Student Work Experience

Increasingly, work experience is vital for you to get a foot in the door. It can also be a very useful way of earning money whilst you study and perhaps more importantly can give you a head start over less experienced applicants when applying for graduate jobs. In the increasingly tough world of graduate recruitment, any advantage you have over other job seekers is crucial. Recruiters in companies and organisations of all shapes and sizes now want graduates to provide evidence on their CVs and in interviews that they have some knowledge of working life. Many students also rate work experience as the single most helpful factor in choosing how and where to start their careers.

As well as this page in this section you can find information on:

What can you learn?

  • The reality of everyday work
  • Whether the sector you are working in is actually the right one for you
  • What sort of work you like and don't like doing on a regular basis
  • If you would prefer to work in a small or large organisation
  • If you are more suited to work in the business, public or voluntary sphere
  • What your strengths and weaknesses are

Above all, work experience can give you the ideal preparation for future interviews, as you will have examples and experiences to bring up at the interview. Having had some form of practical experience in the workplace, you'll be able to overcome difficult interview questions by applying your knowledge. Being able to put relevant work experience on your CV will also help you to obtain more interviews. You will also be able to demonstrate a range of qualities, such as:

  • Written and verbal communication skills
  • Teamworking
  • Flexibility
  • Reliability and motivation
  • IT and numeracy skills
  • Time management
  • Research and information analysis
  • People management
  • Negotiation and persuasion
  • Lateral thinking and problem solving
  • Presenting skills

Work experience placements give you practical experience of all these skills and employers will look for evidence that you have obtained them.

Back to Student Advice