Work experience is a great way to gain some real life experience while you study and make yourself more employable.
You can explore your existing career ideas and determine whether you are on the right path, before it becomes increasingly difficult to change direction.
You will be more aware of the qualifications, skills and qualities required in different occupations, and how you match up to these.
You can gain an insight into the relationship between your academic studies and their application in the workplace.
You can write a fuller and more interesting CV, providing hard evidence of a range of skills helpful to a future employer.
You may see how employers recruit. A work experience placement can be the first stage in the selection process, and even if no permanent jobs are immediately on offer, will help you build a network of contacts who can suggest a range of starting points.
Work-related learning which is valued by employers can be gained from all the following:
Voluntary work: Any type of work undertaken for no payment, usually outside of your course and in your spare time, with a not-for-profit organisation. More information on volunteering is available.
Sandwich placements: assessed, paid work which is part of a student's course. It is often of one year's duration.
Work placement: A period of structured work experience, which can be paid or unpaid. This can be arranged through your university, or organised by yourself directly with an employer and is for an agreed period of time.
Work-based project: A specific piece of assessed work for a course, undertaken at an employer's premises or working to an employer’s project brief.
Part-time work: Paid work undertaken during term-time or vacations and typically undertaken to earn money to support studying. Jobs4Students offers MMU students opportunity to gain paid work experience on campus. Sign up to the mailing list.
Vacation work: This could be full-time or part-time work for students looking to enhance their CVs or improve job prospects.
Work shadowing: Observation of a member of staff working in an organisation for one or several days, so you gain an understanding of what a particular job entails.
Internships: A phrase used by a wide range of organisations in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, to describe placements undertaken after graduation or during vacations. It is implicit that the internship comprises relatively structured work experience invaluable for entry into that sector. Significant proportions are advertised on an unpaid basis, but where a formal contract (verbal or written) has been agreed, national minimum wage legislation is likely to apply.
Use My Career Hub to help find a range of different work experience opportunities from a wide range of organisations.
The MMU Futures Award aims to give you recognition for all the extra-curricular activities you take part in under the Futures programme, and offers a fantastic opportunity to prove to employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. It’s never too early or late to get involved, so click below for more information & start collecting points now!