What are your tips for gaining experience?

Watch
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
Many jobs now require work experience, and sometimes even those who advertise saying you don't need experience have been known to reject lots of young people citing lack of relevant experience as a reason.

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?


TSR has some guides on getting work experience for specific areas here:
Work Experience for Working with animals
Biology/Life Sciences work experience
Finance and Consulting
Medicine
Nursing
Veterinary Medicine
Dentistry


(I'm starting this thread more as an opportunity to get people sharing their advice and experiences on this because it's quite a big topic, though opinions from some of the expert reps here would also be extremely helpful and appreciated. I'm not really after personal advice.)
Last edited by 04MR17; 1 year ago
1
reply
CheeseIsVeg
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#2
Report 1 year ago
#2
(Original post by 04MR17)
Many jobs now require work experience, and sometimes even those who advertise saying you don't need experience have been known to reject lots of young people citing lack of relevant experience as a reason.

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?


TSR has some guides on getting work experience for specific areas here:
Work Experience for Working with animals
Biology/Life Sciences work experience
Finance and Consulting
Medicine
Nursing
Veterinary Medicine

Don't forget if you have other job-related questions to ask the experts now.

(I'm starting this thread more as an opportunity to get people sharing their advice and experiences on this because it's quite a big topic, though opinions from some of the expert reps here would also be extremely helpful and appreciated. I'm not really after personal advice.)
I think that getting some work experience in the holidays of your A levels is a good time

My school encouraged us to do a week's experience in year 10. I think that's a bit soon as unless you know what you want to do, it's just a useless week off really :mmm:

But for example, in my year 12 summer holiday, I did a Nuffield Research Placement which got me really thinking about going into Scientific Research :ahee: Would highly recommend this to you guys!
1
reply
Marcus_:D
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#3
Report 1 year ago
#3
(Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
I think that getting some work experience in the holidays of your A levels is a good time

My school encouraged us to do a week's experience in year 10. I think that's a bit soon as unless you know what you want to do, it's just a useless week off really :mmm:

But for example, in my year 12 summer holiday, I did a Nuffield Research Placement which got me really thinking about going into Scientific Research :ahee: Would highly recommend this to you guys!
Ayyy I did a Nuffield Placement too! Was really fun what was yours about? Mine was about a research project on modelling a heart.
2
reply
CheeseIsVeg
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#4
Report 1 year ago
#4
(Original post by Marcus_:D)
Ayyy I did a Nuffield Placement too! Was really fun what was yours about? Mine was about a research project on modelling a heart.
liquid nitrogen injectors :five:
nice stuff :ahee:
there's actually a thread for it somewhere, you might be able to help out for the current placementers!
1
reply
Marcus_:D
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#5
Report 1 year ago
#5
Anyway back to the question: I feel the most important time is Year 12 because you have more time to settle in and focus your efforts on broadening what you might like to do in future. I did a Deloitte workshop thing for 5 days and it was really interesting getting to understand the business sector should I wish to pursue something different to engineering.

Obviously would definitely recommend doing the Nuffield Summer Placement if you can, or just apply to LOADS and I mean LOADS of places. It’s better for you to have the power to choose where you want to do your work experience than having none at all. Get researching, emailing, talking on the phone, networking, asking a teacher!
0
reply
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#6
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#6
(Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
there's actually a thread for it somewhere, you might be able to help out for the current placementers!
https://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/sho....php?t=5807224

1
reply
She-Ra
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#7
Report 1 year ago
#7
My work experience at school was so diverse.... during my GCSEs I helped at a Beauty Salon, during year 13 I shadowed a Labour Whip and spent time at the local office in Hove and then Westminster. This clearly demonstrates I had no idea what I wanted to do. But both were really helpful experiences.
The first experience showed me that this was not what I wanted to do in the future. The second experience played to my interests in politics.

