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internships/placements during uni.

I’ve just done a foundation year and will be moving onto my first year of university for civil engineering in September. I’ve worked part time all throughout my foundation year, mainly for the money but also for a little bit of experience. My part time job is not related at all to my course it’s just a job I picked up to keep busy. I wanted to continue doing some sort of part time work going into my first year but I don’t know whether I should try and apply to some sort of part time job that relates to my degree somewhat or if I should be looking for placements or internships, I’ve got loads of people around me applying to internships but I thought that you only started doing that in second year and I just don’t want to waste my time if I could be getting experience doing a placement or something instead of working my current part time job. I just need some kind of guidance 🥲😅
Original post by Anonymous
I’ve just done a foundation year and will be moving onto my first year of university for civil engineering in September. I’ve worked part time all throughout my foundation year, mainly for the money but also for a little bit of experience. My part time job is not related at all to my course it’s just a job I picked up to keep busy. I wanted to continue doing some sort of part time work going into my first year but I don’t know whether I should try and apply to some sort of part time job that relates to my degree somewhat or if I should be looking for placements or internships, I’ve got loads of people around me applying to internships but I thought that you only started doing that in second year and I just don’t want to waste my time if I could be getting experience doing a placement or something instead of working my current part time job. I just need some kind of guidance 🥲😅

Hey there,

Yes, you are indeed correct! Applying for placements is supposed to happen during your second year. I really advice you to start very early (as soon as your second year starts). Your university might have a careers team that can help you with preparation for applications.

However, you may still do some internships during summer between your first and second year, you are more than free to browse some opportunities online :smile:

Please, let me know if you have any questions,
Ilya :smile:
Original post by Anonymous
I’ve just done a foundation year and will be moving onto my first year of university for civil engineering in September. I’ve worked part time all throughout my foundation year, mainly for the money but also for a little bit of experience. My part time job is not related at all to my course it’s just a job I picked up to keep busy. I wanted to continue doing some sort of part time work going into my first year but I don’t know whether I should try and apply to some sort of part time job that relates to my degree somewhat or if I should be looking for placements or internships, I’ve got loads of people around me applying to internships but I thought that you only started doing that in second year and I just don’t want to waste my time if I could be getting experience doing a placement or something instead of working my current part time job. I just need some kind of guidance 🥲😅

Hi there,

DMU offers some great advice here. You can of course have a go at an internship when best suits you and your uni schedule, but placements are usually something to look at in second year.

Regarding your part time job, I would say it's not vital that it relates to your degree. I study fashion design and work in retail, mainly because that's one of the most available job sectors, but it does have some connection. But I actually feel that your job should be something that can be a break from your uni studies, so if you enjoy your current job and have the time to keep it on, then that should be okay too.

You can keep a look out for internships and relevant work opportunities for the future, but if you're wanting to help fund your time at uni, any part time job should help do the trick.

Best of luck! :smile:
Emily
Student Rep at BCU
Original post by Anonymous
I’ve just done a foundation year and will be moving onto my first year of university for civil engineering in September. I’ve worked part time all throughout my foundation year, mainly for the money but also for a little bit of experience. My part time job is not related at all to my course it’s just a job I picked up to keep busy. I wanted to continue doing some sort of part time work going into my first year but I don’t know whether I should try and apply to some sort of part time job that relates to my degree somewhat or if I should be looking for placements or internships, I’ve got loads of people around me applying to internships but I thought that you only started doing that in second year and I just don’t want to waste my time if I could be getting experience doing a placement or something instead of working my current part time job. I just need some kind of guidance 🥲😅

Hey there

BCU and DMU offer great advice here, but I'll add my two pence too.

You can do internships between the summer of your first and second year, however, I have found that internships for first years are more limited compared to those in higher years. In law, for example, there are first-year insight schemes that last anything from 1 day to 1 week. Some give you actual practical exposure to work while shorter ones give you an overview of the company with maybe a workshop/exercise on a topic. Due to their limited number, they are also quite competitive and applications will usually be around Christmas time of your first year (depends on the industry and company though).

In terms of funding your living expenses, an internship won't help because it's only over the summer, therefore, a part-time job would be better. This absolutely doesn't need to be degree-related. I study law while I'm a marketing intern for my university and I thoroughly enjoy it.

In terms of where you can look for opportunities, I'd suggest starting with your uni's careers service. They will probably have an online portal where they advertise internal opportunities (i.e., part-time jobs within the uni) and external ones (i.e., internships with external employers). Indeed and LinkedIn Jobs are also good sources to find these opportunities.

