How does work experience happen at your school/college?

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Poll: Have you done work experience at school/college?
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BlinkyBill
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#1
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#1
I was chatting with some colleagues yesterday about work experience and we realised that of the three of us, only one has done work experience at school or college. Thinking about it, that seems crazy.

Surely it's better now right?

But then I often also get current students telling me they wish they had better work experience opportunities.

What's it like at your school/college?

Do you get to do work experience? How does it get organised? If you've done it, was it helpful?
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Pearson Business School Rep
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#2
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#2
(Original post by BlinkyBill)
I was chatting with some colleagues yesterday about work experience and we realised that of the three of us, only one has done work experience at school or college. Thinking about it, that seems crazy.

Surely it's better now right?

But then I often also get current students telling me they wish they had better work experience opportunities.

What's it like at your school/college?

Do you get to do work experience? How does it get organised? If you've done it, was it helpful?
Hello,

As a Person College student I have been able to complete 2 internships alongside pursue industry events and workshops. The foundation of Pearson College London is built on education alongside industry experience and makes for a great pairing, we believe work experience matters just as much as the opportunity of furthering education. We also have an Internship Team dedicated to upskilling your interview techniques, CV auditing and prepare you for success. If this is something that interests you please check out our website: https://www.pearsoncollegelondon.ac.uk/

Dillon
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Fresher18
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#3
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#3
I did it in both High school and Sixth form, but the year after me they changed it to just sixth formers. Though none of my work experience placements had anything todo with what I wanted to pursue as a career (at that point), my first was working in a sandwich shop/bakery and the 2nd was a work experience placement run by the Meteorology department at my current Uni but now I'm studying Theatre with he goal of working backstage so hugely different!
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CoolCavy
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#4
I did work experience in year 10 at a university's school of oceanography. This was back when i thought i was going to be doing zoology at university.

It did teach me that i didnt want to do environmental or life sciences. As for actual 'work' experience i dont think those week long year 10 placements are really particularly helpful. By the time you are in a position where you need to reference work experience it's already several years since you did it and you've had other experiences and qualifications since then.
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BlinkyBill
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#5
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#5
(Original post by Fresher18)
I did it in both High school and Sixth form, but the year after me they changed it to just sixth formers. Though none of my work experience placements had anything todo with what I wanted to pursue as a career (at that point), my first was working in a sandwich shop/bakery and the 2nd was a work experience placement run by the Meteorology department at my current Uni but now I'm studying Theatre with he goal of working backstage so hugely different!
Woah the meteorology one sounds cool though. Also wicked you're studying theatre. I was a theatrical lighting technician for a while, love the backstage life. Do you specialise?

Do you think it was useful to have done those work experiences, even if they didn't turn out to be what you'd end up being interested in at this point?
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BlinkyBill
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#6
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#6
(Original post by CoolCavy)
I did work experience in year 10 at a university's school of oceanography. This was back when i thought i was going to be doing zoology at university.

It did teach me that i didnt want to do environmental or life sciences. As for actual 'work' experience i dont think those week long year 10 placements are really particularly helpful. By the time you are in a position where you need to reference work experience it's already several years since you did it and you've had other experiences and qualifications since then.
Oceanography sounds wicked but yeah good it helped you realise what you didn't want to do, I guess?
Interesting point about referencing it. I always thought the goal was so you could get a feel of what it was like going to work, professional environment, etc. Makes me wonder if different schools see the purpose of it differently?
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CoolCavy
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#7
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#7
(Original post by BlinkyBill)
Oceanography sounds wicked but yeah good it helped you realise what you didn't want to do, I guess?
Interesting point about referencing it. I always thought the goal was so you could get a feel of what it was like going to work, professional environment, etc. Makes me wonder if different schools see the purpose of it differently?
Yeh it was worthwhile from that perspective.

Yes that is interesting, at my school (a grammar school) it was pushed as something that is to be done so you can mention it on your CV and uni application.
You had people trying to do it in hospitals for that reason (despite the fact that you can only do that above a certain age and the only 14/15 year olds doing it were those who knew people who worked high up in the hospital).

I think I mentioned it a handful of times before it stopped being relevant.

At that age I think like you say it's more useful from a knowing what you might like to do in the future kind of way.
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-Eirlys-
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#8
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(Original post by BlinkyBill)
I was chatting with some colleagues yesterday about work experience and we realised that of the three of us, only one has done work experience at school or college. Thinking about it, that seems crazy.

Surely it's better now right?

But then I often also get current students telling me they wish they had better work experience opportunities.

What's it like at your school/college?

Do you get to do work experience? How does it get organised? If you've done it, was it helpful?
I did work experience both years of my animal college diploma. The first one was dreadful and the manager simply wanted us to work our butts off because we were essentially free labour. She was on our backs about everything and I couldn't stand her. The second one was with the PDSA and that was a really good experience. They let me assist in surgeries, I even donned a vet before surgery, passed them the correct 'thread' to do stitches with, took a recording of a cat's pulse, administered gel to their eyes, cleaned the surgery tools, disposed of removed organs etc. I did so much and it was a great experience, the people were really nice.
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BurstingBubbles
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#9
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#9
I did work experience in year 10, a week which was given to us by the school but we had to organise it. My other work/volunteering experience was organised by myself outside of school time. But this is like 10 years ago now, so yeah I hope things have improved
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Debold
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#10
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#10
Year 10, we had to go find a week of work and then do this form as the week went by which we gave back to our tutors. Like a diary of sorts. Work experience was the most useless thing I've ever done though not gonna lie, most kids found their placements through nepotism and nobody really gained anything out of it. Long time ago now.
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LukeMCCG
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#11
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#11
I am on a placement from University and I have learned so much, way more than I have done at University... but placements are hit and miss - I have friends doing some where the company just has them making coffee or manually typing up spreadsheets. At school I had no work experiences, the school was useless at that. As a matter of fact the university was useless at arranging work experiences too, I have done everything myself...

In short, the UK education system does not prepare you for work AT ALL
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Obolinda
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#12
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#12
In year 10, we had a week off school where everybody had to do work experience. We had to organise it ourselves (finding online programmes, contacting local businesses, at school, etc. I didn't go to a scl where very many ppl had "contacts or anything like this, lol). Although PP pupils were given logins to an online platform to find work experience programmes which I utilised. I remember our head of year making it out that not doing it would be a serious barrier to ever obtaining work. As if we can't gain work experience outside of that week. And at this age, these "work" experience programmes usually contain no work and are just insight weeks. sometimes even just akin to a webinar. :rofl:

Some of these work experience programmes tend to be quite organised and you get given projects (not ones that are for the business) to complete over the week and you can find these placements for free online. I think they can be nice way to learn about the world of work and what you might want to do, also can be fun.

Work experience at my sixth form college is just something you sort out on your own. They do send us opportunities tho.
Last edited by Obolinda; 1 month ago
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getrid
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#13
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#13
My school didn't do work experience (this was early 2010's). Perhaps if I'd tried I might have been able to organise it myself, but that wasn't on my radar as a possibility at the time.

At college, my tutor asked me about my work experience when he was helping me with my UCAS form, and when I told him I had none he said "hmm, that's unusual". Naturally, I was devastated and convinced I'd never get a job since I'd missed the first rung of the career ladder and had nothing to put on my CV (fortunately I turned out to be wrong).

It seems that work experience is just something teens are being made to do to "stand out" on their CVs and uni applications that doesn't really equip them with any transferrable skills. Jobs will train you once you're hired.
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