Not everyone knows what they want to be when they grow up.... I certainly still don't but I would recommend following your curiosity and have as many experiences as you can to build skills in team work, leadership, learn to use your initiative, problem-solving and creating a positive, can-do attitude.

A lot of my experience came from my involvement in societies and groups during my time at university alongside working in a bar and working in retail for 6 years while I studied.

Obviously some sectors do like more focused-work experience but I think having the opportunity to develop transferable skills elsewhere is just as important personally.
1
reply
She-Ra
Badges: 21
Rep:
?
#8
Report 1 year ago
#8
PwC UK Careers National Careers Service Royal Society of Chemistry IBM UK Careers Capita Careers UK Civil Service Fast Stream RAF_Mark RAF_Adam please can you share your suggestions and thoughts on work experience?

The questions are:

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?

1
reply
IBM UK Careers
Badges: 6
Rep:
?
#9
Report 1 year ago
#9
At IBM we don't require early professionals to have any work experience, but of course it always helps when filling in your application form! I'm currently a university placement student here and I completed my first work experience in year 10 at a primary school, and since then I have worked in retail/customer services - although these have nothing to do with tech/business! However, I can use skills such as teamwork, communication and client focus in my current marketing role! I have also completed some charity and volunteering work which I have discussed in previous applications e.g. Race For Life.
I would say start as early as you can, but potentially just look into charity work or part time jobs when you're at college/sixth form. You will always develop skills that are replicable in the work place, regardless of the role
- Melissa
0
reply
RAF_Adam
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#10
Report 1 year ago
#10
Gaining work experience for the RAF can be tricky, depending on which role you wish to eventually apply for. Some roles and areas on certain stations are, obviously, out of bounds to civilian personnel, so getting some experience of being in the Intelligence or certain technical aspects some of our Aircraft Technician roles, for example, are impossible.

However, you can get experience of what life on station is like and there are some roles that you'll be able to do. Because of the security implications each station handles enquiries for work experience directly. You can contact your local station (or a specific one if there's a role there you wish to do, but again, it may not be possible) and the team on each station will look into what opportunities are available. You can find contact details for each station on the main RAF website.

You don't need to have any previous experience of an RAF station to be able to apply, but knowledge of the RAF is very useful as part of the application process.
Adam
RAF Recruitment
0
reply
National Careers Service
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#11
Report 1 year ago
#11
(Original post by She-Ra)
PwC UK Careers National Careers Service Royal Society of Chemistry IBM UK Careers Capita Careers UK Civil Service Fast Stream RAF_Mark RAF_Adam please can you share your suggestions and thoughts on work experience?

The questions are:

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?

Hi,

Thanks for tagging us in this thread, it’s something that we get asked a lot on our helpline channels!

Lots of students feel like they struggle to find work experience which is specific enough for the type of career they want to get into in the future – for example, medical experience can be difficult to find if you are looking to become doctor or nurse in the future!

However, most employers are aware of these difficulties and understand that it’s not always easy to find the most relevant experience – which is why a lot of employers are perfectly happy for you to present with some form of work experience instead.

Obviously, finding something specifically related to your interest will always be preferable, but work experience isn’t only about practising the exact role you want to do in the future – it’s also so you can experience something outside of your school environment which is likely the only experience you’ve had so far.

The working world is different to school life, not scary different, but different enough that it’s certainly worth having an idea of what it’s like before you apply for jobs in the future. If an employer knows you have bene in this environment in the past, they know you are more likely to have a better understand of what is expected from employees in general and you will likely be a more attractive candidate due to this!

Many companies no not actively advertise work experience as it can be a little expensive to do so, and they rely on students contacting them directly to ask if they have any work experience or volunteering positions available. The worst thing you’re going to hear if you get in touch is that they don’t have anything now and in which case, you’re no worse off that if you hadn’t asked!