Hope that helps :smile:

-Himieka
(edited 2 months ago)
Original post by BCU Student Rep
Hi there,
DMU offers some great advice here. You can of course have a go at an internship when best suits you and your uni schedule, but placements are usually something to look at in second year.
Regarding your part time job, I would say it's not vital that it relates to your degree. I study fashion design and work in retail, mainly because that's one of the most available job sectors, but it does have some connection. But I actually feel that your job should be something that can be a break from your uni studies, so if you enjoy your current job and have the time to keep it on, then that should be okay too.
You can keep a look out for internships and relevant work opportunities for the future, but if you're wanting to help fund your time at uni, any part time job should help do the trick.
Best of luck! :smile:
Emily
Student Rep at BCU

Hi there,

There's been some pretty good advice from some of the reps above, but firstly I'd like to say that it's great that you're starting to think about and plan for these things now.
And you're right, your second year at university can be the start of your career planning, you can start thinking about the job you want to do in the future, and from there you can get an initial insight into the field. It's not always easy to start something, so for your future formal job, I would recommend that you do some entry-level work in a relevant field during your holidays, such as volunteering at relevant activities, as well as applying for part-time jobs that are relevant to your course of study. These jobs can make you more competitive when you are in a formal job in the future.
I hope my advice can help you.

Yu
Wrexham University Student Rep 3rd Year Media Production student
Original post by Anonymous
I’ve just done a foundation year and will be moving onto my first year of university for civil engineering in September. I’ve worked part time all throughout my foundation year, mainly for the money but also for a little bit of experience. My part time job is not related at all to my course it’s just a job I picked up to keep busy. I wanted to continue doing some sort of part time work going into my first year but I don’t know whether I should try and apply to some sort of part time job that relates to my degree somewhat or if I should be looking for placements or internships, I’ve got loads of people around me applying to internships but I thought that you only started doing that in second year and I just don’t want to waste my time if I could be getting experience doing a placement or something instead of working my current part time job. I just need some kind of guidance 🥲😅

Hey Anon,
Mostly placements are after your first year but a lot of people do internships in their first year summer too. Maybe foundation summer also if you are good at your course and have the necessary skills.
Doing a part time job that relates to your degree would definitely be a lot more helpful to you in the future but they are hard to get. Even if you don't get them but do some interviews, I think that would still not be a waste of time because you would learn from the interviews and this would help you and give you practice for when you are seriously applying for jobs after your degree.

There are many jobs that give internships over summer and offer to continue part time during term time. A lot of my friends did that and it was great for their career because they can show they have 2 year experience as well as time management of doing this during university exams and assignments.

I hope this helps and good luck!!
Vyomika
LU Student Ambassador
Reply 6
Original post by Lancaster Student Ambassador
Hey Anon,
Mostly placements are after your first year but a lot of people do internships in their first year summer too. Maybe foundation summer also if you are good at your course and have the necessary skills.
Doing a part time job that relates to your degree would definitely be a lot more helpful to you in the future but they are hard to get. Even if you don't get them but do some interviews, I think that would still not be a waste of time because you would learn from the interviews and this would help you and give you practice for when you are seriously applying for jobs after your degree.
There are many jobs that give internships over summer and offer to continue part time during term time. A lot of my friends did that and it was great for their career because they can show they have 2 year experience as well as time management of doing this during university exams and assignments.
I hope this helps and good luck!!
Vyomika
LU Student Ambassador

Thank you so much for the replies, I’ve recently been looking at summer internships that I could be getting on with but as my A level grades are not good I’m starting to doubt whether there’s any point in me applying. I have very good GCSEs and am doing very well on my course but my A level grades are C, D, D as I had very serious things going on externally with my family during my A levels. Would you happen to have any advice for me for trying to get some really good internships?
Hi there,

For a full year of placement you are correct in applying during your second year! If your course permits you'll be able to spend a full 12 months gaining experience in the working world of engineering which will not only build up your skills but also open more graduate opportunities later on so I strongly recommend applying as soon as possible to these.

Other internships are generally summer placements and are also a great way of getting experience and building connections. You can apply to these at any point in your degree so if you feel you want to gain experience I would recommend doing so. It would be hard to have an ongoing part time job related to your degree - especially in balancing your full time education along the side so I would stick with your general part time job for some cash and apply to more specified internships in summers.

Hope this helped,

Sophie (uni of Bath)

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