start looking for graphic design jobs again, I was a little lost. By then, he assumes that he will have enough experience to get a job, without actually doing any internships. This, I assume, is because he's planning some little white lies on his cv. Perhaps sporadic placements between August 2011 and August 2012 can just be rephrased as "I have been on placements solidly since graduation" and with an adequate list of good agencies to hand, who would doubt such a confident answer.
Obviously, with a lack of experience all will become clear if he does get a job, that perhaps he does know little about agencies and has less design experience. But essentially names on a CV: it's all words and no substance. So what if you've been at Pearlfisher, where's your work?
His admission has really spurred me on to find work that I have stolen from agencies and find out if I can tweak it or use it. Without evidence of placements showing myself blossoming into a young professional designer, I may as well have been behind a bar for the last 8 months and not be wallowing in debt. This is why short placements that give you nothing but cutting out to do and errands to run make me angry. It is so important that you get something physcially from the placement, or atleast make something they did your own, because without proof, you have nothing.