When you gain work experience in whatever role or industry, the best way to make the most of it is to do as much as you can! Whatever task is available or whatever new job they suggest, I would recommend to take it as the point of work experience is to build your skills in as many areas as possible! You can also put yourself forward for roles as well, perhaps ask your manager or supervisor if there is anything extra you can try while you are there to see if you can find new interests!
I hope this helps as a starting point but you can always speak with our advisers from 8am to 10pm every day through the link below:

http://bit.ly/2GkrcXU

Thanks!

Tom.
0
reply
candokoala
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#12
Report 1 year ago
#12
On TSR, we also have a guide to How to find relevant work experience as a university student. Some of the advice is applicable whatever your education level and age!
1
reply
Civil Service Fast Stream
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#13
Report 1 year ago
#13
(Original post by She-Ra)
PwC UK Careers National Careers Service Royal Society of Chemistry IBM UK Careers Capita Careers UK Civil Service Fast Stream RAF_Mark RAF_Adam please can you share your suggestions and thoughts on work experience?

The questions are:

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?

Hi there! These are such great questions!

I agree that it's really hard to get relevant experience for some jobs. My first (very short!) career was in medical research and I didn't get any experience in that until I was in my 3rd year at University, so my first bit of advice would be don't panic if you can't get something that exactly matches your career ambition. No experience is ever wasted!

I think one of the best ways to acquire work experience is through volunteering. Not everyone is able to commit to a part time job when they are studying, but voluntary work still counts as work experience! It's less about the work you've done, and more about the transferable skills you gain, such as communication and people skills.

It's never too early to start thinking about work experience. I did my first work experience placement in year 10 for a couple of weeks, and then had a couple of part time jobs in retail when I was in college. None of them were remotely related to working for the Civil Service, and that really didn't matter when I came to apply. After college, whether you decide to go to uni or straight into work, internships are often great ways to get really relevant work experience to specific sectors. The Civil Service offers two internship programmes for undergraduates for 1 week (EDIP) and 6-9 weeks (SDIP), which are worth exploring!

The best tip I could give for making the most out of your work experience would be to talk to as many people in your placement as you can! Your colleagues will have loads of amazing tips, and may even know of other opportunities that you could explore while you're there. Be open-minded - you never know what you might learn!

Beth
1
reply
CoolCavy
Badges: 20
Rep:
?
#14
Report 1 year ago
#14
I worked in the biological sciences department of a university for work experience. I had my heart set on doing zoology in year 10. Now am at uni studying design and wanting to be an illustrator.
Idk what the relevance of that story was but thought I would contribute
0
reply
candokoala
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#15
Report 1 year ago
#15
Thanks so much everyone for your incredible advice and insights. I've pulled it together in an article on the benefits of securing work experience as a student
0
reply
Royal Society of Chemistry
Badges: 10
Rep:
?
#16
Report 1 year ago
#16
Hi there,

Here is what we recommend for these questions:

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?
Holiday work during studies. It doesn’t always have to be linked to the job you are applying for. Look for a degree with a sandwich placement or an apprenticeship where you study while also working- e.g. degree apprenticeships or advanced apprenticeships.

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?
No real rules on this. When you are ready and able to find the time to work and study if you are not offered it at school

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?
Other than the options above also look at this page for some ideas: http://www.rsc.org/careers/future/work-experience


Hope this helps,

Jack
0
reply
04MR17
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#17
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#17
:bump: Forgot to add the Dentistry work experience megathread to the OP.

(Original post by candokoala)
Thanks so much everyone for your incredible advice and insights. I've pulled it together in an article on the benefits of securing work experience as a student
This looks awesome. :ta:
1
reply
PwC UK Careers
Badges: 2
Rep:
?
#18
Report 1 year ago
#18
At PwC, we do not look at any previous work experience you have as part of your application for a school and college leaver role. Our selection process focuses on your skills and suitability to PwC as a company and the role you have applied for. Wherever possible, you should be able to demonstrate and highlight how you match our requirements throughout our application process.
We assess all applicants against the PwC Professional. The PwC Professional focuses on five core attributes: whole leadership, business acumen, technical capabilities, global acumen and relationships. We use this framework to recruit, develop and assess our people at all grades and in all areas of our business, because we expect all of our people to be leaders.

