Work experience is really valued by employers. We cannot recommend it enough.
- It is an opportunity to develop your skills and experience.
- This will strengthen your job applications and help you stand out from the crowd.
- Spending time in the workplace getting an insight into different jobs will help you work out what you want to do when you graduate.
Getting work experience in your first year will improve your chances of gaining further work experience or internships in the future. Sometimes it can be hard to get experience unless you have experience already.
The majority of internships are for students in their 2nd year (or 3rd year if it is a 4 year course). But there are a growing number of opportunities available specifically for 1st years. These are often called insight weeks, which can last anything from 3 days to 2 weeks.
It is also worth remembering that not all internships will specify which year of study you must belong to. Some placements with charities and media companies are open to all – for example, Cancer Research, Oxfam and the BBC.
Before you spend a lot of time on an application, make sure you check to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many work experience positions (especially in smaller companies) are never advertised, so it is also possible to apply speculatively. Remember, work experience does not have to be linked to your degree subject.