We do have formal Insight Weeks for Year 12 students (Year 13 in NI and S5 in Scotland) but we do not offer ad-hoc work experience. These are a paid action-packed week in a PwC office during your summer holiday – meeting our people, experiencing the work we do and making new friends. Plus, if it goes well, you’ll have the opportunity to: secure a full-time job with us when you leave school or college; explore our Flying Start degree programmes; or learn more about our undergraduate work experience programmes if you decide university is for you.

Any work experience you do have will enable you to draw on the skills you have gained to help you through the application process but work experience is not a requirement.

- Evie, Student recruitment.
(Original post by 04MR17)
Many jobs now require work experience, and sometimes even those who advertise saying you don't need experience have been known to reject lots of young people citing lack of relevant experience as a reason.

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?


TSR has some guides on getting work experience for specific areas here:
Work Experience for Working with animals
Biology/Life Sciences work experience
Finance and Consulting
Medicine
Nursing
Veterinary Medicine
Dentistry


(I'm starting this thread more as an opportunity to get people sharing their advice and experiences on this because it's quite a big topic, though opinions from some of the expert reps here would also be extremely helpful and appreciated. I'm not really after personal advice.)
0
reply
MonsoonFlower
Badges: 22
Rep:
?
#19
Report 1 year ago
#19
(Original post by 04MR17)
Many jobs now require work experience, and sometimes even those who advertise saying you don't need experience have been known to reject lots of young people citing lack of relevant experience as a reason.

So, what are some of the best ways to acquire work experience?

How early would you recommend someone starts doing work experience?

What advice would you have about making the most out of your work experience?


TSR has some guides on getting work experience for specific areas here:
Work Experience for Working with animals
Biology/Life Sciences work experience
Finance and Consulting
Medicine
Nursing
Veterinary Medicine
Dentistry


(I'm starting this thread more as an opportunity to get people sharing their advice and experiences on this because it's quite a big topic, though opinions from some of the expert reps here would also be extremely helpful and appreciated. I'm not really after personal advice.)
Gaining experience during the holidays, especially for university students as most get at least 3 months off! In other words - always about using time wisely...

Approaching businesses, sending speculative applications to see what you can offer them in terms of transferable skills and qualities. Don't always think about what they can offer you. Remember, just like applying for a job, businesses have many candidates to choose and pick from - so you have to stand out much more.
There is no time like the present as they say, so if you do get offered a work experience opportunity, do take it as you won't know where it may take you! :nah:

I'd say the best way to get out of your work experience is always ask if there opportunities to learn, especially where the company has different departments. It gives choice and opportunity to grow in terms of personal development.
0
reply
Emma:-)
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#20
Report 1 year ago
#20
(Original post by CheeseIsVeg)
I think that getting some work experience in the holidays of your A levels is a good time

My school encouraged us to do a week's experience in year 10. I think that's a bit soon as unless you know what you want to do, it's just a useless week off really :mmm:

But for example, in my year 12 summer holiday, I did a Nuffield Research Placement which got me really thinking about going into Scientific Research :ahee: Would highly recommend this to you guys!
I agree.
Volunteering as well. Even if its just somewhere like charity shop, its a start and you can go on to volunteer at other places.
For example if you want to go into the care sector- volunteering at somewhere like a care home etc can hdlp.
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Are you travelling in the Uni student travel window (3-9 Dec) to go home for Christmas?

Yes (37)
31.62%
No - I have already returned home (14)
11.97%
No - I plan on travelling outside these dates (25)
21.37%
No - I'm staying at my term time address over Christmas (8)
6.84%
No - I live at home during term anyway (33)
28.21%

Watched Threads

View All